House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) announced today his request for additional funding for federal aid programs that benefit low-income college students in the upcoming 2019 government funding bill. The three campus-based aid programs, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, and Perkins Loans, work together with Pell Grants and Direct Student Loans to provide low-income students with a manageable balance of grants, loans, and work to help pay for college. In the most recent academic year, more than 188,000 awards totaling $280 million in tuition assistance were granted through these programs in New York State.
Funding for work study programs and opportunity grants were slashed in recent years as congressional Republicans pushed forward budgets that dramatically lessened domestic spending on education. And, earlier this year, Congress failed to reauthorize the Perkins Loan program, which helps fill the gap for students with unmet financial needs.
More than 80 members joined Congressman Crowley’s push to increase funding for these programs by $67 million. “With higher spending allocations for FY 2019, the campusbased aid programs can be reinvigorated to become the strong institutional partnership programs to the Pell Grant program they are intended to be,” the lawmakers wrote to the House Committee on Appropriations. “The aid these programs provide to low-income students and families is indispensable in allowing them to attend college without having to borrow or work more to pay for college, which results in increased rates of degree completion.”