The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has passed House Resolution 38, which can ultimately cut the Pell Grant award â€“â€“ an award is offered to more than 3,000 students at CSU â€“â€“ from $5,550 to $1,500.
The first issue we see with this is obvious: Many students relying on these extra grants to afford college will be at a great disadvantage if grant awards are reduced. Increases in tuition and fees have become less of a trend and more of a norm in Colorado, and providing fewer resources to those who need it is bad policy. Keeping worthy students out of college because theyâ€™re too poor to afford it only hurts the nationâ€™s future.
The second issue is that â€œdeficit hawkâ€ Republicans are hell-bent on lowering the debt and cutting programs. However, programs like Pell Grants help deserving people and the country as a whole, and cutting relatively small programs like this one (the budget increased to just under $35 billion under Obama) does very little to reduce the national debt, which is just over $14 trillion.
Tightening our belts all across the board is a concept we support, but tightening our belts on small programs that help individuals succeed while the big four â€“ Defense, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid â€“ are left un-touched is bad policy.
It goes back to the old adage that no one will die as a result of cutting education. Congress needs to get serious about cutting and leave good programs alone.