President Chabotar Shares Letter to Legislator About Proposed Aid Cuts
President Kent John Chabotar has written N.C. Sen. Phil Berger, Senate President Pro Tem, to ask for his support in restoring $4.9 million in cuts to state-lottery-funded aid for independent college students in the next state budget. Other cuts have been made in state-funded aid for 2011-12 and deeper cuts are proposed in 2012-13.
Dear Senator Berger:
I know that you are undoubtedly inundated with special requests as the biennial budget nears completion. My first job after college was in the budget bureau of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under Governor Raymond Shafer so I sympathize. Please accept my thanks for all the hard work you and your colleagues have invested in this difficult period.
I write on behalf of state aid for North Carolina students at independent colleges. Whenever I speak to other higher education officials, both public and private, I make a point of how smart our state is in supporting independent higher education. This directly benefits worthy and often economically disadvantaged North Carolina students but also saves the state $10,000 on average if we had to educate those students in our public university system. Congressman Howard Coble is a Guilford graduate, and we intend to produce many more statesmen and stateswomen like him.
We appreciate the economic difficulties in our state. We confront many of these conditions in higher education. We acknowledge the need for shared sacrifice. Thank you for reducing cuts in state grant funding for North Carolina independent college students in the final budget. Please support the provision in the technical corrections bill that would continue our students’ eligibility for lottery scholarships. Independent college students have been eligible for these scholarships since the lottery was established. As you know, the scholarships are awarded based on financial need instead of education sector.
Independent colleges are not wealthy nor do we serve many wealthy students. At Guilford, about 90% of our students receive institutional financial aid, much of it need-based. The average student receives a subsidy in institutional grant aid (not including loans or work) equivalent to 40% off tuition and fees, and a much higher subsidy if we factor in the true cost of education that is paid not just by student fees but also endowment income and gifts.
Thank you for your attention.
Kent John Chabotar
President and Professor of Political Science
Sen. Berger is a Republican representing the 26th District, which includes Guilford and Rockingham Counties.