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Fewer college students to get financial aid under House and Senate proposals

The Texas Legislature allocated enough money for 86,830 college students to receive the need-based Texas Grant in the current academic year. Under the proposed House and Senate budgets, the number of students receiving the state's main form of financial aid would decline to 27,135 by 2013.

That's because funding would be cut 41 percent, to $366 million, for the upcoming two-year budget, closing the program to students entering college but allowing those already receiving the grant to continue to do so.

The state's other financial aid programs also would take substantial hits. Work-study aid would be cut 41 percent. A scholarship program for students ranking in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes would be cut 79 percent.

All told, spending on financial aid — just over $1 billion in the current two-year budget — would decline by $431 million under the House proposal for 2012-13 and by $381 million under the Senate version, according to the Legislative Budget Board.

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