WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, the Trump Administration released its first full budget, revealing devastating cuts to education programs that serve millions of students and student loan borrowers. Maggie Thompson, Executive Director of Generation Progress, issued the following statement in response:

“Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos’ first budget for the Department of Education is a disaster for students and student loan borrowers. The budget slashes over $9 billion from the Department, creates unnecessary barriers for vulnerable students to thrive inside and outside of the classroom, eliminates critical financial aid initiatives, and backslides on streamlining student loan repayment programs. Worse, the money from these cuts will be used to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and to increase payments to dangerous companies like Navient to service student loans.

This budget is especially troubling provided the Department’s announcement last week that it would hand over the work of federal student loan servicing to just one company, without considering past performance in that transfer. With no incentive to do better for borrowers, this single servicer will be given a monopoly on the loans of all federal loan borrowers, and no company in the running has demonstrated they deserve that level of trust.

In short, this budget is a massive redistribution of wealth from low-income students and the middle-class straight to the pockets of the wealthiest Americans and big corporations. If this administration were serious about comprehensive education policy, it wouldn’t dismantle programs proven to help Americans struggling to access higher education or pay back their loans.”

Notably, the budget would eliminate Public Service Loan Forgiveness for those who work at nonprofits and public employees, like firefighters and teachers; cut $3.9 billion to the Pell Grant reserve fund; slash federal work-study programs; and scale back Income-Driven Repayment plans and make them less generous for borrowers.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Kyle Epstein at kepstein@americanprogress.org or 202.481.8137

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