|Students: Cutting Aid is Breaking Promise|
July 23, 2009/Gongwer News Services
Cutting student financial aid programs, particularly the Michigan Promise grant, is braking a promise to college students that the state would support higher education, some of those students argued in a press conference Thursday.
Leaders of the Associated Students of Michigan State University and the Michigan Student Assembly both said tuition increases, tied largely to flagging state general support for universities, is making it more difficult for them and their peers to continue in school. And they said that education is key to their, and the state's, financial future.
"This is the way to attract businesses and families to the state rather than drive them away," said Kyle Dysarz, ASMSU president. "It is essential that the state put higher education at the bottom of things to cut, not the top."
"What have we got left? Manufacturing? Natural resources? Clean water? Not really. We've got student minds," said Ahbishek Mahanti, the MSA president. "Students in higher education are the greatest asset we have.
Mr. Mahanti argued that many of the students who go to school here will remain here to work or start businesses.
The students are collecting signatures in an on-line petition and also plan to begin lobbying legislators to hold higher education harmless in the coming budget and to retain the Michigan Promise grants, particularly for those who have already earned them.
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