University Students Lobby for Student Aid in Ha...

April 25, 2018

On Tuesday, April 17, The University of Scranton sent a group of students and staff to Harrisburg for the Association of Independent Colleges & University of Pennsylvania’s (AICUP) annual Student Aid Advocacy Day to advocate for state grants for higher education. The students, Kelsey Andrews, 19’ Political Science and Criminal Justice major, and Matthew Coughlin, 19’ Political Science and Philosophy major, met with multiple Pennsylvania state Senators and Representatives and their staff from the offices of Senator John Blake, Senator Art Haywood, Senator John Yudichak, and Representative Steve McCarter. 

 The students asked these elected officials to prevent a 25 percent cut in the PHEAA State Grant award. They stressed that PHEAA grants should receive priority because they serve only Pennsylvania students who can demonstrate financial need for these state dollars. All of these students will have to assume more loans if their grants are cut. Since PHEAA serves Pennsylvanians no matter which Pennsylvania college or university they attend, University of Scranton students are able to apply it toward their education.

The students also asked for support for a $5 million increase for the Ready to Succeed Scholarship (RTSS) Program, which was created to serve middle income students. It provides grants of up to $2,000 to students from families earning $110,000 and less if the student has demonstrated academic promise with a 3.25 GPA or more after 30 college credits. Students in all sectors of higher education receive RTSS grants. Governor Wolf recommended flat funding of $5 million for RTSS in 2018-19, but this amount will serve only about 1/3 of the eligible students. 

The University sends students to the state Capitol each year for AICUP’s Student Aid Advocacy Day to stress the importance of state financial aid for students pursuing higher education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and to make the case for the importance of supporting independent colleges and universities such as The University of Scranton, with its Catholic and Jesuit mission. Since the advocacy day, AICUP reports that the students’ presence has made a difference. Read more.

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