Dear Members of the Fordham Family,

We need your help in protecting federal student aid for Fordham students and their families. On August 2, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, which reduces our nation’s deficit, while simultaneously raising the debt ceiling and creating a congressional bipartisan “super committee” to find further cuts this fall. While Fordham expressed disappointment that subsidies for graduate students were cut, we were grateful that the cuts stopped there and that the Pell Grant program received additional funding. Unfortunately, we are not out of the woods yet.

While the current Pell Grant shortfall received a healthy boost from the debt reduction package, it still faces a $1.3 billion shortfall for award year 2012–2013. In addition, all other student aid programs, including the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG) program, could face cuts in the coming months. Both Pell and SEOG are very important to Fordham students.  During the 2010–2011 academic year, 1,799 Fordham students received more than $7.9 million in Pell Grants, and 1,248 students received more than $2.1 million in SEOG funding.

There is great uncertainty about how the next few months will unfold. While specific spending proposals that would affect student aid programs are not expected for several weeks, federal student aid has already lost more than $30 billion through the deficit reduction plans of prior reconciliation bills and the Budget Control Act. We cannot afford to wait. It is time to let Congress know that it cannot balance the budget while gambling with the futures of our nation’s students.

Here’s how you can help:

1.  Join the Student Aid Alliance, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), 61 higher education associations, and thousands of supporters across the nation and sign a petition in support of Federal Student Aid. The petition, which will be sent to Capitol Hill, can be found at:

2.  Join the Save Student Aid campaign on Facebook and urge your friends and families to do likewise. Stories shared through the Facebook campaign lead to media stories that have a very positive impact on the student aid debate.

The current spending environment is bleak. With your help, however, we can educate lawmakers and their staff on the value of the aid programs and their vital role in preserving our students’ future.

For more information about Fordham’s advocacy efforts, please contact the Office of Government Relations and Urban Affairs at (718) 817-0180 or [email protected].