A call for more federal aid to college students

01/07/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday) | Listen to this entire show:

Good afternoon,

Welcome to WMNF ‘s Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up: we’ll hear from a student group that is advocating more help for college students from the incoming Barack Obama administration. Later we’ll hear a debate about the Israeli invasion of Gaza this week.

But first some listener comments about yesterday’s program. A lot of topics cam up yesterday, but the one that most people wanted to comment about was the Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip.

We’ll take up the issue of Israel’s actions in Gaza in just a moment. But first: the United States Student Association is calling on Congress and the incoming Obama administration to include an investment in education within the new economic stimulus package.

Carmen Berkley, president of the United States Student Association joins us now. She wants an increase in student aid from the federal government- as it considers what to include in the economic stimulus package.

She advocates the following:

  1. Raise the maximum Pell Grant to $7,000 for the lowest income students and fully fund it along with the current Pell shortfall.

  2. Increase funding for the Federal Work-Study Program by 25 percent.

  3. Improve access to Parent PLUS loans.

  4. Provide a limited "emergency access" student loan pool for colleges that commit to providing adequate need-based aid.

For more information, visit USStudents.org.

Last week we carried a debate over Israel’s actions against Hamas in Gaza. Next we’ll hear part two of that debate.

CNN news report from earlier today that United Nations officials in Gaza say the attack yesterady that killed an estimated 40 people, mostly civilians, was unjustified. The U.N. spokespeople say that despite Israeli claims that Muslim militants were firing on Israeli soldiers from the school, that is not true. Militants were not at the school site and the U.N. is calling for an independent investigation.

We’re joined by Ben Cohen who is associate director of communications with the American Jewish Committee (http://www.ajc.org) in New York. And also here is Ahmed Bedier who is formerly the local director of the Council on American Islamic Relations. He’s now an independent community activist and also the host of the Arab Muslim program here on WMNF called TRUE TALK.

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