Federal budget cuts impact local recruitment office

It’s getting even more difficult to pay for college, especially for students in the military.

The Federal Tuition Assistance Program has been suspended as a part of sequestration and it’s having an impact on the local recruitment office in Davenport.

As a senior at Davenport Central, Hannah Miller’s been thinking about going to college for a while now.

“It’s really expensive,” said Miller. “I was going to apply for scholarships. I decided to join the military because they pay for tuition, the National Guard does.”

She plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa in the fall.

But, Staff Sergeant Jacob Drumm had to break the news to her Tuesday that she’s out $4,500 in federal assistance because of budget cuts.

While Hannah’s tuition will be covered by scholarship money and the state’s allotment of more than $6,500, Drumm says other students aren’t as lucky.

“I just tell them, it’s a little less money for college, so maybe you could go to a Scott Community College,” he said. “Maybe by next year, they’ll have this figured out.”

In addition to the $6,500 in education assistance from the state, National Guard members also get at least $300 from the GI Bill, which is not included in the sequester.

As for students like Hannah, who are lucky enough to have their tuition paid in full, “It’s definitely a sigh of relief,” she said. “Some kids don’t get to go to their preferred school because of financial situations and stuff like that.”

The National Guard also pays up to $50,000 in student loan debt.

They’ve seen a majority of college graduates coming to them, looking for help paying that.

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