The President’s Budget: Simplifying Funding for Postsecondary Education

“Go forth into the world and turn your hopes and dreams into action. America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers.” – President Trump, Liberty University 2017 Commencement

 

In today’s world, one important key to success – one way for more Americans to turn their dreams into action – is to gain the postsecondary education and credentials that careers and employers require.

Millions of students and families want to make this investment in their future, but the college marketplace and student loan financing can be confusing.

That’s why the President’s 2018 budget proposal lays out plans to streamline and simplify federal aid, saving taxpayers $143 billion over the next decade while insulating current borrowers from changes to their loan programs. The proposed changes in repayment and loan forgiveness plans will apply only to new borrowers after July 1, 2018. Those who are currently repaying loans or who continue their current course of study can still count on their current repayment and loan forgiveness programs remaining in place.

Some of the highlights of the new proposal:

  • Replacing five different income driven repayment plans with a single plan. The new consolidated repayment plan will help undergraduate borrowers pay back their loans more quickly. However, current borrowers’ plans would not be affected as the changes apply only to new borrowers after July 1, 2018.
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  • Providing Year-Round Pell and increasing available Pell aid by $16.3 billion over 10 years. The President’s request maintains discretionary funding for Pell grants at its current level, and reinstates the availability of year-round Pell funding, all while safeguarding the financial future of the Pell Grant program. As Secretary DeVos has said, this commonsense solution will enable more students to further their educations without taking on additional debt.
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  • Helping low-income, first-generation and other disadvantaged students prepare for and complete college. With over $808 million for the Federal TRIO Programs and $219 million for GEAR UP, the budget yields savings of $193 million from the current year’s actual funding levels and reduces funding in areas that have failed to demonstrate an impact in improving student outcomes, while providing important support for vulnerable college hopefuls.
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  • Investing $492 million in colleges and universities that serve diverse students. The funds will support the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority-Serving Institutions, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions through programs under Titles III and V of the Higher Education Act. These programs help narrow gaps in enrollment and degree attainment by improving the academic programs, institutional capacity and student support services at colleges and universities that serve students of color and low-income students in high numbers.

By taking these and other steps, the Trump Administration’s budget aims to help more students and families afford the quality college education that can turn their dreams into action and their talents into success.

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