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SMU Student Lobbies Austin Lawmakers

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Dallas, TX – Some North Texas college students in Austin today are urging state lawmakers to preserve a $100 million state grant program designed for low and middle income students, many of them minorities.

Funds for Texas Equalization Grants are set aside for eligible students attending private, independent, non-profit colleges or universities in Texas. Southern Methodist University Student Body President Jake Torres receives one of the grants, and he says without it, he could not attend SMU.

Torres: I have a lot of fears right now given the current budget crisis and the environment right now in the capital of not wanting to raise any taxes, and trying to balance our budget crisis with pure cuts. I'm very nervous that it's really going to impact literally thousands of Texas in the north Texas region and all across the state.

Torres knows TEG money faces the ax. But he fears if funding goes, college dreams of many high schoolers could be axed as well. Torres is hopeful that by putting a face to the program, lawmakers might spare some funding.

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