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Now would be a good time to look at the long-term effects if the Tuition Assistance Program is cut. I realize that our state budget must be severely trimmed down, but if we ever hope to get people off of welfare higher education is the first thing that needs support.

Take TAP, for instance. This is a government-funded grant program available in New York. It is one of the best programs available to students in the country.

Being a student myself, I see single parents, some with as many as five children, attending school every day so they will be able to support their families without welfare or other government aid upon graduation. The TAP program not only helps students who are low-income, it helps all students.

Can someone imagine the frustration of being two quarters away from graduation and having to quit school because tuition becomes out of reach?

Children who grow up in poverty learn that welfare is a part of life. Higher education is a sure way to break that dependency. These students are striving to make a difference in their lives.

The outcome, as long as they can succeed, would make a difference for our entire country -- one person, one family at a time.

North Tonawanda

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