Monday, February 16, 2009
Paying for college in PA: A Way That Makes Sense
By Velida Alemic
AS members of the Pennsylvania House, we were excited to hear Gov. Rendell make helping Pennsylvania families afford college a major priority in his budget address.
The cost of a college education in our state is now a quiet crisis. Pennsylvania's public universities cost more than those in almost any other state. Too often, students don't go to college or drop out because they can't afford it. This is both a personal tragedy and society's loss.
While the governor has proposed dramatically increasing financial aid to college students, we believe a better way to help Pennsylvania's families afford a college education, and a better investment in our state's economic future, is to create a REACH Scholarship program.
Modeled after Georgia's HOPE Scholarship, REACH would be a statewide merit-based program. Under it, any high school senior with a 3.0 GPA and 90 percent attendance would receive a full-tuition scholarship to any public college or university in the state. All are eligible for the REACH scholarship, regardless of race, religion, age and family income. It is strictly based on merit. REACH provides opportunity to those who have shown responsibility.
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