Bad for Higher Ed – Bad for Our Country

President Trump’s proposed Federal budget for fiscal year 2018 is bad for higher education and bad for our country. The proposed budget suggests deep cuts in programs that benefit the college students who are most in need—low-income students. As has been widely reported by the Southern Education Foundation over 50% of students in American public high schools are from low-income families. It is critical that we understand the huge role financial support at both the Federal and state level plays in supporting degree completion for students attending college with financial challenges. We simply cannot advance as a nation if economic prosperity is the only pathway to a college degree. The Trump administration budget reduces funding to the very programs that support low-income student success and increase access to higher education for historically marginalized and underrepresented students.

Proposed Cuts

  • Eliminate the public-service loan-forgiveness program
  • Eliminate subsidized Stafford Loans, and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
  • Reduce by 50% Federal Work-Study programs
  • Allow the Perkins Loan program to expire

Additionally, the proposed budget cuts funding to programs that support foreign language study and reduces funding to the Fulbright Scholars programs, and other programs that support international education and exchanges. As every aspect of our society becomes evermore global, becoming isolationist in our economic and educational policies is a step in the wrong direction.

Thankfully, this budget will have to go through many iterations in Congress before final approval. Nevertheless it is deeply troubling that the values expressed through this proposed 2018 Federal budget are so diametrically opposed to the values of equity and access foundational to higher education. We can do better.