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Trump’s proposed policies could hurt college access for low-income students, scholar says

by Sharita Forrest / Apr 12, 2017

Eboni Zamani-Gallaher discusses higher education policy

President Trump’s America First budget blueprint calls for a $1.3 billion reduction in the Pell Grant Program, significant cuts to the Federal Work-Study Program, and total elimination of the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program, which assists students who have the greatest financial need.

Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, the director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership, explains in a question-and-answer session with the Illinois News Bureau how Trump’s proposals, if enacted, would impact low-income college students.

College access for low-income students will be jeopardized should Congress enact Trump’s proposed elimination of the SEOG Program and the substantive cuts he has proposed for the Federal Work-Study and the Pell Grant programs,” Zamani-Gallaher said. “Essentially, the Trump administration values raising defense spending while significantly reducing nonmilitary-related priorities such as higher education.”

Along with the Pell Program and Federal Works-Study funding, the interview by education editor Sharita Forrest covers trends in federal higher education policy and how Trump’s higher education policies differ from President Obama’s.

“The Trump administration does not appear particularly interested in ensuring access for all to postsecondary education or in extending college affordability to working-class families,” said Zamani-Gallaher, who teaches in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership.

Read the full interview.