From the Print Product: Despite state budget cuts for tuition, student protest can make difference

Student Body President Jake Torres took to our Op-Ed page today to support the Texas Equalization Grant.

Student Senate recently passed a resolution (authored by Torres) supporting the TEG, so that he could take it with him when he traveled to Austin to lobby the Texas Legislature. Torres has also been campaigning to save the TEG on the SMU campus.

An excerpt from today’s issue:

The state of Texas is broke.

Recent projections put the current state budget shortfall at approximately $27 billion. As the state seeks to balance the budget, many programs and services are receiving large reductions in funding and many are being eliminated completely.

Among the programs and services currently on the chopping block is the Texas Equalization Grant, also known as the TEG.

The TEG is the state financial aid program for financially needy Texas students attending private colleges and universities in the state of Texas.

Since it was founded in 1971, the TEG program has given students from low income and middle class backgrounds a broader range of college options.

The 81st Legislature appropriated $105.8 million dollars of TEG funds for each year of 2010-2011. That amount was less than 1 percent of all the funds appropriated for higher education.

Currently 42 Texas institutions have students that receive funding from the TEG. These institutions include, Rice University, Austin College, Southwestern University, Texas Christian University, Abilene Christian University and of course, SMU.

This program is extremely valuable to many SMU students. SMU has 1,526 students who have been awarded TEG funds for this academic year alone. The funds given to SMU students amounted to $6,324,641.

Continue Reading here.

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About Meredith Shamburger

Meredith is a journalist working for the Longview News-Journal in Longview, Texas.
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