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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Trying to figure out what to do in life.


I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]

[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

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