On March 16th, 2017 President Trump released a preliminary budget proposal slashing out billions of dollars in government spending, including college funding. College funding includes work study, which allows students to work on or off school campuses in order to aid in paying for college courses, Pell Grant rewards and other financial budgets that will soon affect many college students.
Although the budget cutting outline still included Pell Grants for students, according to USA Today, President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for 2018 plans to reduce funds for the program by $3.9 billion.
The program has been around since 1972 and sends up to $5,920 to students whose families earn less than $40,000 a year. The U.S. Department of Education documents that the grants are the largest expense in the Department.
In the year 2015-2016 it was recorded that the government spent $28.2 billion on Pell Grants. Of course, that is a lot of money, but there are many young people and adults even, who depend on the government’s assistance to attend college.
There are many families who can afford to go school on their own but those who cannot afford feel college should be free anyway. Over 60% of millennials back up tuition free college. While 35% of young adults oppose free college tuition, tuition-free college was more popular with millennials than baby boomers.
Since Trump’s preliminary release, the proposed budget cut has been the talk of the town. Millennials are more concerned with how this new funding program will affect their college opportunity.
Social media posts from many young adults mention the fact that the reason they were able to attend college comfortably was through the help of financial aid and Federal Pell Grant rewards. I can’t say that the troubling thought has not crossed my mind, because it most certainly has. As a college student, I know how important it is to have the funds to get the education that’s needed for specific job opportunities.
What concerns me the most is how college education is deemed a ‘necessity’ to be successful, but it’s almost impossible to get through the 100+ questionnaire and loan counseling, all while really understanding the process of applying and receiving financial aid. Now, we have been exposed to another loop hole that millennials (and others who aspire to get a college education) must jump through in order to afford the much needed education that is placed in front of us.
The budget cut also proposes around $200 million in cuts to federal TRIO programs. These programs benefit low-income, first-generation and disabled students.
There are many people who agree with this drastic government budget cut. There are also individuals who disagree. One thing can be said for sure, is only time will tell how much things will change for college students and their status of financial statuses to obtain a college education.