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Trumbull News Detail

The KSU Point of View on Higher Education Policy

Posted Aug. 3, 2011

PELL GRANTS

Pell Grants are designed to provide lower- and middle-income students with the ability to engage in postsecondary education. This support is under continual threat in light of the federal deficit and efforts to reduce spending.

• This year 18,830 Kent State University students are receiving Pell Grants of more than $75 million.

• The percentage of students receiving Pell Grants at our campuses ranges from 30 percent on the Kent Campus to 63 percent at Kent State University at Trumbull.

Since Pell Grants are given to students with the greatest financial need, any cuts to the Federal Pell Grant Program would be detrimental to these students and may make it impossible for them to complete their education. Kent State strongly supports the continuation of the Federal Pell Grant Program.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS

Kent State University supports the federal government’s efforts to establish new visa policies and procedures to bolster security; however, we believe that some of the new procedures and policies, along with a lack of sufficient resources, have made the issuing of visas inefficient. The process has led to a number of unintended consequences detrimental to science, higher education and the nation. Visa-related problems are discouraging and preventing the best and brightest international students, scholars and scientists from studying and working in the United States, as well as attending academic and scientific conferences here and abroad.

FEDERAL REGULATIONS

In order to increase access to higher education and university research, Kent State supports the review of federal regulation and compliance requirements to determine the wisdom of continuing regulations and requirements, in light of the cost and practicality to universities. For example, the recent requirement by the U.S. Department of Education on distance learning programs requires an institution to receive state authorization if any resident of the state is taking an online course. That requirement imposes undue burdens on institutions offering courses to students in other states and, in some instances, prevents students from accessing the distance education program of choice.

In addition Kent State recommends that federal policies be reviewed so that federal government agencies pay the fair and appropriate facilities and administrative costs. We recommend that required cost-sharing matches be eliminated. That will enable universities to conduct more research and provide more graduate students with the opportunity to participate in research initiatives.

COMPETITIVENESS AND RESEARCH FUNDING

Continued federal investment in science and engineering research is critical to ensuring the nation’s future economic competitiveness in a global marketplace that continually grows more competitive. Our country’s international scientific and technological advantage over the past century has been driven by the basic research performed by faculty and students at our research universities. The discovery of new knowledge and the development of new processes on research university campuses have led to innovative products and industries.

If our nation is to remain competitive, the federal government needs to increase funding to:

• National Science Foundation

• National Institutes of Health

• Department of Energy

• Additional related science agencies for competitively awarded research

Kent State University currently receives approximately $25 million in federal funding, primarily through these agencies. If more funding is available, Kent State has the infrastructure and expertise to participate in research and innovation that will help in restoring the nation to a position of prominence in scientific discovery and global competitiveness.