Boost to College Grant Money Comes Amid Increasing Costs

NBC Universal, Inc.

On Monday, the issue of education costs will be front and center.

Leaders will gather to talk about an increase in a grant program meant to help students out.

For students like Jose Roque the cost of attending Southern Connecticut State University is a hot topic.

“Knowing that colleges are increasing the prices worries me for the future and the debt I might rack up,” said Roque. “Just yesterday I was talking to my friends. We were talking about textbooks for one class would be $300 now.”

A little relief might be on the way.

On Monday, Representative Rosa DeLauro will visit campus, along with education leaders, to talk about a boost in grant money that was part of the recent government funding bill.

“With the $500 increase, which is the largest increase in to the Pell Grant in the last 10 years, it brings it up to a maximum of $7,395 per year,” said Julie Edstrom, SCSU Vice President for Enrollment Management.

We’re told of the roughly 7,000 undergrads there more than 40-percent qualify for a Pell Grant.

“We're always looking at Southern to be able to make higher education accessible and affordable, especially to students who have been traditionally underserved, particularly low income students. And so every little bit helps,” said Edstrom.

Especially considering recent grads across the country carried on average about $31,000 of debt, according to the Education Data Initiative.

And concerns about potentially rising costs prompted rallies in Hartford and New Haven in recent days.

Last year, the Board of Regents for Higher Education voted to increase tuition at the state universities including Southern.

On average for the next school year, full-time undergrads will pay $184 more per semester.

“You definitely have to consider the cost. I know when I was applying I had to think about how much it costs,” said Luke Poirier, SCSU freshman.

Southern says a large part of the tuition hikes is due to increasing costs for staff and services.

Though they point out the state universities are still some of the most affordable options for Connecticut students.

Contact Us