UT Benefits from Stimulus Package

President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Tuesday, after it was passed by Congress last week. Controversy still surrounds the massive economic stimulus package that is designed to make the US economy recover faster.

With close to $1 trillion of taxpayers’ money being allocated many are wondering, including UT students, how the stimulus package will affect them.

Marcus Ingram, associate professor of finance, said the package is good news for UT students with Federal Pell grants.

The package provides $100 billion towards education spending and contains a huge $15 billion funding increase for Federal Pell grants.

Pell grants for low-income students will be raised from $4,731 to $5,350 and there is an additional $13 billion for schools that serve low-income families.

‘Federal pell grants don’t discriminate,’ Ingram said, so eligible students attending private universities like UT have just a good chance as students attending public universities.

Another possible benefit for UT students could be tax credits. ‘Possible tax credits could benefit students as long as they declare some income,’ Ingram said.

In the package, college students and their parents if they are dependents are eligible for up to $1,000 in tax credits to help with tuition expenses in 2009 and 2010.

Ingram wasn’t sure the package would stimulate the economy in time to help UT graduates in May and December to find jobs. ‘No, its not designed to improve corporate outlook,’ he said, and it ‘doesn’t have much in it for businesses to encourage them to invest.’

Ingram cautioned students to think about the effect the stimulus package will have on their future.

‘Students need to be real about whose money we’re spending, it is yours.’

The US national debt is now over $10 trillion and that this stimulus plan will add close to another one trillion dollars to national debt.

Ingram’s overall opinion about the stimulus plan is not negative, but he said he’s just not happy with it.

‘I fear it. I fear the amount of debt involved and wish it was smaller and more thoughtful.’

Ingram fears that with the package being so complex, ‘we get the good with the bad.’

‘It seems that there is still a great deal of confusion about exactly what is in the bill that was passed,’ he said.

Ingram believes there will eventually be a strong recovery but isn’t sure the stimulus plan will do what it was meant to do, which is to make the economy recover faster.

Leave a Reply

Back To Top