As if the past few years of economic turmoil haven’t been damaging enough for our state university systems the sequestration only further highlights how blinded our priorities are. I understand that the sequestration was created in an effort to avert a government shutdown, but how troubled are our priorities that we would label programs that benefit our most vulnerable students as part of this package of spending cuts?
We are doing a disservice to our students by unfairly targeting them when we should be making higher education more affordable and accessible. Students are already baring the brunt of annual tuition hikes, and with a reduction in state funding for our public universities the last thing we need is a reduction in aid from the federal government.
According to an article from PolicyMic:
“Federal work-study grants will be cut by $49 million, which will force approximately 70,000 students to borrow money from other sources. However, the cost of borrowing will increase as well. As a result of the sequester, student loan origination fees will skyrocket, meaning loans will become increasingly inaccessible to low-income students.”
“[The Sequestration] also include[s] a $725 million cut to Title I funding, which funds schools with a large percentage of students from economically disadvantaged families.”
Including education cuts in the sequestration is not the right path for the country. It unfairly targets students who have already seen dwindling support from the government and sends a poor message about the future of higher education in our country.
Read more about the sequestration’s impact on low-income students: