Sequestration – Will They or Won’t They?

Here we go again. The next fiscal cliff  precipice approaches. What does it mean for Central?

Congress may or may not allow the cuts articulated in the sequestration agreement to take place. We’ve been to the fiscal cliff bluff before and a last-minute deal always sort of saves the day.

But  If the cuts do go into effect, it will take a while for most agencies and people to feel them. The budget reductions will go to federal agencies and be implemented from there—which likely would take several weeks or months.

Programs most likely to be affected on campus include TRiO programs (HEP CAMP GEAR UP, McNair, EOC) and Work Study.  These awards help prepare and provide services to under-represented students before and during college.  It appears Pell is protected, but sequestration likely would place at risk future efforts to maintain Pell’s ability to keep up with tuition hikes. .

With the able and pleasant assistance of Adrian, Heather, and Julie, we have a guesstimate of what CWU cuts might look like: 

  • TRIO – Potential cuts to the U.S. Department of Education discretionary programs HEP, CAMP, EOC, SSS, McNair and Gear Up are estimated at 5.1% (originally estimated at 8.2%) for FY14, a reduction of $163.416 in federal funds at CWU.  If this reduction were carried through each grant cycle, CWU would experience a loss of an estimated $643,503 over the course of the next five years.  If reductions come to fruition, grant programs will either have to reduce the number of students they serve or reduce the services being offered.
  •  National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health have not issued guidance on the proposed cuts below the agency level.  It has been reported that NSF and NIH’s research and development funds will be reduced by 5-8% for FY14. Currently, CWU has $8,929,151 and $467,976 in active NSF and NIH awards respectively (NSF note – $8.9m awards, $6.7m costs incurred, $2.2m budget available).


 Our financial aid pros were able to estimated sequestration cuts_by school, courtesy of the The National Assn. of Student Financial Aid Admnistrators. The estimate uses the Department of Education’s institutional-level formula elements for the 2013-14 tentative campus-based allocations. Estimates assume a 5.1 percent cut to the overall appropriation of each of these programs. This cut does not affect the level of base guarantees—only “fair share,” or need-based, increases are reduced. Programs that have a zero cut were not expecting a fair share increase.                                                    

  • CWU
  • SEOG allocation for 2014, $318,399  – cut of $13,981
  • FWS  allocation for 2014, $348,728 – cut of $410
  • EWU
  • SEOG allocation for 2014, $443,914 – no cut
  • FWS  allocation for 2014, $479,446 – cut of $15,152


  • SEOG allocation for 2014, $537,215 – no cut 
  • FWS  allocation for 2014, $487,351 – no cut 

 Both CWU and WWU have promised to absorb these cuts for their students.  smiley



About Linda Schactler

Linda is the former Director of Communications for the Washington State Senate, and former deputy director of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board. From 2000 through 2010 Linda was the proprietor of Schactler Communications, an Olympia-based public affairs business. She holds a master of arts in English literature from Washington University in St. Louis. Linda can be reached at her Ellensburg office, 509-963-1384, or on her cell phone, 509-607-4103.
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One Response to Sequestration – Will They or Won’t They?

  1. tsuelue says:

    A few weeks ago I heard on the news that the US was cutting the college tuition program for our soldiers in the military. This means that when our kids come back from Iran missing their legs and arms that we will refuse them the money to go to college so that they have to be grieved even more and pay for it on their own. Sadly, we will have to explain to them that we spent the money on expanding gay rights with our treasury money instead of making sure the people who defend our country will have education opportunities when they come back. We will make sure that the lawmakers,politicians,and judges get their huge salaries right out of the department of treasury (the same place tuition programs would come from) and then turn around and tell everyone there is a sequester period to make up for the billions we spent on expanding gay marriage (did you think they write legislature for free just for gay marriage? Sorry troops, money had to come from somewhere to legalize gay marriage). So pretty much the government is saying we need gay marriage more then we do education. Oh and that we dont care if you come home from war with missing body parts either. As long as you understand how much more important gay marriage is then your education and tuition programs.

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