Scholarships cut for children of Iraq, Afghanistan war casualties

Scholarships cut for children of Iraq, Afghanistan war casualties
College sequestration
Not all military families have been lucky enough to greet a parent coming home at the end of combat.

President Obama may have been “politicizing” the effects of sequestration when he announced with his fingers crossed behind his back that the Capitol janitorial staff would be furloughed. But the automatic budget cuts have adversely impacted some very real and very unfortunate victims. ABC News reports:

On the 10-year anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, and [sic] scholarships for children of troops who died fighting in that conflict are being cut by thousands of dollars….

The awards, called the Iraq and Afghanistan War Grants [IAWG], go to undergraduate students whose moms or dads died ‘as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11,’ according to the Department of Education.

Awards that have already been established are safe, but as of March 1, the dollar amount for each new grant is being reduced by 37.8 percent from what a student would have received last year….

The article goes on to note that Pell grants, which provide need-based funding to low-income college-bound students, are exempted from the sequester.

If you are disturbed by the idea that children whose parents made the ultimate sacrifice for their country are now being victimized a second time, you’re not alone. A petition filed at the White House’s We the People website on March 8 asking the president to reinstate the IAWG tuition assistance had 100,000 signatures within 10 days.

But that is not all that has happened since the cuts went into effect of March 1. Citing the Huffington Post, ABC’s Sarah Parnass also writes:

Several colleges and universities have responded to the loss of military grants by offering scholarships for active duty students.

Southern New Hampshire University is offering scholarships to all active duty military students for the upcoming graduate and undergraduate semesters, a decision born out of the university’s high military enrollment in online classes….

Park University announced last week it will offer ‘Emergency Military Scholarships’ that provide full tuition assistance to active-duty students who don’t qualify for Pell Grants, the GI bill or federal loans. Several military publications ranked Park the number 2 school for veterans in the country for 2013.

It is well worth noting that these decisions were made out of the generosity and good will of individuals in the private sector, not by an act government. One hopes that the moral lesson afforded by this turn of events will not be lost on the president.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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