Iowa Tuition Grant cut

by Andrea McNamara

Over 800 Simpson students will be affected by the projected $500 per student cut in the Iowa Tuition Grant.

Although the final cut has not been made, all students receiving the grant have been notified.

The final cut will depend on Iowa’s economic situation and the enrollment of private colleges across Iowa.

“There just hasn’t been enough revenue coming into the state,” said Tracie Pavon, assistant vice president for enrollment and financial assistance.

Last year, students also took a $250 cut in the second semester. The largest cut before that was $78.

“I’m surprised at how large the cut is,” said Pavon.

Simpson is very active in lobbying the legislature and Pavon encourages students to get more involved.

“Contact the legislature and let them know how much this cut hurts,” said Pavon. “The senators and representatives of Iowa want to hear from students and parents.”

First and foremost Pavon recommends contacting senators and representatives.

After that, sit down with parents and discuss how to deal with the cut. “If there are no grant options try to find a loan,” said Pavon. “I know this comes at a horrible time of year, but the most you can do right now is take an active pursuit in trying to get the money back for next year.”

Since the financial aid office has first heard word of the cut in the Iowa Tuition Grant, it has been working to keep Simpson students informed of what’s going on.

“We dropped what we were doing for two days in order to get flyers out to the students,” said Pavon, “We understand how important it is to know about these cuts as far in advance as possible.”

“It’s really hard to find money right before Christmas time, especially when you’re paying your own tuition,” said freshman Melinda Gatton. “Even the advance notice won’t be enough for some students.”

The Iowa Tuition Grant is a need-based program, seeking out the neediest students first. The recipients of the Iowa Tuition Grant this year were originally approved for awards up to $4,000. The Iowa Tuition Grant funding lost approximately $1.7 million dollars because of a shortfall in state revenue.

“We sincerely regret the need to reduce Iowa Tuition Grant awards and will work hard to restore the grant to the maximum level,” said Gary Nichols, executive director of the Iowa College Student Aid Commission.