By Kyle Peveto, Staff Writer
Congress recessed for midterm elections without approving a budget for education, which leaves students worrying about the amount of financial aid that can be received next year.
A budget proposal from President Bush did not win majority support in the House of Representatives and was never brought to a vote.
Bush’s plan freezes Pell grants, Perkins loans, work-study and other financial aid without increasing funds despite rising tuition costs and inflation.
The proposal would also eliminate federal support for state scholarships.
According to a College Board survey, colleges raised tuition 9.6 percent this year from the year before.
In May, the White House proposed raising interest rates on refinanced student loans to save the government $1.3 billion, but dropped the proposal after little support was found in among those in congress.
Before recess, Congress passed only two of the 13 annual spending bills, both of which were for defense spending.
“It’s hard to say how this might affect students,” said Gary West, director of student financial services.
In the past, when Congress recessed without passing an education bill, the government stalled on financial aid and did not get to get aid to students on time, West said.
“My suspicion is it will follow a more normal course this time,” West said.
West expects Congress to come back and “pass a stop-gap measure” to avoid delaying aid.
“When debates are as heated as they have been, anything could happen,” West said.
He said students should stay informed of the legislature’s actions and know what programs are receiving less money.