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University of Iowa News Release

July 27, 2006

UI Student Leaders Promote Student Aid With Iowa D.C. Delegation

A group of University of Iowa student government leaders are in Washington, D.C. this week to meet with Iowa's Congressional delegation and seek continued support for federal student aid programs.

Addison Stark, UI Student Government vice president, Michael Charles, UISG governmental relations chair, and Punit Vyas, UISG graduate and professional student senate executive, are meeting with the delegation Thursday, July 27, and Friday, July 28.

"We want to thank our Congressional representatives for their past support of federal student financial aid initiatives and urge their continued support for maintaining and strengthening those programs in the future," said Stark. "About 80 percent of University of Iowa undergraduate students receive some form of federal assistance, so it obviously is a significant issue for students throughout the state."

During their two days in Washington, the student leaders plan to meet directly with Reps. Tom Latham, Jim Nussle, Jim Leach and Sen. Charles Grassley, and with aides to Reps. Tom Boswell, Stephen King and Sen. Tom Harkin.

"We want to put a face on the students who receive federal aid, and show them that federal money is being spent wisely when it's used to help Iowa students receive an outstanding undergraduate or graduate education at the University of Iowa," said Charles.

The students said they will urge continued support for such federal student aid programs as the Pell grant, Perkins loans and work-study. They also plan to promote new proposals now before Congress that would provide supplemental grants of between $750 and $4,000 to selected students eligible for Pell grants.

"These new initiatives would provide an additional $834,800 of federal grant money to University of Iowa students and will be extremely helpful minimizing their borrowing needs for the upcoming year," said Stark.

In addition, the students will make a pitch for aid programs for graduate students, such as the Graduate Assistance to Areas of National Need (GAANN) program, and fellowships and graduate assistantships funded by the National Science Foundation.

"Financial assistance for undergraduates is very important, but too often, we forget that graduate and professional students are in need of aid, as well," said Vyas, a graduate student in the university's hospital and health administration program. "We want to make sure those programs receive the attention they need."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.