Missouri: MSSU, Crowder Worry About Federal Cuts to TRIO Programs

"Missouri Southern State University and Crowder College say they could lose nearly $4 million for federally funded student-aid programs under President Donald Trump's 2019 budget proposal," according to The Joplin Globe

"The recently unveiled budget from the president would cut or eliminate funding for programs that help first-generation college students or students from economically disadvantaged families prepare for higher education. The $4.4 trillion budget plan, which prioritizes infrastructure and a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, cuts entitlement programs by $1.7 trillion, including federal student-aid programs and research funding, according to the American Council on Education.

Among other proposals, the budget would cut federal work-study nearly in half as well as consolidate TRIO and GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) and significantly cut their overall funding. At Missouri Southern, TRIO programs including Project Stay, Upward Bound and Talent Search receive about $900,000 per year for their implementation.

'We are concerned, if that proposal goes forward, that we could lose those programs,' said Darren Fullerton, vice president for student affairs.

MSSU's Project Stay

Project Stay, the local name for the program that is called Student Support Services on the federal level, supports the retention and graduation of MSSU students. It offers academic advising, personal and career counseling, cultural events, assistance with financial aid and scholarship applications, tutoring, study skills workshops, job-shadowing opportunities and community service events.

Participants can qualify for Project Stay by being a first-generation college student, having a limited income or living with a documented disability. Because about 85 percent of Missouri Southern students meet at least one of those criteria — demonstrating financial need — the program is critical to the university, said Debbie Fort, its director.

Jacob Layne, a senior political science major, said he has appreciated the personal counseling that is available through Project Stay as well as the trips to other colleges.

'We had the opportunity to visit Missouri State University to look at graduate school programs,' he said.

...National groups say they're hopeful that the president's recommendations won't advance far in Congress.

'The only relief that comes from reviewing the president’s proposed cuts to higher education comes from the fact that it is so easily dismissed,' said Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, in a statement. 'Attempting to balance the budget on the backs of college students is profoundly short-sighted, if not downright destructive.'"

NASFAA's "Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 2/28/2018

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