Archive for Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Higher ed savings program, regents insurance approved

KU group led push to help low-income families pay for college

May 3, 2006


— Measures that would start a higher education savings program for low-income Kansans and allow universities to purchase their own insurance were approved Tuesday by the Legislature.

The proposals, contained in one bill, now go to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for consideration.

One measure would start a three-year pilot program for low-income Kansans, who could receive matching amounts up to $600 a year toward saving for postsecondary education.

A group of Kansas University social work students joined Kansas Action for Children to promote the measure.

To qualify, families must have household income of no more than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Under 2006 poverty level guidelines, a four-person family could not have household income above $40,000.

The second measure would allow KU and other public universities to purchase their own insurance for students and student employees.

KU had sought the authority, saying it could probably negotiate better policies than the current system where several state agencies are involved in buying insurance.

The measure was involved briefly in an abortion debate when the House added an amendment that health policies couldn't provide coverage for abortions.

But the amendment was later struck in favor of language that says insurance policies could not cover elective procedures unless determined necessary by a physician.


Shardwurm 11 years, 9 months ago

Unfortunately the lower-income families aren't the ones who need the help with education.

There are so many scholarships and programs available for low income students that it's not even funny.

The rich don't care because the cost of education is nothing to them.

So who is bearing the brunt? The middle class of course. My daughter had a 3.9 GPA, a very good ACT score, and did everything you could think of in high school from athletics to student council.

Not a single dime in scholarships. So many of them want your income on it and they come back saying that we aren't eligible.

Want to know what the Federal Government thinks we can shell out per year for education? $26,000. That's right. A middle-income family of five can afford $26,000 a year for college for ONE student. That, by the way, is after tax dollars. So that translates to about $40,000 of gross income PER YEAR.

It's absurd and in fact the middle-income families are on the verge of being priced out of education. The only option is to start life after graduation with a mountain of debt. Gee...thanks.

carlwhoishot 11 years, 9 months ago

I also graduated high school with a good gpa and act score but saw very little money in scholarships because my parents weren't poor. I went to community college for a year and worked full time in order to be able to afford KU; I still work yet I am almost fully supported by student loans. Most of my middle class friends are in the same boat. It also doesn't help that they are raising the interest rate in July on student loans from around 4% to a fixed rate of close to 7%. Thanks federal government!

Confrontation 11 years, 9 months ago

I did have a poor family, but my grants barely covered the cost of anything. I had a lot of academic scholarships, which is something more middleclass kids should try to get. Often the GPA only counts a little towards the scholarships, since they also look at things like school activities and volunteer work. I have a lot of student loans even though I came from a poor family. I don't really feel sorry for middleclass kids who don't want to take out their own loans.

cpoull 11 years, 9 months ago

This program aims to give families with low income the ability to save money to pay for their children's higher education--not extend further grants or scholarships to low income students. The type of savings accounts these families will participate in are currently available to ANY Kansan. The difference is that high and middle income families recieve a tax incentive for having these accounts that does NOT apply to low income families. The state of Kansas currently LOSES 2.3 million dollars per year in tax revenue by providing this benefit to high and middle income families. The program for low income families will cost the state--AT MOST--1.3 million dollars over 3 years.

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