Trump education cuts would affect UNA

While President Trump has already proposed cuts to many budgets, a potential budget cut to the education system would affect students at UNA, if Congress passes the bill.

This education budget is subject to cut funds from the money given to Pell grants, federal work-study and federally funded research.

The proposed cuts toward the Education Department would include programs for low-income and minority students in higher education. The money would instead go to private elementary and high schools, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The UNA 2018 fiscal year is from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Other universities’ fiscal year is from July 1 to June, which is when financial aid is given, said acting Chief Financial Officer Evan Thornton.

Thornton said if Congress approves budget cuts, the changes would gradually become effective.

Normally any money left over within the school year goes toward Pell grants. The new proposed budget would cut this. This means the number of Pell grants given out will be cut, too.

The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is given to undergraduate students with exceptional financial needs. At UNA, students receive $150,000 through this Pell grant, Thornton said.

“Nobody is losing their Pell money, but the ability to get more Pell money doesn’t look good,” Thornton said.

Junior Casey Borden said he does not see the education cuts intensively affecting students who receive Pell grants.

“If a student does lose their Pell grant, they could just apply for a scholarship to cover the money they would be losing,” Borden said.

Federal work-study is another cut in Trump’s budget. This cut will affect UNA, Thornton said.

The Appalachian Regional Commission is another cut proposed in this budget. UNA’s College of Business is a reciprocate of a grant of approximately $9,000 from the ARC.

“The funds being cut from ARC doesn’t affect campus or student life but does affect something the College of Business is doing, which could be a possible loss of their money,” said Thornton.

Gregory Carnes, dean of the College of Business, said the Shoals area has benefitted from the support of ARC in different ways over the last two decades. 

“Most recently, ARC provided a grant of almost $1,000,000 to the Shoals Entrepreneurship Center that will lead to new business start-ups and more jobs for the region,” Carnes said. “Funding cuts to the ARC would significantly impact its ability to support workforce development and job creation.”

Junior Maci Gassaway said she does not know much about the education cuts yet.

“If the budget is passed, I just hope it does not affect my wages (as a future teacher) or my job opportunities,” Gassaway said.