HAWSE-ELIAS ECONOMIC INCLUSION POLICIES

 

The number of college students in poverty has continued to increase over the past decade. In 2018, the struggles of off-campus students pushed up the poverty rate in 211 counties across the United States. Students often  go in debt to earn college degrees. Sadly, this means many students can’t afford to take internships that do not pay. Many students cannot afford to have a car on campus to transport themselves to the jobs or internships for which they are qualified. Some students spend years of their academic career working to earn a degree, to then not be able to accept that degree at graduation because graduation attire is too expensive. We want to advocate for lowering the costs students face (long-term and short-term), which will strive to promote an equitable UK experience by: 

 

  • Lobbying state legislators and administrators to increase funding for higher education in Kentucky. Our team wants to advocate for higher education funding and eliminating tuition increases at the University of Kentucky.

  • Lowering parking costs for students by lobbying university administration to implement free parking codes through the usage of students’ linkeblue IDs or the creation of parking coupons for students. Students should not have to pay an outrageous price to study at the library Student Center.

  • Adovcating for the creation of grants that will provide textbooks, access codes, and course material for students 

  • Creating a position within SGA titled Director of Finance and Economic Equity to ensure that SGA funding and initiatives are transparent and explore initiatives that promote college affordability by expanding scholarships and grants offered by SGA and the UK financial aid office for in-state and out-of-state students. 

  • Utilizing the Wildcat Wardrobe to purchase graduation attire for both undergraduate and graduate programs

  • Advocating for the creation of an involvement grant at the university that will provide funding for students to lower the financial burdens to participation in student organizations and internship opportunities

  • Streamlining childcare and student grants/scholarships offered by SGA to the UK financial aid website

  • Including a section on the SGA website dedicated to financial wellbeing and economic inclusion

  • Advocating for UK dining to expand affordable and sustainable dining options on campus that will allow for students in need to have access to affordable meals 

  • Proposing grants for students that need assistance with paying graduate school admission fees, study books/tools, and other costs related to post-undergrad endeavors to be implemented