With recent spikes in college tuition, students are in need of federal aid more than ever, but they may not get the amount they need. If the U.S. Senate passes a bill proposed recently by the U.S. House, the federal grant budget will be cut by 15 percent.
Education activists and many college students are incensed by the proposed budget cuts. They say that lawmakers need to get their priorities in order. They also say representatives in D.C. should do away with tax loopholes and subsidies for multimillionaires and corporations, instead of trying to balance the federal budget by cutting back college aid.
“The Pell Grants are the federal government’s cornerstone financial aid program that 9.4 million college students rely on each year to pay for the college courses that are fueling our recovering workforce and economy,” Rich Williams said, a higher education advocate with Illinois Public Interest Research Group. “Tough choices are supposed to come only after the easy ones. It’s difficult to imagine how cuts to Pell Grants happen before cuts to BP and Goldman Sachs. And yet that’s exactly what the House resolution does.”
Before, the maximum amount that students could have received in grants was $5,550, but if the budget is slashed, students can only get up to $4,705. Unlike federal loans, grants don’t have to be paid back, making it easier for students to avoid debt.
A total of $5.7 billion could be cut from the Federal Pell Grant program, and more than 1.7 million students could lose all of their federal grant funding.
Where do you think these budget cuts should be made? How will decreases in Pell Grants affect you? Comment below, and let us know where you stand.