Students: Cut Defense Spending, Not Financial Aid
Affording higher education is hard enough with rising tuition costs, declining state university funding, and ballooning student debt, but the fiscal cliff debate has many young Americans worried about which programs will automatically be cut in March.
NerdScholar asked 1,096 college students about the possible impacts of the fiscal cliff on their financial aid and higher education. A staggering 52 percent felt that defense spending should be cut instead of letting the “sequester" cut funding to programs meant to increase college access and affordability.
According to the Office of Management and Budget, a total of $4,021 million would be cut from the Department of Education’s Budget in the sequester. Included in this number are two offices that provide funding or direct program support to students, the Office of Federal Student Aid and the Office of Postsecondary Education.
In the Office of Federal Student Aid, students would be in danger of losing $133.4 million in cuts to the Federal Work Study Program and the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG). That means approximately 162,120 students could lose direct funding that makes college affordable for them.
As for the Office of Postsecondary Education, cuts to programs like Gear Up and Trio, meant to increase college access for low-income and disadvantaged students, would suffer cuts of $90 million, leaving approximately 118,000 students high and dry.
In NerdScholar’s recent survey, 85 percent of students were concerned with how these potential cuts would impact financing their education. 25 percent of the respondents even said that they would delay or drop out of school if their financial aid was cut.
Ultimately, most students think the defense budget could handle a $223 million trimming if it means preserving affordable education for 280,000 students.
Laura Pereyra is a Communications Associate at NerdScholar, brought to you by NerdWallet, which provides free scholarship search, student loan calculator, and college comparison tools. Follow NerdScholar on Twitter and like on Facebook.
- Student Loan Refinancing Could Help More Americans Buy Homes
- 300 Million Engines of Growth: Growing the Middle Class Through Education
- Young Borrowers Swarm Capitol Hill, Urge Congress #DontDoubleMyRate—Again [STORIFY]
- On the Hill, Students Tell Their Debt Stories
- Marriage Doesn’t Fix Everything For LGBT Americans