The House Republicans’ Fiscal Year 2017 Budget
The FY 2017 House budget has recently passed. AJCU is not supportive of this budget as it cuts all mandatory funding for the Pell Grant program.
The FY 2017 Presidential Budget was released in early February. Some highlights of the budget include:
- Suggests bringing back the year-round Pell grants but needs legislative approval. Jesuit institutions participated about 12% on average when this program was authorized.
- Pell enhancement funds for students who increase their hours from 12 a semester to 15 hours. Students would receive $300 a year for that effort.
- Align funding of Pell grants to the CPI.
- Other suggestions include the "America's College Promise" Act which would give free tuition to a two year community colleges and minority serving institutions. The cost is $61 billion over ten years, and it would come from mandatory funding.
- For private independent institutions, there is a proposal to offer incentives to colleges who increase Pell grant enrollments and graduation rates.
AJCU appreciates the administration's efforts in preserving Campus-Based Aid programs such as SEOG, Federal Work-Study, and the Perkins Loan Program, which are essential in providing access to low-income students.
The Ryan Budget for FY 2015 passed the House of Representatives by 219 to 205 votes. No Democrat voted for the budget, 12 Republicans voted against the budget, and 8 Members did not vote. The budget eliminates mandatory spending for Pell grants and repeals new funding from the 2010 SAFRA legislation. Thus, Pell grants are totally funded from discretionary funding. This means that our current $5,730 maximum award is slashed by $870, bringing the maximum down to $4,860 under this budget. In addition, the House budget eliminates the interest subsidy for all subsidized undergraduate student loans. This action again puts more burden on the backs of students. Furthermore, any duplicative program mentioned in the recent GAO report, such as SEOG, is targeted for elimination. Legislative Text
The impact that the FY 2015 Ryan Budget would have on Pell grants, student loans, and campus-based aid programs would be overwhelming for students and campuses alike. AJCU wrote a letter to the House Budget Committe expressing our objection.
The Ryan-Murray Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 was passed in December of 2013. The Act cuts sequestration by 85% in both non-defense discretionary and defense discretionary accounts for FY14 and FY15. The agreement reduces the deficit without raising taxes and it cuts spending with a lesser impact on educational appropriations. Legislative Text