Beacon News: Despite possible cut, FRAG still available for students for now

This article fist appeared in The Beacon student newspaper on February 23, 2009

By Mitzi Figueroa

Student leaders from Palm Beach Atlantic University traveled to Tallahassee Feb. 10 to lobby in favor of the Florida Resident Access Grant, which brings millions of dollars to the university each year.

The FRAG supports Florida students who attend private colleges such as PBA.  This year the grant provided $2,839 to each eligible student, but as officials wrestle with budget woes, some have proposed reducing or eliminating the grant.

PBA student body president Adam McKinney and College Republican president Ricky Atkins attended a meeting hosted by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida along with other student representatives from Florida’s 28 private institutions.

“Students should care; it’s their money,” McKinney said. “The $2,837 cut is a lot of money for a student to lose.”The proposed funding cut could affect nearly 60 percent of Palm Beach Atlantic University students, and could make a significant difference in future enrollment, McKinney said.

Governor Charlie Christ confirmed to the ICUF that the FRAG will stay in effect for this year, but ICUF members are concerned about what will happen to the award next year.

“FRAG funding for next year is likely to be targeted during the regular legislative session,” said ICUF President Dr. Ed H. Moore.

Last year, Florida lawmakers cut the award from $3,000 to $2, 837.

McKinney and Atkins met with Senator Jeff Atwater at the event to discuss fighting for the FRAG.  They also spoke with PBA’s ICUF representatives and PBA alumnus Rep. Martin David Kiar.

Nearly 65 percent of the student body is eligible for the FRAG, and if the award is completely cut, the school could lose nearly $9 million. The grant is made to full-time students, Student government is hoping to raise awareness on the FRAG by bringing in speakers and possibly having Miss Florida, sophomore Sierra Minott, address the House.

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