Students Campaign for Higher Education on Capitol Hill Spring Break

AUSTIN, Texas—Student Government leaders from The University of Texas at Austin are forgoing sun, sand and the slopes for Capitol Hill during their spring vacation, March 13-16, for the third annual "SG in DC" program.

Fifteen students will meet with members of Congress, including Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Reps. Ron Paul and Pete Sessions. They also will meet with White House officials, the Department of Education and other student representatives from Big XII conference schools to advocate funding and support for higher education nationwide.

"Colleges and universities serve as the training ground for the next generation of world leaders and problem solvers," said Zack Hall, a government and Spanish sophomore who is coordinating the trip. "Our goal is to ensure these institutions receive the necessary resources to prepare students for the challenges of the future."

Students will meet with their hometown legislators to request decreased interest rates on student loans, an increase in Pell Grant awards, adoption of the recommendations of the Lincoln Commission for Study Abroad and reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which authorizes most governmental federal aid programs and a variety of higher education initiatives, Hall said. Congress has not completely renewed the Higher Education Act since 1998, and its most recent extensions are due to expire June 30.

This year's SG in DC trip includes the inaugural "Big XII on the Hill Day," bringing together more than 40 student leaders from member institutions to meet with Congress about key higher education issues.

The University of Texas at Austin Student Government hosts the SG in DC program, with sponsorship from the Office of the President, the Vice President for Research, the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Dean of Students.

For more information contact: Tracy Mueller, public affairs specialist, College of Liberal Arts, 512-471-2404; Zack Hall, program coordinator, Student Government, 214-952-0878.