Students Lobby Pennsylvania Legislators to Preserve Financial Aid

Allegheny students Carlos Sanchez (left) and Jesse Tomkiwiecz (right) with Pennsylvania State Senator Michele Brooks on Student Aid Advocacy Day.

Allegheny College students Carlos Sanchez and Jesse Tomkiewicz joined scores of college students from across Pennsylvania for Student Aid Advocacy Day, sponsored by the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) in Harrisburg in April.

The annual event gives students from AICUP-member institutions a chance to meet legislators and encourage them to support private colleges and universities. Allegheny has been sending student representatives for at least the past six years, and Sanchez and Tomkiewicz have participated for two consecutive years. Sanchez is an economics major from Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Tomkiewicz is a philosophy and political science major from Freeport, Pennsylvania.

This year’s Student Aid Advocacy Day focused primarily on opposing a proposed $705 reduction to the maximum grant from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). On May 24, the agency’s board agreed to increase its contribution to the Student Grant Program in 2018–19 from its originally proposed $50 million to $100 million. The decision eliminated the need for any cuts in grant awards for the 2018–19 school year.