Federal Sequester Budget Cuts May Hurt Neediest College Students

May 6, 2013

Credit capital.gov

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tennessee’s poorest students may find it harder to stay in college next year as federal sequestration budget cuts take hold.

Money for so-called Opportunity Grants, federal tuition aid reserved for the neediest students, will be reduced in the coming school year.  Federal funding for college work-study programs is also expected to fall.

According to Tennessee higher education officials, 1660 needy students could lose federal tuition assistance, while 720 students participating in work-study could lose their positions.

Briana Williams is a third year Mass Communication major at Middle Tennessee State University. She says she would have a hard time making ends meet without the money she earns from participating in the work-study program.

“Without the work-study I wouldn’t get as much food as I do now, or to get textbooks or something I might need for class. If something comes up, then that money is there.”

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators says Vanderbilt University and the University of Memphis face some of the steepest cuts. The two schools lose more than $100,000 each in federal aid.