Congress, Don’t Walk Away From Low-Income Students
Ed Trust Statement on the Labor-HHS-Education FY17 Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON (July 12, 2016) – José Luis Santos, Ph.D., vice president for higher education policy and practice at The Education Trust, issued the following statement on the Labor-HHS-Education FY17 Appropriations bill to be considered by the House Appropriations Committee tomorrow.
“The House Labor-HHS-Education FY17 Appropriations bill sends a clear signal that college access, affordability, and institutional quality for low-income students is not a congressional priority.
“The bill cuts an alarming $1.3 billion from the Pell Grant program, taking away money that should be used to make college more affordable for our nation’s low-income students. This is absolutely the wrong direction.
“Currently, Pell Grants barely cover one-third of the cost of attending the average four-year, public college. Instead of cutting these funds, legislators should focus on strengthening the Pell Grant program.
“Additionally, the bill attempts to block – again – the gainful employment regulation. This regulation is intended to protect students from predatory career-education programs that far too frequently leave students, often students of color and low-income students, with enormous amounts of debt and meaningless credentials all while annually consuming billions of taxpayer dollars.
“Having more college-educated citizens is critical to building and maintaining a strong economy and healthy democracy. Raiding the Pell Grant program and weakening the U.S. Department of Education’s ability to play its role in protecting vulnerable students — like the Appropriations Committee is proposing — is both poor planning for our nation’s future and a huge disservice to students who need the most support.”