WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations released a draft FY2018 funding bill, which includes funding for programs within the U.S. Department of Education. IHEP Vice President of Policy Research Mamie Voight released the following statement:
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Draft Education Funding Bill Chips Away at Pell Grant Program
"Pell Grants are the cornerstone of our nation's financial aid system and are critical to supporting college access and persistence for students in need. Rather than fortifying this program, the draft budget released yesterday by the House Appropriations Committee chips away at the foundation of our financial aid system by cutting $3.3 billion from the Pell program. Decreasing existing reserve funds flatly denies the value of the grant program and destabilizes its strength in the long term. The evidence is clear: students who invest in a college education and earn degrees fare better than those who do not. The proposed $3.3 billion in cuts to the program comes at a time when millions of students in need rely on the Pell Grant to ease the burden of rising college prices-a burden they must bear because they do not have the resources to independently finance their education outright. And continued access to Pell Grants positively impacts student persistence. No American should have to forego a college education simply because they are poor. IHEP stands ready to support Congressional lawmakers with crafting an FY2018 spending plan that reflects a true commitment to helping students in need access, persist, and succeed in college."