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June 29, 2009 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-06-29

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Monday, June 29, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

From Page 1
arship and other college financial
aid programs.
During the 2007-2008 school
year, 3,152 students at the Universi-
ty received money from the Promise
Scholarship. Numbers are not avail-
able for the 2008-2009 school year
because students have until Nov. 15
to certify the scholarship.
Pamela Fowler, executive finan-
cial aid director for the University,
said the University will try to find
additional funding for need-based
students to compensate for the
scholarship if the bill is passed.
"The University of Michigan
meets the full need of students,"
Fowler said. "If students need the
$1,000, the University will find
resources to meet that need."
But Fowler said students receiv-
ing the Promise Scholarship would
lose all funding if they are not
already eligible for financial aid.
"We will cover the costs for stu-
dents.who have need," Fowler said.

"We have no intention to do other-
wise.We willnot cover students who
do not qualify for need-based aid."
Michael Boulus, executive direc-
tor of the Presidents' Council, a lob-
bying group for the state's public
universities, said cutting the Michi-
gan Promise Scholarship would put
a lot of financial strain on families
who depend on the scholarship
"It's going to unfortunately add
pressure and debt to students' higher
education costs," Boulus said."I know
there are a lot of Michigan families
quite concerned and counting onthat
aid that's been already earned."
Heather Quillen, a sophomore
in the School of Music, Theatre &
Dance, was awarded $2,500 from
the Promise Scholarship. She said
she depends on that money to help
pay for her education.
"If they decide to cut (the schol-
arship) then it will make it very dif-
ficult for me to go back to school in
the fall," Quillen said.
Quillen - who has not been able
to find a job because of the state of
Michigan's economy - said she

doesn't know how she would come
up with the extra money.
"Hopefully I can find a job and
work so I can get the money, and if
not, my family will have to cut back
on expenses a lot so we can pay the
amount," she said.
Lori Vedder, vice president of the
Michigan Financial Aid Student
Association and director of financial
aid at the University of Michigan-
Flint, said removing the Michigan
Promise Scholarship could affect
enrollment at the University and
other schools in the state.
"You could have a needy family
that it's going to impact greaterthan
a student whose family may have
the potential to fund the tuition bill
at an institution," Vedder said.
LSA sophomore Katie Donald-
son will have received $4,000 from
the scholarship by graduation. She
said she wouldn'tbe impacted if the
money were taken away because her
family pays for her tuition. But, she
is aware that other students aren't
so lucky.
"Personally it wouldn't affect me
that much, but I know I have friends
who really depend on it who aren't
as financially stable or have to pay
for college on their own," she said.
Boulus said Michigan universi-
ties are trying to do whatever they
can to protect students from the
financial crisis.
setting their budget and tuition for
next year, are also increasing their

financial aid," Boulus said.
On June 16, the University Board
of Regents approved a budget that
included $118 million in financial
aid,which is an11.7-percent increase
in undergraduate financial aid.
Despite the increase in aid, Bou-
lus said the government needs to
find a source of revenue so that
scholarships are not cut from the
state budget.
"It's called the promise grant for
a reason, and the Senate's action
would literally break the promise
scholarship to about 100,000 stu-
dents," Boulus said.
"The fact of the matter is the state
can'tcutits way through this budget
mess it's in," he added. "Until they
start addressing the tough issues on
findingmore revenue and reforming
Michigan's tax system, they're going
to continue to play chicken with the
budget to avoid hard choices."
Boulus said he believes the gov-
ernment may have no option but to
pass the bill.
"If they don't raise revenue, they
have no choice but to make the cuts
that the Senate (presented)," he said.
Vedder said University officials
must wait for the decision before
taking action.
"There is a lot of discussion going
on, and we have to trust our lawmak-
ers to make the right decision for our
students here in Michigan," she said.
"We're going to keep monitoring it,
and as soon as we know something
our students will know something."

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