Letter to the Times: KU should reconsider cutting Pell Advantage grants

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Note: The Lawrence Times runs opinion columns and letters to the Times written by community members with varying perspectives on local issues. These pieces do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Times staff.

Would you like to send a letter to the Times? Great! Here’s how to do it.

I am writing in regard to KU ending the Pell Advantage grant for students who enrolled after fall 2021. With many students and their families struggling to pay tuition each year, it is frustrating that KU would take away a grant that has helped so many students pay their way through college, especially during a time when our economy is still recovering from the pandemic and many families were struck with unemployment from the lockdowns. 

As a current student, I am fortunate enough to receive this grant each year. I would not be able to afford KU’s $10,000-plus tuition each year without it. I am graduating in a year following my older sister who also used this grant to help pay tuition at KU. It is disheartening to know that incoming students will not have the same advantage that my sister and I had when going to this institution. 

Within a year of KU announcing its $300 million renovation of its football stadium, the university cut the Pell Advantage grant from low-income students. It is clear that the university values its athletic programs over helping its students get the education they deserve, with KU also cutting many academic programs in the past few years as well. It is starting to show that there needs to be a big change within the university. 

In conclusion, I am urging KU to reconsider cutting the Pell Advantage grant. With so many students relying on this grant each year, it needs to be kept. A public university should be able to support all students regardless of their income and financial situation. I hope KU can change what it values and do what’s right in the future. 

— Brian Woods (he/him), KU social welfare student

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