Statement on the Trump Administration’s Proposal to Slash Pell Funding

May 14, 2019
Statement of Jessica Thompson

“The Administration’s plans to take nearly $4 billion from Pell Grants to fund programs entirely unrelated to education is nothing short of alarming. You'd have to be in outer space to slash billions from Pell Grants at the same time that everyone here on Earth is appropriately focused on addressing ballooning college costs and persistent student debt. Next year's maximum Pell Grant will cover the lowest share of public college costs in history, and the grant is no longer even automatically adjusted to keep pace with inflation. In widespread recognition of these barriers to college access and success, students, colleges, and experts from across the political spectrum have urged Congress to make meaningful new investments in the Pell Grant through the Higher Education Act. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have been united in providing critical annual increases for the maximum grant. To cut the cornerstone federal investment in Americans’ human capitol in order to pay for continued space exploration, an endeavor more reliant on the ongoing and long-term investment in a highly educated future workforce than almost any other, is the height of irony. We urge Congress to continue to reject these kinds of short-sighted trade-offs for which millions of students and the economy will suffer.”