Palli: Higher education needs increased federal support

Roshan Palli  Student Body President

Roshan Palli
Student Body President

This week I have the pleasure of writing you from our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Over the past few days, other UK students and I have joined student representatives from eight other SEC schools to advocate for increased federal support for higher education.

We have met with representatives, senators and numerous aids to discuss the needs of students across the entire SEC. Specifically, we have fought for sustained funding for Pell Grants, which help lower-income students achieve their educational goals.

Pell Grants help millions of students across the country pursue college degrees, and in these difficult economic times, these grants are even more important.

We sat in on a Senate hearing regarding aspects of the upcoming Higher Education Reauthorization Act, and spoke with staffers concerning its current status and potential contents.

We sat down with the vice president’s domestic policy adviser to discuss the administration’s education plans, including a new college rating system to tie federal funds to performance.

While it was interesting to hear about their plans, we were also able to raise concerns about potential unforeseen consequences of such a plan.

Another topic of conversation in our meetings has been the need for state governments to reinvest in higher education. While pursuing greater federal financial aid, we must look for ways to stabilize tuition rates.

The past few years have seen the cost of attending school shift from the state to individual students. For a land grant institution like UK, we must ensure a fair balance to provide an affordable experience for the people of our state.

Over the next few months, as our representatives in Frankfort debate appropriations for our university, it is imperative that we as students make our voices heard.

We have done our part to bring the issues concerning higher education in our state and in our conference to our government representatives. Remember that you can always do the same with your government.

Roshan Palli is the student government president. His column appears weekly in the Kernel.

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