State budget woes concern college students, administrators

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MILLERSVILLE, Pa. – Thousands of college students across the state are moving back in to their dorms this week, and those who get financial aid from the state are worried about the budget battle in Harrisburg.

Hundreds of students like Austin Inverso are getting settled in to their new digs today at Millersville University.

“I like it,” he said. “I like it a lot.”

Everyone here is getting ready for a new school year.

“It's like a re-birth,” Dr. Jon Anderson, president of Millersville University, said. “It's a re-invigoration. All the faculty and staff are excited about the anticipation of our new students moving in.”

It’s an exciting day for most, but there is anxiety for some who get financial aid from the state. Administrators say they have planned for this and are working to make sure students' needs are met.

“We will work with every student and every family until this budget is reconciled to make sure that no one loses their space as a result of cashflow problems,” Frank Brogan, chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, said.

The state system of higher education says its member universities had already budgeted additional money for this in the event budget woes took place.

But parents worry a prolonged stalemate could threaten funds.

“I hope in the future for his educational reasons we need those loans for him to complete his four years,” Deborah Paul, Inverso’s mom, said.

Administrators are pushing state lawmakers for a resolution now.

“Cash flow to PHEAA (PA Higher Education Assistance Agency), which is the state financial assistance arm, will ultimately stop until the negotiations are completed and a new budget is established,” Brogan said.

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