Since the 2009-10 state budget was passed, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) began processing final awards for the need-based State Grant Program.
Spokesperson for PHEAA, Keith New, says in the spring, they asked for a five percent increase; however, because of the budget issues and budget cuts, the funding was decreased.
He says the final funding for the program stands at $403.6 million, which is a one percent decrease from last year’s funding level.
Fortunately, New says the decrease did not make much of an impact on the need-based program. He says they managed to keep last year’s maximum award of $4,120. The average award will drop about $66, from $2,794 to $2,728, which New says is unfortunate but should not tremendously affect any student.
New says in such a difficult budget year, receiving near-level funding truly shows the board, the general assembly, and the governor’s commitment to the program and to Pennsylvania students. He says despite the budget issues, the Pennsylvania State Grant Program is probably one of the most efficient programs of it’s kind in the nation because every dollar appropriated for the students goes directly to the students.