Future of FRAG uncertain for students

By Haley M. Walker | gargoyle@flagler.edu

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has proposed a budget cut that has the potential to affect all future Flagler College students from Florida.

Crist has threatened to make the largest cut to the Florida Resident Access Grant in its 29-year history, according to The Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida.

If the proposal goes through, 15,000 students will be out of the program, and $47 million in tuition will not be available any longer, ICUF said.

Students, who are already receiving the $3,000 FRAG will not be affected — the governor’s proposal would cut the FRAG for new students.

As the potential cut reaches the ears of many Flagler Students, some begin to worry and express what FRAG means to them.

“It takes away another incentive for you to go to a private school,” sophomore Kristina Haumschild said. “It limits options for people because money is the main thing that people consider in a school.”

Senior, Stacey Armstrong, says that the cut in FRAG is not only going to affect students but their parents as well.

“In the case where my parents paid for me to go to college, FRAG really helped,” Armstrong said.
While current students may have to worry about FRAG being cut for them in the future, the focus is on the incoming students.

Admissions for private schools, like Flagler, could decrease significantly.

Both the direct and indirect effects of this proposed budget cut are being analyzed in order to further understand the consequences of this action.

“The entire ICUF community will be working to counter this threat,” ICUF President Ed H. Moore said. “This would have a devastating impact on enrollments and will lead to serious overcrowding in our pubic sector institutions. This is a bad policy proposal.”

According to an ICUF report, an influx of students who would not be able to pay private school tuition without the help of FRAG would be forced into the public university system.

The percentages of students placed into this position are thought to be much larger than some of the state university system’s capacity levels.

According to the ICUF report, this cut will have an affect upon students at all the ICUF schools, with the exception of three — traditionally black schools Bethune-Cookman University, Florida Memorial University and Edward Waters College.

While this cut is only a proposal, more information on the passing of the budget and specific results are expected to emerge as the Florida legislature considers the governor’s proposal.

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