Monday, April 27, 2009

GOP sends message to the poor─ excel in athletics if you want to go to college

Republicans are planning to make attending college for students from low-income families even more difficult, unless you are a student athlete.

Republicans are planning to charge students whose families make less than $40,000 at least $1,000 a year in tuition, according to an Arizona Guardian interview with Rep. John Kavanagh (“GOP plan would charge state's poorest more money to attend college,” April 27). Students whose families currently make less than $40,000 a year qualify to have tuition waived. The big kicker is that the GOP proposal exempts students on athletic scholarships.

A number of universities nationwide waive tuition and some waive tuition, room and board in order to help level the playing field for students from low-income families. These students were smart enough to get into a university, so why are the Republicans trying to shut them out?

The more troubling part is that it is not just about the money, which amounts to about $10 million a year─ a drop in the budget deficit bucket. It is out of spite.

"It's the principal of it," he (Rep. Kavanagh) said. "It's unfair. Why should these students get to go to school for free just because their families are poor?"
A measure such as this shows that the Republican majority would rather give hundreds of millions in corporate tax breaks rather than make attending a university possible for students from low-income families. We all know that gaining a college degree can open doors for better careers so that future generations will also succeed. This is truly kicking Arizona’s poor while they are down.

Students, here is your notice from the GOP: If you want to go to college in Arizona, but cannot afford it, make sure to dust off those sneakers ASAP.

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