Feb 012011

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has passed House Resolution 38, which can ultimately cut the Pell Grant award –– an award is offered to more than 3,000 students at CSU –– 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 they’re too poor to afford it only hurts the nation’s future.

The second issue is that “deficit hawk” 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 – Defense, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – 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.

 Posted by at 3:49 pm

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