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Budget cuts target financial aid programs, not GET savings fund

12/11/2009

GET is a self-sustaining prepaid tuition plan, funded by those who purchase GET units, and does not require any state appropriation. A recent actuarial report on GET found the program is on sound financial footing and GET unit sales continue at record levels this year. There are more than 100,000 GET accounts totaling more than a billion dollars invested.

The Governor’s budget does substantially cut or suspend financial aid programs administered by the Higher Education Coordinating Board. The cuts fall into two categories: reductions in programs and program suspensions.

State financial assistance programs scheduled for reductions are the State Need Grant program, which was cut by $146 million. This will result in 15,000 students not receiving aid and will cut aid awards in half for the remaining 56,500 students. The Health Professions Scholarship and Loan Forgiveness program also was reduced by $1.25 million for 2010-2011.

Programs recommended for suspension are State Work Study, the State GEAR UP program, Passport to College for Foster Youth, the Washington Award for Excellence (WAVE), Washington Scholars, Child Care Matching Grants, and the Future Teachers Conditional Scholarship and Loan Repayment program.

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