SGA Rolls Out Important EASE Letter Campaign

Maxx Smith, Opinion Staff

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Courtesy of: SGA.

You may have received an email from Student Government Association (SGA) President George Alderman (‘21), and also have seen Instagram posts regarding a thing called the Effective Access to Student Education (EASE) and why you should care about it. A hot topic over the past couple of days, it seems to be popping up everywhere. For the sake of reciprocity, EASE Is a grant provided by the state of Florida for Florida residents who are enrolled in private schools. The grant, under the fiscal year 2018-2019, was awarded at $3,500 to students enrolled in private universities who met 12 credit hours and maintained a minimum of 2.0 GPA. During the fiscal year 2019-2020, the grant was rolled back $700 to a total of $2800. Members of the Florida Legislature are seeking further cuts by a stark $1,600, which brings the total amount of proposed aid down to approximately $1200. Beyond that, legislators are looking to enforce strict requirements to access EASE, akin to those that are required by Bright Futures. 

 

For Florida residents, this cut would impact students at Stetson University severely. In many cases, EASE is the difference between attending their dream school or not. A total of 29 private colleges and universities enrollment benefit from EASE grants. The SGA is attempting to fight the cut in funding by rolling out a letter campaign this week outside the Carlton Union Building (CUB). SGA is asking you to write letters to your local lawmakers, in the words of Alderman, “send a clear message to lawmakers in Tallahassee: Don’t cut EASE”.  Furthermore, if you wish to discuss more about it, you can research on the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF) website. ICUF is the main lobbying force for private colleges and universities across the state. If you want to know how EASE will impact you more personally, go to your billing statement and calculate out the financial aid that you are currently receiving via EASE.

 

The data as to exactly how many students would not be able to attend Stetson due to the cuts is not easily accessible. Neither is the exact requirements that Tallahassee is proposing to enact on the cuts. The defense appears to be primarily based on an appeal to emotional reasoning. A compromise may be found yet the timeline is definitely not in the favor of those attempting to defend, as the proposed cut meets the legislative floor this month.