States Student Association and the State PIRGs' Higher Education
Project are writing to urge you to increase student aid funding
for FY 2003.
state budget cuts, rising costs, and the failure of federal
grant aid to keep pace with these costs, many students and
families struggle to pay for college. In 1999-2000, 64 percent
of students graduated with federal education loan debt, and
the average student loan debt has nearly doubled over the
past eight years to nearly $17,000.
nearly half of all full-time students who work are working
25 or more hours per week to help cover their college costs.
Students from low-income families struggle even more-the typical
Pell Grant recipient who borrows now graduates with almost
$19,000 in federal education loan debt.
numbers of low-income students enrolling in our colleges and
universities, state budget cuts, the recession and more workers
returning to school combine to make it more important than
ever to invest in federal financial aid.
funding proposals from President Bush and the Senate appropriators
do not provide enough support for the millions of students
who rely on federal student aid to help them pay for college.
you to increase funding for the maximum Pell Grant to $4,500
and to support amendments to increase education funding by
$9 billion in FY 2003. Thank you for your continued support
on student aid issues.
U.S. Student Association
Higher Education Advocate