Do Not Cut Federal Grants for Low-Income Students to Attend College

Do Not Cut Federal Grants for Low-Income Students to Attend College

Education is a right, and taking away entitlements from students who could not afford college otherwise is unjust.

President Trump recently released his budget blueprint for 2017, showing where exactly his administrations' priorities will be for the year. Among changes in the budget are increases in military and border security spending, with Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, and Defense getting significant increases in spending. With this increase, many other departments and federal endowments are being cut. The Environmental Protection Agency is seeing a 31% decrease in budget, increasing the possibility of layoffs and decreasing their ability to uphold decade-long environmental protection causes. The State Department, Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor, and the Army Corps of Engineers are getting the biggest budget cuts. All of these areas are going to suffer from budget cuts in the magnitude they are being proposed, but one particular program cut is going to hurt low-income undergraduate students.

"Federal financial support for low-income undergraduate students" in the form of the Pell Grant is proposed to be cut by $3.9 billion. The Trump administration claims that slashing this funding will allow the grant to survive for the next decade. In the 2015-2016 academic year, the Department of Education spent $28.2 billion on Pell Grants. In addition, the administration proposed getting rid of the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program completely, which sends money to schools for students on a need-base. Cutting both of these programs are part of a $9 billion budget cut for the entire Department of Education.

Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be paid back; these two programs in particular are the reason many low-income students are able to attend college. Using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, students are found eligible for these grants, and receive as much as $5,920 per year from the Pell Grant to go towards tuition, room and board. the FSEOG gives students $100-$4,000 per year, to be given out to the school to distribute to the students in need of it. The program is need-based and mostly helps students whose families make between $20,000-$40,000 per year. For some students, a $5,000 grant is the difference between being able to afford college and being forced to work a minimum wage job for years to try to save up for college.

While the budget cut would only cut into the program's cushion money, the future of the grant is at stake. Losing both of these grant programs would endanger public education, make college less affordable, and reduce the availability of workforce training. While we do not know exactly the number of students that will suffer from the loss of the Pell Grant or FSEOG next year, it will only hurt low-income students. Republican Lamar Alexander claims that "Runaway entitlement spending -- more than 60 percent of spending -- is the real cause of the $20 trillion federal debt." What Alexander neglects to see is that entitlement spending like the Federal Pell Grant helps low-income students achieve their dreams of attending college, and allows for a greater number of college-educated people in this country.

If we do not invest in the dreams of tomorrow then the dreams of the past will die with their holders. Education needs to be at the forefront of our society. Cutting grants for low-income students to be able to go to college, while college gets ever-more expensive is not going to sustain the future of the United States. All of our students need to matter--not just the ones who have parents who can pay for their college education. All of our students matter--we cannot hurt their chances at being able to afford higher education.

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.

Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

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30. Curious

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Coping With The Loss Of A Passion

It's hard to get it back once you lose it.


In college, time to focus on passions seems limited. The homework, essays, group projects, and exams are never-ending.

In high school, I took my free time for granted. I was dancing four hours four nights a week, but I wasn't constantly stressed. I had time to focus on my passion, which is dance.

In college, I am a part of an amazing dance club. But I don't get to compete, take technique classes, or be with the team I was with since I was 8 years old. Now, I receive videos of my team from home's amazing performances, and it aches a bit. I am so proud and happy for their growth but jealous that they have more years than I do. It is nearly impossible to find technique classes at college to take with no car, little free time, and barely any money. I miss my team, I miss my dance teachers and choreographers, and I miss competitions, but most of all, I miss the person I was when I had the opportunity to pursue my passion several hours a week.

My passion will always be there, and I do get to pursue dance on a smaller scale with some amazing dancers in college, but I am coping with the fact that I will never do another competition with my team again, I will never be able to dance with them again, and I will never be able to learn from my dance teachers again. It's a hard loss, one that I think about every day.

To anyone who still has the opportunities to pursue their passions to the fullest extent, you are lucky. Not everyone gets the chance to keep up with their sport, passion, or activity that they dedicated all of their time to in high school. Don't take a single second of it for granted, and remember why you are doing what you are doing. Take time to reflect on why you love it so much, how it makes you feel, and how you can express yourself during it. Whatever this passion or activity is, make every second count.

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