Have you been watching the news? There is a big fiscal stand-off in Washington, DC. Both sides say they want to reduce the deficit and balance the budget. Last week the House of Representatives passed HR 1, which would cut funding for education programs by $11.5 billion (16.1%). If the Senate passes this it would be the largest funding cut to education in US History. They are sweeping cuts that affect kindergarteners and graduate students and all grades in-between.
The biggest blow to college bound students is the cuts to the Pell Grant. The previous Congress had passed legislation that increased the Pell grant by about $100 a year. HR-1 would reduce the maximum Pell grant by $845 (15.2%) this year. Representatives said these cuts are necessary to keep taxes from going up. These are short-sighted savings. Many students will drop out of school when their grant money is reduced by 15%. Others will work more and be less successful in school. The bottom-line is that if we do not invest in college education, this generation will be less educated and under employed. Much of the federal revenues are predicated on the tax base, which will be lower because we failed to support higher education.
Although a recent Harris poll found that 71% of Americans opposed cuts to education, Congress passed HR-1. There is still time to contact your Senator and tell them NOT to cut education, especially the Pell grant. Education is an investment in the future of our country. Take a moment to let your Senators know how you feel. Call them or send an email or fax. To find contact information for your Senators go to this senate web page. Do it today. Your financial aid depends on it.