Student Aid Caught In Budget Cross Hairs

Sharon Rieger's picture
Friday, July 29, 2011

The raucous and confusing debate in Washington, D.C., over the debt ceiling is creating financial aid uncertainties.

Lawmakers have yet to decide how the Pell Grant program for middle- and lower-income college students will be reduced, if at all.

The potential of less aid for college students, mainly graduate and professional students, is raising concerns among Purdue University administrators as well as higher education leaders across the country.

"Purdue would only pull back on upcoming year Pell Grants if Congress mandated that 2011-12 was impacted. At this point, I don't think it is at all clear on what is happening," said Joyce Hall, executive director of financial aid. "Normally, changes to federal student aid funding impact the future academic year, not the upcoming, but that it is when changes are made in the regular annual appropriations process."

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