• AASCU President Howard Statement on Excluding Pell Grant From Debt Plans

    July 29, 2011

    It is most disturbing and unfortunate to learn that there are Members of Congress who are opposed to the debt-limit bill proposed by Speaker Boehner because of his foresight to provide funds to the Pell Grant Program. Pell Grants provide opportunity to low-income individuals; these are students who have not grown up in privileged environments. To analogize Pell Grants with welfare is appalling and displays a profound ignorance about the value of a program that offers opportunity to hard working students who wish to become contributing members of society and America’s economy. In fact, Pell is a very good investment.

    Speaker Boehner has crafted a measure that produces the results his conference demanded while recognizing the investment needed in our future. This Pell investment is fully paid for with a cut to another higher education program while directing nearly $5 billion toward deficit reduction. Furthermore, the proposal includes $3 trillion in spending cuts that will be felt by everyone, including higher education.

    Members of Congress should have the courage to support this investment in our nation’s future while protecting the American and global economies from collapse. Higher education and its students have contributed to the solution of paying down our debt and will continue to do so. The time is now to support the Pell Grant Program and provide our youth with the opportunity to succeed.