Trump's Budget May Make It Harder for Students to Pay for College

"Programs that many low- and middle-income students rely on to pay for college are targets for cuts or complete elimination in President Trump's first budget proposal, released Thursday," MarketWatch reports.

"'There are approximately zero students that would see a net benefit if this budget were enacted into law,' said Mark Huelsman, senior policy analyst at Demos, a left-leaning think tank.

The proposal is one of the first indications of the way the administration plans to approach higher education, college affordability and student debt. Though political wrangling means it’s unlikely the budget will pass in its current form, higher education leaders and the typically left-leaning college access community are warning that the budget signals the Trump administration will make it more difficult for students to afford college and minimize debt.

For it’s part, the White House argues in the budget that its proposals are aimed at cutting programs that aren’t well-targeted toward students who need financial help the most, while safeguarding some of the major initiatives that help low-income students attend college, like the Pell Grant.

Betsy Devos, the Secretary of Education, praised the proposed budget in a statement Thursday saying that it 'continues support for the nation’s most vulnerable populations' while 'streamlining and simplifying funding for college and continuing to help make college education more affordable.'

Neal Neal McCluskey, an education analyst at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, added that the proposed budget takes steps toward curtailing the role of federal funding in higher education. Some research indicates that such funding makes college more expensive, a theory which first gained prominence thanks to support from William Bennett, a secretary of education under Ronald Reagan."

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Publication Date: 3/20/2017

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