Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

January 26, 2013

College aid faces uphill battle

(Continued)

Students can use Texas Grants to attend any public college or university in the state. The maximum award possible is $7,400 per academic year to cover a student’s total school costs, which can include transportation and clothing, as well as academic cost.

The coordinating board is already encouraging schools to limit grants to academic costs such as tuition and course materials. Writing that approach into law would drop the average award from $5,000 to $3,000. The board also wants to cap awards at eight semesters.

Even without more money, those changes could help thousands more students get some share of Texas Grants, the board says.

Critics warn the proposed changes could hurt students who attend colleges in cities where the cost of living is higher, such as Austin, Houston and Dallas.

Sen. Rodney Ellis, a Houston Democrat who passed the original Texas Grants bill 14 years ago, opposes reducing the award cap, even if it helps get money to more students. The program needs more money, Ellis said.

“It’s not like reducing the amount of the grant does anything to reduce the actual cost of school. Someone would have to make up the difference, either the schools or the student,” Ellis said.

Capping the grant to eight semesters could hurt some students who work and may need more time to graduate, Ellis said.

Zaffirini said lawmakers have been reluctant in the past to make big changes to a program that has been a successful pathway to college for poor and lower-middle income students.

In 2011, lawmakers changed Texas Grants from a first-come, first-served basis to one that gave priority to top academic performers who qualified financially. That change, which will begin with the 2013 fall semester, came after trends showed that about half of Texas Grants students don’t graduate within six years.

“Every time someone recommends a change, it’s very controversial,” Zaffirini said, noting she opposed the priority grants model for years until sponsoring it herself in 2011

“We had to be realistic,” Zaffirini said. “We prioritized to help the students who were most qualified to excel.”

—————

Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

Text Only
Latest News
  • Navarro County 4-H Club holds event

    Texas A&M AgriLife Extention will hold Summer Exploration Days at the Navarro County Expo on Tuesday, July 29 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

    July 22, 2014

  • New date for IPL Job Fair announced

    Tarrant Regional Water District IPL (integrated pipe line) Project will hold a Job Fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 at The Cook Center.

    July 22, 2014

  • Making voting easier

    A new county-wide voting system would let voters cast a ballot at any polling place on election day, eliminating the need to drive to a specific precinct to vote.

    July 22, 2014

  • Aaron Tidwell Tidwell tapped for top Mildred High post

    A baseball coach at heart, about a year ago Aaron Tidwell began to seriously focus on education administration. He just didn’t think an opportunity would present itself so soon. Mildred Independent School District board members approved the 31-year-old Corsicana native as the high school’s new principal Monday night.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCIW treasure Mantle worthy: Oil City presented with Texas Treasure Business Award

    Maybe Oil City Iron Works is worth double the treasure. After all, the local icon honored Monday with a state award for employers in business for 50 years has actually been around for 128.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-22-14 meth raid.jpg Five arrested in meth raid

    The Corsicana Police Department executed a raid on an alleged meth house Saturday afternoon, and it was done in about 45 minutes, all but the paperwork.
    “That part is on-going, reports and follow-up,” said Police Chief Randy Bratton on Monday.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Perry orders 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry says he's deploying as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border after growing tied of "lip service" from the federal government.

    July 21, 2014

  • 7-19-14 plane leaving.jpg F-4 jet leaving Navarro College for new Florida home

    It stood for years in front of the Cook Center at Navarro College. Now, like so many “retirees,” it’s Florida bound.
    It took several days to partially dismantle the F-4 Phantom fighter jet enough to travel, but it was done this week.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mildred to consider Tidwell as principal

    The Mildred Independent School District Board of Trustees will consider appointing current baseball coach Aaron Tidwell as the new Mildred High School principal when the group meets in regular session Monday.

    July 20, 2014

  • 7-19-14 Building1.jpg Business News: New buildings underway

    Two new construction projects along Seventh Avenue have stepped into high gear.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos