The House Budget Committee’s Plan to Slash Federal Student Financial Aid: A Tweetable Summary
Last month, the House Budget Committee released their fiscal year 2018 budget resolution, which sets Congressional funding priorities for the coming fiscal year starting October 1, 2017, and provides a fiscal blueprint for the next decade. This resolution lays out a plan even more extreme than the education cuts proposed by the Trump Administration’s FY18 budget. In addition to including well over $200 billion in cuts to education funding over the next ten years, the resolution also initiates the fast-track reconciliation process that would require at least $20 billion of these education cuts be made this coming year.
Recent threats to college affordability and access are persistently coming from multiple directions: the FY17 spending agreement already raided $1.3b from Pell Grants, the President’s budget proposed deep cuts to federal education spending, and the House Appropriations Committee separately agreed to raid $3.3 billion from Pell Grants in FY18 at the same time this budget resolution was introduced. However, the House Budget plan is a uniquely devastating attack on federal support for higher education.
The budget resolution’s massive cuts to both the Pell Grant and student loans would magnify the already heavy burden of debt on students, families, and the economy. We’ve summarized the cuts to student loans, and their impact, on Twitter:
.@housebudgetGOP plan’s huge #PellGrant cuts wld increase #studentdebt. But FY18 #budget also directly targets #studentloans. Here’s how: 1/
— TICAS (@TICAS_org) August 1, 2017
The proposed cuts to Pell Grants are likewise both numerous and extreme. This thread lays out each one, and what they mean for students and equity in higher education more generally:
A roundup of House Budget Cmte’s plan for deep #PellGrant cuts-allegedly 2 make Pell “sustainable” despite data showing no need for cuts: 1/
— TICAS (@TICAS_org) July 31, 2017
It’s helpful to remember that the House Budget Committee’s framing of the link between federal financial aid and tuition costs — which we can only assume is an attempt to help justify all these deep cuts — is both deceptively narrow and unsupported by research.
House Budget report pushes narrow, false narrative on link between fed #finaid & tuition costs. Read the facts: https://t.co/gojEniAlLe
— TICAS (@TICAS_org) July 25, 2017
The House Budget report furthermore claims that cuts are needed because the Pell Grant’s current funding is unsustainable, but evidence shows that is simply not true.
.@housebudgetGOP Budget Blueprint’s claim that #PellGrants “on shaky financial ground” is pure FICTION. https://t.co/DR1elhKTop. The FACTS: https://t.co/zEA3SMbkRZ
— TICAS (@TICAS_org) July 18, 2017
In reality, steady program costs and existing reserve funds signal an opportunity to make an increased investment in Pell Grants to better support the nation’s students and their career goals. As the FY18 budget process moves forward, we urge Congress to reject these needless cuts to federal financial aid that would take our country down a path of deeper inequity and a weaker economy, and instead heed the call of over 300 colleges and student advocates to strengthen Pell Grants.
A massive call to #SavePell, strengthen grant at same time House Budget Cmte wants to freeze #PellGrant, cut funding & restrict eligibility https://t.co/rhuHkaHzMY
— TICAS (@TICAS_org) July 25, 2017