Students from Indiana’s 31 independent colleges and universities will gather at the statehouse today, calling on legislators to protect funding for financial aid.
Funds from the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana, referred to as SSACI, are given to Hoosier students to make college more affordable. In the last few years, the legislature has increased the total amount set aside in the budget for these grants.
The current budget proposal keeps that financial aid at the same levels. But Richard Ludwick, president of the Independent Colleges of Indiana, says students will tell lawmakers how much they rely on those funds, which, with rising numbers of students eligible, have actually gone down on a per student basis.
“A few years ago,” he explains, “the maximum grants were around $11,000. Recently, that has fallen, because of the expanded number of students qualifying, to about $7,000.”
The students will return to the statehouse again in March and April, to advocate for SSCACI funding at different points in the budget process.