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Letters to the Editor

Sun., Feb. 28, 2010

Student aid funding critical

During the best economic times, important causes compete for limited resources. In what are arguably the worst circumstances we’ve faced for generations, the governor and the Legislature are faced with impossible choices. We therefore applaud the latest House and Senate proposals that restore funding for the State Need Grant for low-income college students and the State Work Study Program.

The legislative proposals recognize the essential role of higher education in equipping the next generation of citizens to revitalize Washington’s economy. State Need Grants open the door for students to attend Washington’s great public and independent institutions. Gonzaga and Whitworth receive no direct funds from the state; many students who attend our schools are able to do so because State Need Grants – in combination with our financial assistance – put college within financial reach, ease the burden on taxpayers, and create additional capacity for enrollments at public institutions.

The State Work Study Program also is critical. Work-study students earn financial aid, gain work experience and become valued resources for employers, particularly social and service agencies such as the YWCA, Spokane Mental Health and Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.

Student aid is a smart investment in a brighter future for Spokane and the state.

Bill Robinson

President, Whitworth University

Thayne McCulloh

President, Gonzaga University

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