Students protesting need-based cuts

March 2, 2011 9:00:00 PM PST
Some local college students spent Thursday morning protesting outside the state capitol.Students from North Carolina Central University are upset about proposed cuts to need-based grants that provide assistance to low income undergraduate students.

The House of Representatives is considering cutting funding for the Federal Pell Grant Program by 15 percent.

About 65 percent of NC Central students are eligible for those grants.

"North Carolina Central University, like many HBCU's relies heavily on financial aid," NCCU Student Body Vice President Brian Kennedy said. "Our students' median income is $30,000 and so financial aid affects us proportionately more so than other institutions."

Out-of-state student Brianna Hargrove says she's depending on financial aid to complete her senior year next year.

"About $2,500 of my funding would be cut and that's exactly how much I need to stay on campus," she said.

It is those concerns that prompted Hargrove and fellow students to board a bus to the state capitol to voice their concerns and share their message.

Armed with signs, students let anyone listening know that they were only out there because they truly care.

And just to show how much their education really does matter to them, the students had a bus shuttling them between the capital and their school all morning, so none of them had to miss any classes.

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