IOWA CITY, Iowa -- "I`ve been receiving that scholarship throughout my attendance at the University of Iowa, past the first year, and it actually accounted for that in terms of actually being able to pay for my degree," said Thomas Bradshaw, a UI Junior studying chemical engineering. Last night, Bradshaw received a letter informing him that he wasn't going to be getting the UI Tuition Scholarship after all, even though he had been previously told by the University that he would be receiving it. That revelation left Bradshaw in a state of shock.
"The federal loans have a lifetime limit, of around $57,000 or $56,000 and I`m about $5,000 away from that and so I can`t afford to take out the full amount, well I can`t because they won`t let me, so I needed that (tuition scholarship)," said Bradshaw. Bradshaw was banking on that tuition money to pursue his chemical engineering major, and not having it puts him in a difficult situation. "Chemical engineering is setup in such a way that if i miss out on a semester, miss out on a core class that I need for a pre-requisite for the next semester, it puts me back a year and so like taking my time with it...isn`t really going to be an option," said Bradshaw.
These days higher education doesn't come cheap, and this latest blow is the last thing Bradshaw needs."I`ve encountered a lot of issues with coming to school and getting it paid for because I don`t really have a wealthy family that can help me finance it," said Bradshaw. But he knows worrying won't do him any good, saying, "I'd rather do well this semester and figure out what's gonna happen or how to fix the problem next semester."
Bradshaw says he blames state lawmakers for messing up the lives of students with their budget. In the meantime, his future is uncertain, and he doesn't know what his next move will be: "All I can try to do is get the word out there that this is happening to real people, like budgets are made up of numbers, and it`s really hard to personalize numbers, but there are people like me who these numbers mean a lot to."