Take a closer look at Malloy’s grant cuts

By on March 2, 2011

Students and administrators from private colleges across Connecticut have been up in arms over Gov. Dan Malloy’s proposed cut to the Connecticut Independent College Student Grant program. CICS provides students from Connecticut money to go to in-state private schools.

Quinnipiac students and administrators gathered on Monday for a rally in support of the program at the State Capitol Building in Hartford. Those who are fighting the budget cuts to CICS are misguided for a few reasons.

The program encourages students to go into debt. Let’s take a look at the average Quinnipiac student receiving a CICS grant. The 528 Quinnipiac students that receive grants as part of the program receive an average of $4,280. Quinnipiac lists the full cost of attendance for a freshman resident as $51,760.

Even assuming that the student receives a generous aid package and outside scholarships, they are unlikely to be able to pay the entire cost themselves. This is compared to the $20,739 average cost of attendance for Southern Connecticut State University. Now I would never denigrate the value of a Quinnipiac education, but to encourage students to go to a school that costs $30,000 more by giving them a $4,000 loan doesn’t seem to encourage good financial decision-making.

Now look at this problem from the state’s perspective. Connecticut faces a budget deficit of $3.5 billion for the next fiscal year. Malloy’s proposed budget deals with the problem by consolidating several government agencies, cutting spending in some areas and raising taxes. Even with all these measures, the all-funds budget will increase by only 2.4 percent each of the next two years. The budget reduces CICS total funds by 25 percent next year, and 50 percent the year after.

Malloy plans to increase income, sales, gas, cigarette and alcohol taxes. It’s not as if the money given to CICS is being reduced for the fun of it. For years, Connecticut politicians have kicked the can down the road, passing temporary fixes. Now there is little that can be done to preserve the full, $23.4 million CICS budget.

If budget problems in Connecticut were dealt with sooner, the CICS program would not have ended up on the chopping block. Even though I disagree with significant portions of Malloy’s budget, he really deserves credit for actually taking on the issue in an honest manner, instead of passing the problem on to his successor, as is too often the case. With taxes already increasing and other areas of the budget being slashed, it only makes sense to cut funding to dubious programs like CICS.

 

Comments

About Matt Ciepielowski

3 Comments

  1. James E McKinney

    March 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    According to a recent Tax Foundation report, CT is one of the four worst states in which to do business. Mostly due to high taxes. Forget about job creation until you make CT a more business friendly state.

  2. CICS supporter

    March 2, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    CICS funds help keep Connecticut’s educated people within the state. If you’ve lived in Connecticut your whole life and go to school in connecticut, your more likely to stay in connecticut for a long portion of your adult life. Education is a good investment. Considering that the average college educated person will make over a million more dollars over his or her lifetime than a high school graduate it’s not a bad idea considering that million gets taxed.

    I’ll admit Quinnipiac and other private colleges in Connecticut are expensive, however, there are many opportunities that you simply aren’t going to find at some state universities.

  3. John Northrop

    March 4, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I am a 41 year old freshman at one of ct community colleges. What the govener is going to do is take away the means that have made it possible for me to return to school. What I realy do not understand is how we were the only state in the black just a short time ago, and now how did we get here who fell asleep. Why is it when the govoner says there needs to be sacrifice that the ordinary people are the ones making the sacrifices. Why arnt the politicians giving things up. It’s time we realize that we had a revolution over less. Do these idiots in Hartford realize that they are making it harder for the average person to remain in Ct.