Recently, Rep. Paul Ryan released a preliminary budget for fiscal year 2015. Below is our response, in the form of a letter we sent to the House of Representatives–including Rep. Ryan, who is chairman of the House Budget Committee–on April 7, 2014.
On behalf of the millions of students, educators, administrators and college presidents we represent, we urge you to oppose the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Budget Resolution when it comes to the floor for a vote.
The budget proposed by Chairman Ryan for FY 2015 would make devastating cuts to college aid and access programs. It would do so at a time when America needs more skilled workers than it has, and is in danger of losing the intellectual arms race with countries such as China, India and South Korea, which have chosen to accelerate their investments in postsecondary education.
Among the damaging changes proposed by this budget resolution are:
- Freezing the maximum Pell Grant at $5,730 for the next 10 years, and eliminating mandatory funding for the program. This would result in a loss of $90 billion for the foundation of federal student aid.
- Eliminating or reducing eligibility criteria for Pell Grants, causing millions of students to lose their Pell Grants entirely or see them significantly reduced.
- Eliminating the in-school interest subsidy for student loans, making undergraduate loans more expensive by $41 billion over 10 years.
- Repealing the expansion of the Income-Based Repayment program, simultaneously adding burden to students while restricting the tools they have to repay their debts.
- Proposing deep cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding, and shifting defense sequester cuts to non-defense programs starting in FY 2016, which would result in NDD funding below the FY 2013 sequester levels.
This budget resolution would devastate funding for the other core postsecondary aid programs. Programs like the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work Study, TRIO, GEAR UP and others would face significant reductions, leaving deserving students with fewer and fewer resources just as Pell Grants are cut and the cost of borrowing rises significantly.
Cuts like these are simply unsustainable if America aims to continue its leadership role in the world economy. Rather than building a stronger country with the skills and talents to excel in the global marketplace, this budget would put American students and workers at a disadvantage relative to their competition abroad. It would be damaging now, and for decades to come.
We urge you to vote against this budget resolution and to support a stronger, better educated and more competitive American future.
Molly Corbett Broad
On behalf of:
Alliance for Excellent Education
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
American Association of Community Colleges
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
American Association of University Professors
American Council on Education
American Dental Education Association
American Federation of Teachers
American Indian Higher Education Consortium
American Society for Engineering Education
American Student Association of Community Colleges
APPA: Leadership in Educational Facilities
Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools
Association of American Law Schools
Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of American Universities
Association of Community College Trustees
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
Association of Research Libraries
Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations
College Parents of America
Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area
Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
Council for Higher Education Accreditation
Council for Opportunity in Education
Council of Graduate Schools
Council of Independent Colleges
Educational Testing Service
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michigan State University
NAFSA: Association of International Educators
NASSGAP Federal Relations Committee
National Association for College Admission Counseling
National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
National Association of College and University Business Officers
National Association of College Stores
National Association of Graduate and Professional Students
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
National College Access Network
National Collegiate Athletic Association
National Council for Community and Education Partnerships
National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs, Inc.
National Council of University Research Administrators
National Education Association
New York Higher Education Services Corp.
New York Student Aid Alliance
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
The California State University
The College Board
The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
The Ohio State University
U.S. Public Interest Research Group
United Negro College Fund
United States Student Association
University of California
University of Maryland System
University of Massachusetts System
University of Michigan
University of Southern California
University of Washington
University Professional & Continuing Education Association
Utah Valley State College
Womens College Coalition