House GOP Budget Targets the Pell Grant Program

Paul_RyanThe Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled its budget for the 2015 fiscal year this week. The goal of the budget plan is to reduce the federal deficit to zero by the year 2024 by cutting spending by $5 trillion over the next decade. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the chair of the House Budget Committee and former vice presidential candidate, is the chief architect of the plan.

The Pell Grant program, which provides funding for college for millions of low-income students, is one target of the budget-cutting proposal.The budget proposal states that recent changes “made Pell Grants more generous that the federal budget could afford.”

Under the GOP plan, the maximum Pell Grant award would be frozen for the next decade at $5,730. The GOP plan also proposes that Congress approve funding for the program each year, rather than the current system where much of the funding for the program is automatic. Also, the House leadership wants to add an income ceiling so that no student whose family has income above an unspecified level could receive a Pell Grant. And it would eliminate Pell grant eligibility for some part-time college students.

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