Crunch the numbers

These next few years will hurt your pockets

Education is the future that will help Michigan get out of its current economic slump and be a stimulant for the U.S. economy.

A flurry of federal and state economic budget cuts will hit students hard if put into action. Currently the State of Michigan is proposing to reduce the amount of funding to Ferris State University by 21.9 percent. If enacted as is, the budget would mean a loss of $10.6 million to the University, or approximately $780 per student. At the proposed cut, the state will be paying only about 21 percent of the student’s bill. Students will need to find ways to afford higher education.

Measures are also being taken to reduce federal student funding. The Pell grant will either be reduced from the maximum $5,550 now to $4,705 as suggested by the House of Reps, or budget cuts proposed by President Obama will take about $100 billion over the next 10 years to keep the Pell grant at the max reward. Obama’s proposal includes a recommendation that students receiving Pell grants only be able to receive one award per academic year, rather than the current two.

Meanwhile, the government is proposing to spend $671 billion on the defense plan in 2012 while they are planning to spend only $77.4 billion on education in the United States. I appreciate the help our troops have given us, but over the past nine years we have spent more than $5 trillion in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is the wrong direction; the government wants more people to earn degrees, but they’re taking a step backward towardsaiding the cause.

Education is the future of our country. The students struggling to pay for groceries, rent, utilities, tuition, and every other imaginable expense are the same students who will be providing this country with the taxes needed to fund these benefits later on. These are the students who will make breakthroughs, minor or major, that help civilization continue to grow.

Enrollment has increased the past few years, but if Ferris and other universities want to see the rise continue, some sort of financial help will be needed during harsh economic times.

Students have no choice but to save as much money as humanly possible to help them survive the impending budget cuts. n