Financial aid awards reduction is causing students to be in debt. I was oblivious to financial aid and student loans when I first started college. I was told to fill out the FAFSA application if I wanted my tuition to be paid. My tuition fee was $38,338 for the year, the financial aid I received was about $14,778. The only thing I wasn’t expecting was the tuition to be increasing each year which was a problem for my parents and me. My only option was to get a student loan. Throughout the years, my financial aid package decreased drastically while the tuition fee was increasing. Institutions should consider lowering tuition that accommodates the average amount of financial aid students receive a year.
Paying for college in the U.S. is becoming a confusing and complicated process, especially for not financially capable students. As Americans, we worry about the increasing tuition cost. With proposed budget cuts, ongoing at the state and federal levels, some details of government aid to students and institutions are continuous. The state government has indicated that they were eliminating some of the grants that were used to help students pay their tuition fees. The main reason given for the slashing of the funds is to enable the government to survive through the next decade since some of the expenses will reduce. The Pell Grant program is one of the most significant grant programs in the United States, and for many decades, it has been assisting students from low-income families to go to college. It supports more than 9 million college students who apply for the grant annually. In February, the House of Representatives passed a resolution that they would drop the maximum award from $5,550 to $4,705 for the fall of 2011 and would make 1.7 million students receive a lower amount of financial aid not being eligible for funding.
According to the National Center for Education Statics, the Pell Grant program is the most significant federal grant program. Federal financial support, the program that sends up to $5,920 to students in families that earn less than $40,000 a year, emphasizes families earning closer to 20,000 or less. The difference between a Pell Grant and a loan is that students don’t have to pay back the grants. Logically thinking, reducing the Pell Grant funds and eliminating some of the grants that have been benefiting students will affect the quality and affordability of accessing higher education in the United States. Institutions will also be affected as reduced funding makes the management make decisions such as laying off some of the staff members and removing some activities that have been present in the past. There will also be a reduced number of people going to colleges, which poses a threat to society presently and in the future. It will be severe for people to consider getting loans to fund their education. Grants used to be helpful as people know they won’t have to pay them for the future, unlike loans.
Students qualifying for Pell Grants are more likely than other students to face significant obstacles to completing college. Considering students with single parents and those who lack financial support from their parents, there will be rising cases of students dropping out of college. A Department of Education study found that Pell Grant beneficiaries who get their degrees do so faster than other students. The House budget criticizes federal student aid as a system that allows skyrocketing tuition, linking Pell Grants and other student aid to be the cause of increasing college costs in current years. From my perspective, that is not the case. College costs have been rising to the rising cost of living globally, and there should be a system to control college costs all over the United States. The House budget committee should answer whether reducing or eliminating the grants would be beneficial to the United States or not. When there is a disparity in accessing education, the dangers are more than the benefit saving the money would cause. For instance, when students cannot obtain grants, they will not be able to pay for colleges. Therefore, they will drop out, and society will be affected in one way or another as factors such as crime will be predominant.
In recent years, financial aid has permitted colleges and universities to willingly raise their tuitions fees. In 1980, college tuition began increasing tuition fees, and the rate of increase has been absurd. According to the Forbes article, former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett says, “Federal student aid policies do not cause college price inflation, but there is little doubt that they help make it possible.” Studies find Bennett affects public colleges, not so much at private. Some studies found evidence that certain types of colleges raise tuition prices or alter institutional aid in response to grants and loans. Apparently, more than half of students qualify for the need-based aid at some private colleges and universities. Individual institutions will offer merit aids to students who do not need the money but have high grades. The catch to the merit aid is you should get the money if the school decides to raise the quality of the freshmen class, so they can appear more attractive to future applicants who can afford to pay more money. To solve the case of rising tuition fees in colleges, the state and federal governments need to lay down plans that will apply to all institutions.
According to the USA Today article, the Trump administration thinks slashing the funding “safeguards” its survival for the entire ten years. The Senate bill will pull out $2.6 billion in reserve funds from the program on top of the $1.3 billion cuts preserved in the budgetary 2017 budget agreement. The cutback is lower than the $3.3 billion repeals of the House bill, which also sought to freeze the maximum award. While advocacy groups applaud the Senate for the extra award money, many say attacking could risk the grant program in the future. People need to be more vocal to ensure the Pell grant and other funding will not be reduced as it profoundly helps many students in the country. The future of the United States will be at stake if the grants are slashed as students from poor backgrounds will not access education.
Decreasing the funding for financial aid will delay students from completing their degrees. The idea to cut the Pell Grants and other educational grants will reduce the goal of growing education. The financial situation is terrible for most families. When the grant is removed, it will be difficult for people to consider taking loans to fund their children’s education. The quality of education offered in colleges will also reduce, which will negatively impact the country. The workforce will also be significantly affected, which means less innovation, and the result of this will be the creation of more problems. Education is a critical sector in any economy, and when college education is affected, the country will suffer in the future. Hence, before the bills are passed to reduce grants for students, the members of the committees should critically think through the process and find a solution that will be beneficial to the United States.