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Winter for Higher-Ed
GOP Targets Pell Grants

Rep. Paul Ryan’s new House budget includes a provision for scaling back Pell Grants. Though the budget won’t get past the Democratic Senate, this proposal could be a foreshadowing of what federal student aid cuts would look like if the GOP takes the Senate in 2014 and the Presidency in 2016.

Inside Higher Ed has the details:

Under the proposal, the maximum Pell Grant award would be frozen at the current $5,730 amount for the next 10 years. The budget would also leave all of the Pell Grant program’s funding up to the discretion of Congress each year, eliminating the mandatory funding stream that currently funds part of the program.

In addition, the budget would impose an unspecified income cap on students who receive a Pell Grant and eliminate the grant for students attending college less than half time.

Pell Grants disproportionately benefit low-income students, so these cuts may not be politically viable even after a GOP takeover. But we’re happy to see proposals like this, if only because they stoke public discussion about finding ways to cut or limit the growth of student aid as a whole, which has for decades been a big facilitator of college tuition increases. It’s good to see at least one side stepping up, even if this proposal isn’t necessarily the best of all possible measures.

Now let’s see what ideas the other side comes up with.

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  • alanstorm

    “Now let’s see what ideas the other side comes up with.”

    No need to wait – “Spend more or you’re DENYING people an education!”

    • f1b0nacc1

      You forgot “Racists!!!!!”

      • Anthony

        It’s called belief with a purpose (low plane of living, cultural isolation, and opportunistic cumulative labeling) underlying specific rationalization needs.

        • f1b0nacc1

          I notice no mention of personal responsibility in there…what a coincidence…
          Or not…
          I believe you are through here

          • Anthony

            What’s your real point my man? Who are you really opposed to? What is compelling your roiling antipathy? Whatever is amiss? What connections are you entwining? America invites all ostensibly. And yes, I am if one can be through with pettifogging then…

  • Jim__L

    Can we say, “bargaining chip”?

    • Anthony

      Funding Higher Ed is public policy worthy of non partisan democratic give and take but not bargaining chip for opportunistic exploitation.

      • Jim__L

        Incentivizing tuition bloat isn’t worthy public policy.

        There needs to be a debate about this on the national level. Trimming Pell grants is as good a way as any to start the debate.

        Besides, I have nothing against Congress insisting that it has power of the purse, against “mandatory” spending levels.

        • Anthony

          Not about incentives of bloat because systemic bloat can be found… Equally, identifying a choice to start requires legitimate consideration of issue and its embedded interests. Nevertheless, Feed above provides scant information (there’s definitely no constitutional argument) and just an observation so for me on this I am through here.

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