Could promise scholarship be removed by ending income tax?

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Katlyn Roberts

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On Feb. 25, Governor Jim Justice had two town halls to talk about the decision to end income tax. This, in turn, could erase the PROMISE Scholarship. Although, Justice says that this likely wouldn’t happen. If it did, it would cause debt to many students at West Liberty as well as students from other universities and career schools.

Emma Beaty, a fellow student at West Liberty said, “I think it’s a bad idea to take money away from the promise scholarship. I, and many other students, can’t afford to go to school without it, regardless of academic achievement. This is an incredibly poor decision especially in a state that already has so many in poverty and many students living with grandparents or other legal guardians.”

The Promise Scholarship is a blessing for many people in West Virginia. The Promise scholarship promises around 4,750 per year. College is already too expensive for most people, so getting rid of this scholarship would be a shame. Sure, there are other scholarships, but this one is merit-based. It depends on what you get on your ACT. With enough hard work, college can be less of a struggle.

Scott Cook, Vice President of Student Services/Registrar Enrollment Services, said, “In my opinion, I do not think you should cut educational programs to fund political initiatives. We have almost 350 students who have earned the PROMISE Scholarship. Statewide, there are over 10,000 PROMISE Scholarship recipients. The loss of this scholarship would cause hardship for many families at West Liberty, in our communities and in West Virginia. The PROMISE Scholarship can not only be used to help pay tuition at WV four year colleges and universities, but also the two year community and technical colleges. Twenty years ago, then WV Governor Bob Wise proposed the PROMISE Scholarship as a way to provide an incentive for high school students to do well academically, increase the college going rate and to provide a better trained, more educated workforce for West Virginia. Those things are still relevant and important today.”

If Justice does end up getting rid of the Promise scholarship, he would be in the wrong. Although, from what Justice has said so far, it is unlikely to go that way. Too many students would be affected. Although, I have personally witnessed this man lie to my face, specifically about education. So, if you care about this scholarship, I would keep a close eye on the progress of ending state income tax.