Union College students campaign for financial aid support

Published on
March 03, 2016

Union College students campaign for financial aid support Students at Union College have joined a statewide campaign urging legislators to support two key financial aid programs.

In an effort led by student ambassador Danielle Cosby, several Union students are joining together to support the #Aid4Us campaign established by the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities. The campaign involves students throughout the state that are urging Kentucky legislators to provide greater support to the College Access Program (CAP) and the Kentucky Tuition Grant (KTG).

Cosby, a sophomore nursing student from Middlesboro, was the first student at Union to join the campaign. She has been urging other students to join her on social media in sharing the importance of the state’s financial aid programs to students.

“The amount I owe now is significantly more than what I paid out of pocket initially,” Cosby said reflecting on her first two years in college. “My parents and I are in the middle when considering income levels and we have to pay out of pocket to meet these obligations. My parents do everything they can, but I worry about what the next two years will bring.”

Cosby and a group of Union’s student ambassadors met with Union President Marcia Hawkins regarding the issue. They prepared #Aid4Us campaign postcards with handwritten messages about their financial aid situations. The postcards are being sent to Knox County’s Senator Robert Stivers and Representative Jim Stewart. 

Dr. Hawkins personalized a post card to be sent to Senator Stivers. She thanked the Senator for his support of Union College and urged his support in this matter.

“The Kentucky College Access Program, Kentucky Tuition Grant and other scholarship aid programs are so important,” Dr. Hawkins wrote. “Please continue to fight for #Aid4Us.”

The student ambassadors are going to continue to share the #Aid4Us postcard initiative with students throughout campus and continue their social media campaign, Cosby says. AIKCU says the “us” in the #Aid4Us campaign isn’t their organization, or the institutions they serve, but students like Cosby and Union’s student ambassadors.

“Us is the students, future students, alumni, families and communities who benefit from Kentucky’s investment in need-based student financial aid,” says AIKCU’s Mason Dyer. 

Cosby hopes to graduate from Union in the next few years and serve this region of Kentucky as a nurse. She hopes she can worry about her patients and not student debt she accumulated to gain her education.

“If my financial aid was just a little bit more each year, I don’t think it would be as much of an issue for me,” she said. “Our leaders should look more at the families like mine and try to help us more.”

CAP and KTG financial aid is provided to students throughout Kentucky as a result of revenues from the lottery system. Under existing state law, 55 percent of all projected revenues go to these programs. However, the last few state budget cycles have diverted millions of dollars of those revenues to other needs. #Aid4Us is calling for legislators working through this budget cycle, to return all of those revenues back to students.

To join the campaign to support #Aid4Us, visit www.aikcu.org or contact your state legislator and let them know how financial aid can make a difference in your students’ education.