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Students react to proposed higher education cuts

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
Feb. 12, 2011 at midnight
Updated Feb. 11, 2011 at 8:12 p.m.

Belinda Cardenas

Victoria College and University of Houston-Victoria students are baffled with government plans to scale back financial aid dollars and higher education programs.

Preliminary drafts of the proposed budgets shows UHV could lose as much as $1.3 million toward its general fund, a Masters of Science nursing program and Letting Education Achieve Dreams program, a project that helps first-generation students.

For Victoria College, the first draft of the state budget zeros out future student state financial aid, funding to help the school's nursing program, and shows the college would lose $571,000 of grants and state aid.

The cuts were a top issue for VC students who recently visited Austin to address legislators.

"We understand compromise has to be made, but just don't do it at our expense," said Earl O'Connor, a VC freshman who visited Austin.

UHV students have the same concerns for student financial aid.

"People stress out about it because for the majority of students, that's how they rely on going to school," said Emily Bergstrom, a UHV student. "So, if they cut financial aid, I could definitely see the frustration mounting."

How do you think the budget shortfall will have an impact on higher education?

"I think it could kind of discourage people from first time enrolling especially if they're thinking about going back to school I could see it kind of maybe make them second guess themselves."

- Emily Bergstrom, UHV biology/psychology major

"I think kids will still come. It will just take them a little bit longer to get here."

- Bre'Neka "Shorty" O'Bryant, UHV psychology major

"No matter what happens, we're still growing. I think it won't hurt us too bad."

- Paige Ruschhaupt, UHV counseling graduate student

"It frightens me a little bit. I want to know which part are they cutting. The community needs to know that eventually this impact is going to hit them as well."

-Belinda Cardenas, VC sophomore, president Student Government Association

"It's going to hit Victoria College, our community and our area as a whole if they cut us."

- Earl O'Connor, VC freshman

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