The president of Western Washington University has announced that the university will use reserve funds to offset any potential cuts in federal financial aid that might result if automatic federal budget cuts occur on March 1 through sequestration.
WWU President Bruce Shepard said the university will provide equivalent funding if students lose their federal financial aid for the current or coming school years.
“The increasing likelihood of federal budget cuts is occurring at a time critical to our students and their families,” Shepard said, in a statement. “Western students—those continuing and those anticipating coming—and their families are making financial plans for the next academic year. Western is also in the midst of awarding financial aid. Western is acting today to seek to lessen some of the uncertainty students and families may be feeling. This is the right thing to do. The university is strongly committed to our students’ success, and is constantly looking for ways to enhance access and affordability.”
WWU sent a message on Tuesday, Feb. 26, to students and parents letting them know of Shepard’s decision. University officials said they have also communicated with faculty and staff, updating them on possible federal cuts resulting in far fewer federal research grants, including in areas such as science, technology and health.