WASHINGTON (March 19, 2015) — José Luis Santos, vice president for higher education policy and practice at The Education Trust, issued the following statement on the adoption of the U.S. House FY16 Budget Plan.
“The House budget proposal sends a clear signal that college access and affordability for low-income students is not a priority. The proposal freezes the maximum Pell Grant award at its current level for 10 years, regardless of escalating tuition, and proposes limiting eligibility requirements, which means fewer low-income students will have access to this much-needed aid. This is the wrong direction for the Pell Grant program. As is, it barely covers one-third of the cost of attending the average four-year, public college. And, as most recipients come from families earning less than $30,000, limiting the Pell Grant will put college out of reach for many more students. Instead, legislators should focus on expanding the Pell program and increasing its purchasing power by increasing institutional accountability. This is critical to building and maintaining a strong economy and healthy democracy. Raiding the Pell Grant program — like the House has proposed — is poor planning for our nation’s future.”