HARRISBURG, June 16, 2011 – State Sen. Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia/ Montgomery), who serves on the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency’s (PHEAA) Board of Directors, today voted to authorize an additional $50 million to help young people attend and complete their college education.

“In a budget season that threatens to dramatically cut education funding, the steps we took today at PHEAA are investments we need to make in the hopes and dreams of our young people by aiding their education instead of depleting it,” said Hughes. “I applaud my fellow Board of Director members and all of PHEAA as we work to ensure students get every chance at a great education.”

The approval of the $50 million public service contribution by PHEAA to the commonwealth will be used to supplement the Pennsylvania State Grant Program. This is funded entirely from PHEAA’s business earnings and is in addition to the $15 million that it receives annually to administer the Grant Program and provide public service outreach, at no cost to taxpayers.

The proposed state grant appropriation for the 2011-12 academic year if $380.9 million. Combined with the $50 million supplement, the maximum state grant award will increase from last year’s level of $3,541 to $4,309, approximately $700 more. The Board also voted to move the state grant application deadline from May 1 to Aug. 1 for non-renewal students who attend community college. This action is expected to provide awards for approximately 15,000 additional community college students.

According to PHEAA, once the budget is passed, final awards will be recalculated for all students and notification will be made if there are any changes to students’ eligibility. For more information, you can visit www.pheaa.org.

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