Other campus: Abandoned students (U. Houston)

By The Daily Cougar

(U-WIRE) HOUSTON – A U.S. Congress election slated for November could have dire consequences for students who receive federal aid to help finance their college educations. The Senate has proposed a $14 billion cut, while the House of Representatives has $9 million in reductions in mind.

To make matters worse, this isn’t necessarily a one-time thing. The reductions would come as amendments to the Education Act, a document revised once every five to seven years.

Combine this with the struggle for state and local governments to finance education, and you’ve got a sticky situation for students who are struggling to get by. As it is, 39 percent of students are graduating with what the federal government calls “unmanageable debt,” according to Jennifer Pae, vice president of the United States Students Association. A sharp reduction in federal grants is still sure to cut deeply, to the tune of $5,800 extra during loan repayment, according to the student association.

Of course, the federal government has to find a way to keep its corpulent budget in balance. Surely, given the drain on resources from two major hurricanes and a war, every dollar is being spent carefully and cutting education is a last resort.

Except when it comes to funding for projects that only benefit small areas and, by extension, the officials who represent them. In Fiscal Year 2005, “pork” projects sucked up $27.3 billion of the budget, up 19 percent from the year before, according to Citizens Against Government Waste. Some of this money goes to worthwhile programs and causes; much does not. You may not be able to pay tuition, but at least the National Wild Turkey Federation in South Carolina will be getting nearly half a million this year to promote turkey hunting and conservation.

Gives you a warm feeling about helping to shoulder the government’s burden, doesn’t it?

Staff Editorial

The Daily Cougar (U. Houston)