President, students take TEG message to Capitol
Feb. 5, 2010
President Dan McAlexander and
Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. John Tures traveled to the
State Capitol this week with a group of students to talk to
legislators about the proposed elimination of the Tuition Equalization
“We felt it was important for our
lawmakers to see the faces and hear the voices of students who will be
impacted by the loss of the grant,” Dr. McAlexander said. “I was
extremely proud of how our young people presented themselves and
represented the College.”
The TEG program has provided
tuition assistance to Georgia students attending the state’s private
colleges since 1975. The proposed cut of the grant would mean the loss
of $29 million annually in tuition assistance statewide, including a
loss here at the College of $230,000 a year in assistance.
Sophomore Elissa Marks said she felt honored to be asked to accompany to group to Atlanta.
“It was a very important to
emphasize to Georgia legislators how important the TEG is to every
student,” she said. “It is important to me to have a strong financial
foundation when I graduate from college, and the elimination of the TEG
would most certainly put me in debt when I graduate – that in addition
to other loans I have already taken out.”
Senior Heather Peake said she was able to tell lawmakers what TEG does for her.
“I am a single mother and the
grant helps me afford college and avoid debt,” she said, “Because of
programs like the TEG, I am receiving a fantastic liberal arts
education close to my home with personal attention from professors
because of smaller class size, and I am on track to graduate May '10,
magna cum laude.”
Junior Catherine Rodriguez met with her own state district representative, Tommy Benton.
“The $1,000 I receive from the
grant is something that my parents don’t have to worry about,” she
said. “Like many families across the U.S., we're tight on money because
my parents have three students in college now. I see what the public
universities offer their students, and it does not compare to what I
have here at LaGrange College.”
Freshman Knox Robinson believes the grant program makes a difference.
“I feel strongly about this issue
because the TEG gives thousands of private school students in Georgia
the chance to pursue their education in an environment that best suits
them individually,” he said.
Dr. Tures was pleased with the students and the work they did.
“They handled themselves very
professionally and were courteous, but direct with their state
representatives and senators,” he said.
He warns that saving the grant will be an uphill battle in the State Senate.
“Make sure you contact your
elected officials, especially Seth Harp and Mitch Seabaugh,” he said.
“Sen. Harp chairs the appropriations subcommittee on higher education,
while Sen. Seabaugh is a majority whip (number two person in the state
senate). Both are Republicans. Both are sympathetic to our plight,
but both point out how much of a deficit Georgia faces. This may be a
tough sell, but I believe it’s a fight we need to make.”
For more information about contacting your state legislators, here