Editorial: Pell Grants: Part of the American Dream™

It’s that time of year when students begin filling out applications for scholarships, federal loans and grants. But next year at this time, students across the country may see a decrease in the assistance they receive.

On March 16, President Donald Trump revealed his plan to cut $9 billion from the education budget in 2018. Pell Grants will remain, but the proposal will cut $3.9 billion to the Pell reserves.

According to data collected by ProPublica, 49 percent of Youngstown State University students received Pell Grants in 2014. The same data also said 32.7 percent of YSU’s Pell Grant recipients graduated in 2013.

It is already more difficult for low-income students to graduate college, considering that they may face challenges middle and upper class students may not, such as needing to work to support their family income, not living at home and having their own set of bills to take care of.

Those difficulties may be a reason that not everyone who is gifted a Pell Grant finishes college, but that argument is for another editorial.

This editorial is about giving everyone a fair chance at advancing and bettering themselves, something that many believe is a key component to the traditional American Dream™.

Instead of investing in low-income students in a time of historically high student loans and college prices, the President is planning to indirectly hurt them by cutting what little assistance they get.

To get into college, these students would be forced to take out private loans or other predatory forms of private financing with extremely high interest rates that could put them at risk, later on if they can’t make payments, for losing their home, their car and everything they gained by getting a college education.

Given, money isn’t the only way to support low-income students, but it is a big one. Those who want to pursue a college education should be able to.

If this budget goes through, students, faculty and staff at respective universities will have to pick up some of the slack by encouraging and helping students more than they are required — if the low-income student can scrape enough money together to even attend the school.

If the United States is attempting to be the number one nation that we feel we once were, we’re going to need to continue investing money into the young minds that want to improve our situation, not monetarily force them to stay in ignorance — an educated population is one that is moving towards greatness.

The editorial board that writes editorials consists of the editor-in-chief, the managing editor, the copy editor, and the news editor. These opinion pieces are written separately from news articles. They draw on the opinions of the entire writing staff and do not reflect the opinions of any individual staff member. The Jambar’s business manager and non-writing staff do not contribute to editorials, and the advisor does not have final approval.