Budget cuts could reduce financial aid for college

Rumors that budget cuts will slash some financial aid programs has some students worried, but student financial services directors said until they get the numbers, students shouldn't be alarmed.

South Texas College (STC) has computer labs set up and advisors ready to help students apply for financial aid.

Officials said they don' know exactly how much will be available for the coming year, but they said that shouldn't stop students from applying.

"Right now i'm currently receiving the pell grant, which is a federal type of aid and that's getting me through school," said Adrian Flores a student at South Texas College.

He said he wants to be a music teacher.

"It's something that I love and want to be able to do," he said.

Flores aid without the pell grant, he wouldn't be able to afford to go college.

Right now, both state and federal lawmakers are looking at making some cuts to education.

"If there is no summer financial aid then it would probably take longer," said Flores.

Associate Dean for Student Financial Services Mike Carranza said a student getting a full Pell Grant at STC gets $5,550 dollars.

But it's possible that with the budget cuts, it could reduced it by nearly a thousand dollars to $4,750.

"It's not as awful as it sounds," said Carranza. "It's just that they are working on the budget."

At the state level, some of the state programs could be affected as well.

It's possible that incoming freshman will not be able to receive the Texas grant, or it's possible that some freshman will be able to receive the grant and others won't.

"These are things that they're working on at this point, and we haven't heard exactly what's going to happen," said Carranza.

Since nothing is set, Carranza said students shouldn't be alarmed yet and they should continue doing their FAFSAs and apply and get enrolled in college.

Meanwhile colleges will keep an eye on Washington D.C. and Austin to make sure there aren't too many cuts in programs that help Rio Grande Valley students get education.

"The hope is that if it's going to be cut, that it isn't cut in it's entirety," said Carranza. "That if it's going to be reduced, then hopefully we can still have some money available for the programs themselves."