Ossoff looks to expand federal Pell Grant for education | Local News

U.S. Sen. John Osaf, Georgia, said here Tuesday that he and his Senate colleagues are working to expand and reform a program that helps fund higher education for those in need.

“I have worked with my colleagues in the Senate to make the Pell Grant more accessible to youth in Georgia and more flexible for youth in Georgia,” Osaf said at a press conference on ATVs at Dalton State College.

“I have teamed up with several people in the Senate from both parties to introduce legislation that will allow students to apply the program in vocational programs and technical training and vocational training to give young people more opportunities to access affordable higher education and training He said.

The Pell Grant helps fund college tuition for those with financial needs.

“We are also working to increase funding so that people can get a higher education without having to take on such a student debt,” Osaf said. “We want people to graduate with diplomas and technical training, and instead of seeing them spend decades and decades trying to pay off debt, we want them to realize their dreams, pursue families, own a home and start a business.” .

Asked how much the increase would be, Osaf said it would be “substantial”.

“We’re still working to see what’s possible,” he said.

About half of Dalton State College students receive a Pell Grant.

“It’s great that any chosen official visit has visited Dalton,” said Dalton President Margaret Venable. “It raises the profile of what we are doing here. But it is a special honor that our senior senator came here. Financial aid is very important to Dalton students. We are one of the most affordable four-year colleges in the country. However, many of our students have difficulty paying for tuition, and anything we can do to help them would be helpful. ”

Venable said Pell Grant’s permission to pay for technical training and certifications could also help Dalton students.

“We have what we call savings loans,” she said. “A student can earn a certificate or a two-year degree from Northwestern Georgia Technical College and then come to Dalton for additional credentials. We see this especially in the field of health care, where the student will receive the certificate needed to start work, and use their income from this to gain additional authority.

Before the press conference, Osaf met with several Dalton students.

“The Pell Grant helps many students in Dalton,” said Ashley Fan, English specialty and director of the Peer Education Steering Group. “Many of us have financial problems. We are first generation college students. This will open up opportunities for more students to come here, and for students who come here, there will be less financial difficulties if they can be expanded. ”

Angie Lee, a biology major, said she receives a Pell Grant and it makes it easier for her to study in college.

“I hope he can get an increase in funding for the Pell grant,” she said. “It will help a lot of students here.”

Osaf also briefly touched on the situation in Ukraine, where Russian President Vladimir Putin has deployed troops to separatist regions of the country.

“Over the past few months, the Russian Federation has accumulated significant military potential along the border with Ukraine and Belarus and (on Monday) launched an invasion of Ukraine,” Osaf said. “I am against the involvement of the US military in this conflict. But I will work with the Biden administration to determine what economic and diplomatic costs should be imposed on the Russian Federation for this act of military aggression. “

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