WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 13, 2018 -- Yesterday the Trump Administration released its FY19 budget proposal entitled, "An American Budget." IHEP President Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D. released the following statement:
"The budget proposal released by the Trump Administration misses a key opportunity to strengthen the impact of the cornerstone in our federal student aid program – the Pell Grant. Today’s maximum Pell Grant covers the lowest share of college costs in 40 years. And though the budget proposal keeps all existing Pell program funds intact - reversing prior calls to decrease program funds to cover other Trump Administration priorities - it stops short of calling for increases to maximum Pell Grant awards or indexing annual amounts to inflation. These much-needed reforms would restore the grant’s purchasing power and help more students pay for college without relying on burdensome loans. The proposal also eliminates outright the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and federal student loan interest subsidies, both critical sources of funding for students with financial need. These cuts coupled with a failure to call for reforms to restore the impact of Pell Grants begins to chip away at aid intended to help students from low-income and working class families afford the college education that could set them on a path to the middle class.
"The proposal also zeros out funding for Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, important resources that have supported states’ efforts to develop evidence-driven state policies, promote transparency about college outcomes, and assist educators working to help students succeed. Cutting these supports could stymie state efforts to use evidence to improve educational outcomes.
"We urge the Trump Administration and the Department of Education to work alongside Congressional lawmakers – in a bipartisan manner - to increase the impact of need-based aid and promote transparency in education outcomes. With lawmakers actively discussing Higher Education Act reauthorization, it’s prime time for leaders in Congress and the White House to put the needs of students front and center."