Fin aid obstacles
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|Fri, 12-07-2012 - 10:59am|
Are you worried about how the us congress failing to act on the "looming fiscal cliff" will impact your college student? There are certain types of federal fin aid that can be lost for 2013. The fiscal cliff impacts students involved with research too. Research nuts mean universities will face budget cuts.
>>>UF gets about two-thirds of its funding from federal agencies. Virtually all of the federal agencies that fund UF would experience 7 to 8 percent budget cuts if Congress doesn’t reach a deal on the fiscal cliff, according to a report released in September by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.
Although it is unclear how these offices would absorb the lost revenue, UF could lose a portion of its federal funding.
This lost revenue would be coupled with deep cuts already levied by Florida’s Legislature.
“We don’t know a whole lot about what’s going to happen,” UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said. “It’s unclear how the federal agencies would make their cuts.”
UF and other universities also stand to lose funding for research. Federal programs that write grants for university research — like the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Endowment for the Humanities — would see cuts between 7.6 and 8.2 percent in their budgets, according to the White House report. This could mean less money available to award for research.
Awards could also be limited for students who depend on federal financial aid programs.
While the Federal Pell Grant will remain unscathed during 2013, virtually all other federally funded financial aid programs could see budget cuts of more than 8 percent.
This would include federal work-study and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, according to Inside Higher Education, which are two of the most common aid programs.
My youngest boys' wife relies on the Federal Pell Grant and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant to help pay her tuition. But with the cuts to the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, There may not have enough money to get her degree, without getting another job, or more loans.
Taking out private loans could prove more expensive, too, as student loan origination fees would also increase if the U.S. reaches the fiscal cliff, according to Inside Higher Education.
Richard Wilder, the director of UF Office for Student Financial Affairs, said students shouldn’t worry about evaporating federal assistance this academic year.
“I don’t believe this will affect students for the spring semester,” Wilder said. “But next year, who knows?”