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HOME​NEWS​UNDERGRADUATES ATTEND CAPITOL HILL FINANCIAL AID HEARING
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UNDERGRADUATES ATTEND CAPITOL HILL FINANCIAL AID HEARING
United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talked with Georgetown University students after testifying before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations on March 9.
Six Georgetown students attended a U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations hearing March 9 in which Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified against cuts in financial aid for college students.
“Although we as a collective group of Georgetown students were unable to speak during the hearing because of the Secretary of Education’s schedule, I feel that our presence there was just as important,” said Jesse Avila (C’13). “Our attendance shows that we as students are troubled by the proposed education budget cuts and that we do not support the plans to cut financial aid.”
A continuing resolution recently passed to keep the government in business included a large cut in Federal Pell Grants and the elimination of the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, both of which many students need to attend college.
AMERICAN POLITICS
After the committee hearing at the Rayburn House Office Building, the students got a chance to talk with Duncan as well as Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.).
Scott Fleming, associate vice president for federal relations at Georgetown, said he was pleased to provide the students a real-world experience with American politics.
The students who attended the committee hearing are participants in the Georgetown Scholarship Program (GSP), which provides resources and support to qualified university students with financial need, regardless of socioeconomic status.
VITAL ISSUE
For students like Avila who are dependent on need-based financial aid, the debate over budget cuts is a personal one.
“My family is unable to financially support my education here at Georgetown,” said Avila, who is from El Monte, Calif. “The outcome of this hearing and this issue is vital for me, my friends, my peers and every future student that seeks to pursue a higher education.”
Last academic year, over 40 percent of Georgetown undergraduate students received Federal aid as part of their financial aid package. Georgetown distributes approximately $81 million to support need-based scholarships as well.
“We are proud of our long-standing commitment to help students pay for college but we can’t do it alone,” Fleming said. “Federal aid is critical for our students.”
IMPORTANT FIGHT
For Avila, a government and sociology major, the chance visit Capitol Hill was an important first
“This experience was unlike any other because I was surrounded by the leaders that have the power to enact and change the policies that affect Americans,” he said.
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