federal aid

federal aid

Federal Minimum Wage Increase is Good News for Students

If President Obama‘s plan to raise minimum wage goes through, plenty of people will benefit. One group in particular may see a direct benefit, but they probably aren’t the first group of people thought of during minimum wage discussions.

work study

College students who are part of the Federal Work-Study Program, which helps them pay for their education, would be directly impacted by an increase in minimum wage. The program itself could also see some changes as award packages would have to be altered to allow for what essentially amounts to multiple students receiving raises at once.

Students participating in a Work-Study program are required to be paid at least federal minimum wage. Currently, that means making at least $7.25 per hour. If the raise in minimum wage goes through, their pay would increase to at least $10.10 an hour. Some Work-Study participants already make more than that depending on their individual circumstances.

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Proposed Budget to Cut Pell Grant Funding

With recent spikes in college tuition, students are in need of federal aid more than ever, but they may not get the amount they need. If the U.S. Senate passes a bill proposed recently by the U.S. House, the federal grant budget will be cut by 15 percent.

Education activists and many college students are incensed by the proposed budget cuts. They say that lawmakers need to get their priorities in order. They also say representatives in D.C. should do away with tax loopholes and subsidies for multimillionaires and corporations, instead of trying to balance the federal budget by cutting back college aid.

“The Pell Grants are the federal government’s cornerstone financial aid program that 9.4 million college students rely on each year to pay for the college courses that are fueling our recovering workforce and economy,” Rich Williams said, a higher education advocate with Illinois Public Interest Research Group. “Tough choices are supposed to come only after the easy ones. It’s difficult to imagine how cuts to Pell Grants happen before cuts to BP and Goldman Sachs. And yet that’s exactly what the House resolution does.”

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Pell Grants May Receive Less Funding

There have been some budget cuts proposed for the 2012 Department of Education by President Obama. Under these budget cuts, $100 billion would be taken from the Federal Pell Grant program along with other programs for higher education.

Currently, over nine million students classified as low income receive grant benefits from the Pell Grant Program. With the budget cuts, students will still be able to receive the current maximum of $5,550 per academic year. All students that qualify for Federal Pell Grants do so through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the FAFSA. If a student’s family income information indicates, they may qualify for a Federal Pell Grant. With the new budget there is a possibility of the criteria being changed to be more stringent. This would mean that some students who previously received grants may no longer be eligible.

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Apollo Stock Falls after U.S. Investigation of Financial Aid Process

university of phoenixApollo Group Inc. is the largest education company out there when you are speaking in enrollment numbers. Unfortunately for Apollo, their stock has hit its lowest point in four years once word was released that the U.S. Department of Education will review financial aid practices at the University of Phoenix which is an Apollo school.

Apollo’s stock price fell 3.8 percent when the announcement was made. The review will start on December 6 and is set to cover the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years. This is not the first time this type of review has taken place where the University of Phoenix is concerned. There was a similar investigation in February of 2009. Read the rest of this entry »



2011-2012 FAFSA Now Available

fafsa formsWhen preparing to go to college, one thing can help you more than anything else – get started early. If you think you might want to go to college or are sure of it, you should get the process started as soon as you can. One thing that many students will fill out in preparation for college is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the FAFSA.

Filling out the FAFSA will help give you access to government funds to pay for your education. The information you provide will determine what type of funds you are eligible for and whether you qualify for grants, which do not have to be paid back. Students seeking access to these government funds must fill out a FAFSA for each school year.

Now the FAFSA for the 2011-2012 school year is available for students to complete online. The sooner you fill out your online FAFSA and get it filed, the sooner you will know what funds you can receive to help fund your education. Read the rest of this entry »



Beloved Principal Dismissed for Federal Funds

wheelerJoyce Irvine’s last performance review at Wheeler Elementary School began, “Joyce has successfully completed a phenomenal year.” The superintendent, students and parents alike all speak highly of Irving, reports The New York Times. “Everything is so good about the school,” commented one parent. Despite such high praise for a difficult job at a low-income school, she’s being let go so that the Burlington School District can qualify for up to $3 million in federal stimulus money.

Under the current rules, the district has one of four options for schools with very low test scores like Wheeler if they wish to qualify for the government funds. They can either: a) close the school, b) replace it with a charter, c) remove the principal and half the staff or d) remove the principal and transform the school.

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