Protect Federal Student Aid

A note from Park University President David Fowler:

Your immediate help is needed to protect federal student aid for current and future Park University students.

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are expected to vote this week on 2016 budget resolutions calling for damaging cuts to the Pell Grant and student loan programs totaling $150 billion over 10 years.

Call or e-mail your senators and representative today and urge them to support financially deserving Park University students by rejecting proposed cuts to the Pell Grant and student loan programs contained within the FY 2016 budget resolution.

What You Can Do
Let your senators and representative know that:

  • In a March 2 Wall Street Journal article, Park University was mentioned as being one of the top 10 private colleges in the country for return on investment.   Park has also instituted a 2015-16 tuition freeze for returning students.  Park is doing its part to make college affordable for deserving students.  It’s time for the Senate and the House to do their part!
  • This proposal will make damaging changes to the core federal student aid programs that help more than 7,500 students attend Park University each year.  Approximately one of every two Park students would be impacted.
  • A vote for this budget is a vote to make college more expensive by freezing Pell Grants for the next decade and increasing student loan costs on a program already profitable for the federal government.
  • Freezing the Pell Grant at $5,775 for the next 10 years will force low-income students to borrow more, or to forego college because of the gap in their financing.
  • The federal government is already making $15 billion annually on student loans, and now wants to make an additional $40 billion by charging low-income students interest while they are in college.

We will keep you informed about this and other related legislation impacting the ability for students to attend the university of their choice.  Thank you for your help.

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One thought on “Protect Federal Student Aid

  1. As a longtime faculty member at Park University, I know how important Pell Grants and federal work-study programs are for providing affordable, quality higher education to students from Missouri and across the nation. While I don’t subscribe to the idea that a balanced budget is a sacrosanct value or even necessarily a wise move in all circumstances, I understand the need to exercise reasonable control on federal spending. I also realize that every constituency wants budget reductions to fall somewhere else. Nevertheless, there are compelling reasons for retaining the current spending levels in support of college education.

    One is a matter of principle: a college education should no longer be a privilege for the wealthy. Cutting widely available federal grants limits students to those few, highly selective universities with large enough endowments to offer immense financial aid from their own resources. Few of my students could get into Harvard or Amherst, but their role in an educated American workforce is invaluable—to them as citizens and to us all.

    The other is a matter of expediency. Grants are expensive in the short term, but they pay themselves back in the higher taxes college graduates will pay throughout their lives, as well as in the contributions they will make to American productivity. Cutting grants increases demand for student loans, where direct repayment is far from certain. Further, the debt load of college graduates reduces their tax contributions and limits their aspirations.

    Please oppose all cuts to federal aid for college education. A short-term fiscal gain in this area will result in long-term consequences America genuinely can’t afford.

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