McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State news

March 5, 2013

Okla. House passes higher ed aid restriction

Oklahoma City — The Oklahoma House has cleared a proposal to restrict an aid program that pays college tuition for 20,000 students.

If the bill from Republican Rep. Leslie Osborn also clears the Senate, it would affect the income eligibility requirements of the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program.

That program currently pays students' tuition only if their families meet two requirements: making less than $50,000 when the students apply in 8th, 9th or 10th grade and making less than $100,000 when the students start college. Osborn's bill would change that final requirement to less than $60,000.

Democrats pounced on the bill, saying it would hurt Oklahoma families as the cost of college edges ever higher. After two hours of sometimes impassioned debate, the chamber narrowly passed the proposal by a 56-37 vote.

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