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By Tod Massa
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The White House released it's "America First" budget yesterday, InsideHigherEd's coverage is here. One of the items that stand out is this:

Eliminates the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, a less welltargeted way to deliver need-based aid than the Pell Grant program, to reduce complexity in financial student aid and save $732 million from the 2017 annualized CR level.

Unsurprisingly, this got some attention. People were asking how many students would be affected in Virginia. Also unsurprisingly, we could answer this question. The FA22 shows us that 31,149 students at Virginia institutions, public and private nonprofit, for a total of $18,092,939 with an average award of $581 per student 2015-16. While this might not seem like a lot of money, it is likely to be more important than many of us realize to a significant number of students. Research by Sara Goldrick-Rab and the Wisconsin HOPE Lab shows that "one-third of community college students are hungry and 14% are homeless." A loss of $581 is not going to help students who might be in this situation. It will likely hurt them. Goldrick-Rab's work in "Paying the Price" also shows that sometimes only a small amount of money makes the difference between staying in school and dropping out.

Another item of concern:

Reduces Federal Work-Study significantly and reforms the poorly-targeted allocation to ensure funds go to undergraduate students who would benefit most. 


This cut of the FA22 shows us that we had 15,051 students receiving a total of $26,219,050 with an average award of $1,742 in 2015-16. Once again, this is not a huge amount of money but it affects a significant number of students could end up dropping out.

So, if you were wondering how this cuts might affect Virginia, or your specific institution, you can get the answers with the FA22. 

Oh, and let's not forget the impact of Pell grants and their importance to the Commonwealth:


159,359 students

$567,980,562 total grants

$3,564 average grants





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