Special Reports

Trump’s 2017 Budget Could Affect Low-Income Students


President Donald Trump's new "America First" budget plans on cutting non-military spending, and that means that the funds for the Education Department will also be affected. The financial support of the government for low-income undergraduate students still stay alive while other grants are slashed.

According to USA Today College, Trump's budget proposal which was released Thursday, will be keeping the Pell Grant Program but will reduce the budget for higher education by 13.5 percent or $9.2 billion. This program has been existing since 1972, and according to Trump administration, slashing its funding will make sure that it stays existent in the next coming years.

The proposed budget is still a plan as of the moment, and according to The Atlantic, congressional lawmakers will also be making their own draft of budget proposals, and it will be the basis of the appropriation bills that fund the government.

Trump's plan on the other hand will include the removal of $2.4 billion in grants for teacher training and $1.2 billion in funding for summer and after-school programs. He will also be eliminating the funding for roughly 20 departmental programs which he does not find effective or the ones that do not serve national needs.

Grants are a huge help for undergraduate college students in the US, and the Pell Grant is the largest federal grant program. It provides $5,920 to students who are from low income families or those that earn less than $40,000 a year. Although many students also rely on student loans, with Pell grant, they will not have to pay back the grants.

Pell grants are actually the largest expense in the US Education Department and $28.2 billion were spent by the government in the 2015-2016 academic year alone. The highest expenditure though was reached in 2010-2011 academic year where the department spent $39.1 billion.

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