More Cuts, Less Affordability

If These Cuts In Education Continue, College Is Going To Be Unaffordable For Many

Governor Jennifer Granholm has recently proposed to cut the Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) rate, which is not good news for students like me.

TIP is a program that helps aid students with special circumstances and students from low-income households with paying for college tuition. In Granholm’s 2010-11 budget plan, she wants to cut TIP’s current rate of $316 per credit hour to $84 per credit hour.

When I received an email from Ferris’ TIP coordinator announcing this news, I immediately became, well, pissed.

First off, I worked very hard to get into Ferris. I was raised with very unstable parents who didn’t give a hoot about education, was placed in foster care at age 17 and had to make up a number of lost credits in order to graduate high school on time and get accepted to Ferris.

I’m not asking for pity. I’m discussing the fact that Michigan’s funding for education is being cut left and right. For example, take a look at the Michigan Promise Scholarship that was cut last fall. A friend of mine who went to another university had to drop out due to the fact that the Promise Scholarship funded much of her tuition. She could no longer afford to go to a university.

If these cuts continue, I’m not sure a majority of college students will be able to afford a college education.

My question: If the state of Michigan wants a better future, why are they proposing funding cuts to higher education?

After speaking with a financial counselor, I was told that if these cuts continue, only students who are wealthy would be able to afford college. Obtaining a degree is now crucial to finding a stable job in our society.

I have a couple of friends who are recipients of TIP as well, and they are just as appalled. Of course, there are loans, but who wants to have their interest rates racked up and have to pay off thousands of dollars for the next who-knows-how-many years after they graduate?

I am an “Independent” college student; I do not rely on my parents’ incomes by any means. If state programs that fund education are cut, it is going to be inevitably difficult, if not impossible, for students like me who rely on these programs for help to afford college.

I was so aggravated that I am considering writing a letter to Gov. Granholm over this proposal. Besides the proposed TIP cut, there were many other proposals in the 2010-11 budget that irked me all the more as well.

As tuition rates rise, will anyone be able to afford college in the future? Well, after witnessing how much funding for education is being eliminated, I’m not going to hold my breath.

For now, I’m on the hunt for grants and scholarships. More loans are ahead in my future and other college students as well. n