The Kansas Board of Regents is seeking $25 million from state lawmakers to fund a financial aid program for college students.
The board's budget request is part of a plan to funnel up to $50 million into need-based financial aid for Kansas students enrolling in universities and technical schools, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. The financial aid would also be available for private schools that aren't part of the Regents system.
Qualifying students could receive up to $5,000 each.
The board is pursuing the financial aid program to help students offset the rising costs of college tuition and fees, particularly for low-income families, said Elaine Frisbie, the board's vice president of finance and administration. Board members are concerned that a greater number of students won't be able to access higher education, she said.
Frisbie said lawmakers would consider the $25 million request in the next legislative session, which starts in January. But the funding, if approved, wouldn't be made available until fiscal year 2021, she said.
State funding would be matched with private donations through university endowments or foundations, Frisbie said. The board is currently surveying colleges to determine their capacity to raise matching funds.
The new program's money would be distributed after students have applied for federal financial aid programs, Pell Grants and other similar funding sources.
"This would be the last dollars under financial aid," Frisbie said. "If they have nothing else, this would fill in the rest, up to $5,000 per student."