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Governor Calls on State High Education Board to Make College More AffordableSalem-News.com
Expanding Oregon Opportunity Grants will help more students.
(SALEM) - Governor Kulongoski urged State Board of Higher Education Friday to adopt a plan that makes higher education affordable for all Oregonians by the time this year’s eighth graders enter college. The plan, which expands the Oregon Opportunity Grants, is an integral part of the Governor’s Education Enterprise.
“When it comes to a college education, we need to help not only our neediest students, but our middle-class students as well,” said Governor Ted Kulongoski. “This is a plan that should appeal to everyone – because before a student can qualify for a state education grant, he or she must maximize resources from the federal government, from their own families and through their own sweat equity.”
The Shared Responsibility Financial Aid Model calls for a four-step process which includes:
Student contribution: Under the plan, students would pay for a portion of the cost of college. This contribution would come from what is earned working full-time during the summer and part-time during the school year at a minimum wage job. This also includes student savings and/or borrowing at a reasonable level that could be repaid after college.
Family support: Similar to the financial model used for the Pell Grant, the amount of each student’s contribution would be supplemented by a portion of family’s resources—either from the student’s parents or from the student’s household income.
Federal assistance: Some students will qualify for Pell Grants, others for tuition tax credits, or both; this is the federal contribution toward the costs of a post secondary education.
Matching state funds: Finally, after all of these elements are considered (students, family and federal contributions) the state will assist in the remaining balance of the cost of attending college
Under the proposed plan students with family incomes as high as $60,000 could qualify for the Oregon Opportunity Grant, which would drastically increase the number of students who could qualify for state funding.
“This could not come at a better time for Oregon,” said Governor Kulongoski. “By expanding the Oregon Opportunity Grant more students can go to college, which is a win for college students and win for Oregon.”
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