Colleges Hold Out Hope of Avoiding Steep Cuts in Funds
"Deep federal spending cuts that both Democrats and Republicans had hoped to avoid were set into motion March 1, as Congress failed to act in time to prevent or postpone the reductions," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "The $85-billion cut to the federal budget, known as sequestration, leaves colleges uncertain about how reductions in federal appropriations will affect them. Leading up to the deadline, university leaders and advocacy groups urged Congress to head off the sequester. … Legislators and colleges are now looking to March 27, by which date Congress must pass a continuing resolution to finance government operations for the rest of the 2013 fiscal year or face a government shutdown. Some college administrators and advocates hope that in addition to avoiding a government shutdown, such a bill could negate parts, if not all, of the sequester. ... Some student-aid programs, like the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Federal Work-Study, would be cut by millions of dollars, although those cuts wouldn't take effect until July 1, when the financial-aid program year begins. The uncertainty in financial-aid support complicates an already daunting process for students and their families, said Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. "Many discussions have focused on finding simplicity in financial-aid programs," he said. "We have to start re-emphasizing predictability."
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