Trump Budget to Cut Pell Grants

Vincent Barreras, Centurion Staff

Pell Grants and other college
programs may lose money as
President Donald J. Trump outlined
his 2018 budget proposal.
According to the budget, while
Pell Grants will not be completely
eliminated, they will lose $3.9
billion in funding. This money
adds to a budget that would see a
$9 billion cut for the U.S. Department
of Education.
“Pell Grants are very important
because college is so expensive.
If they take money away I think
there will be much less students
in college, which could also
impact jobs,” said John Takach, a
25-year-old medical coding major
at Bucks.
Pell Grants have been around
since 1972. The Trump administration
says slashing funds
“safeguards its survival for the
next decade.”
According to Market Watch,
“the maximum Pell grant for
the 2016-2017 award year was
$5,920.” These get sent to students
from families that earn less
than $40,000 a year. The difference
between a Pell Grant and a
loan is that students don’t have
to pay back the grants as they do
with loans.
Pell Grants are the largest
expense in the U.S. Department of
Education. The government spent
$28.2 billion in the 2015-2016
academic year. The peak expenditure
was $39.1 billion for the
2010-11 year.
Dilan Pedraza, a 19-year-old
business administration major
said, “this is extremely important
for people who need the money.
This isn’t something that should
be taken away. Pell Grants help
people who are academically
capable of going to college and
can’t afford the tuition. Taking
this away would misdirect the
country. If this is cut people won’t
be able to afford college no matter
how their parents balance their
The Trump budget also proposes
a total elimination to the
Federal Supplemental Educational
Opportunity Grant Program
(FSEOG), and also reduction to
the Federal Work Study program
by an unstated amount.
The FSEOG provides additional
grant money for students, which
is prioritized by income of the
recipient. Federal Work Study
provides employment for students
on and off campus during their
college career.
FSEOG supply $100-$4000 a
year for students with the greatest
need for financial aid. The Trump
administration says this will save
$732 million. They also argue
FSEOG are “a less well targeted
way to deliver need-based aid
than the Pell Grant program.”
Around 1.6 million low-income
students receive this grant.
According to U.S. Department
of Education, “81 percent of
FSEOG dollars went either to
students whose families earn less
than $30,000 or to independent
students who are highly likely
to be low-income. Another 16
percent goes to families making
between $30,000 and $60,000 a
The Trump administration also
wants to reduce the Federal Work
Study program. This program has
been criticized for disproportionately
aiding private institutions.
It is credited to giving students
work place experience while they
are still going to college and also
helps students find post-college
According to U.S. Department
of Education, “44 percent of
work-study dollars go to independent
students or families making
$30,000 or less, with another 20
percent going to families making
between $30,000 and $60,000.”
This cut, however, is only a
proposal for now.
The future is uncertain for these
programs and whether this proposal
will come to fruition. Only
time will tell.