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576 Higher Education Groups Urge Congress to Support Student Aid

By Kaitlin Steen
Higher Education Fellow

Today, 576 organizations and institutions of higher education sent a letter to Congress asking them to protect federal student aid as they finish up FY17 appropriations and start working on FY18. U.S PIRG worked in a large coalition representing students, institutions, educators, advocates, and employers to draft and circulate the letter of support. The letter comes after calls by President Trump to cut the Pell grant reserve by a combined $5.2 billion in FY17 and FY18 and multiple proposals in Congress to cut a portion of the Pell grant reserve. 

Letter:

Dear Member of Congress,

As you consider funding decisions this year, the 576 undersigned organizations representing students, educators, advocates, consumers, institutions, and employers, write to urge you to protect the federal student loan program and strengthen Pell Grants, which are the nation’s most important investment in higher education.

Recent troubling proposals to significantly cut or eliminate funding for Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Federal Work Study (FWS), TRIO, GEAR UP and other programs threaten the stability of our nation’s higher education and workforce systems. Federal student aid serves a critical role in preserving access to higher education, and enabling student success at a time when postsecondary education has never been more necessary to support the American economy.

The federal government has long played a key role in ensuring that our nation has a highly-skilled workforce and individuals are able to pursue their higher education goals. That commitment has helped previous generations afford college and attain their educational and career goals. Continuing this commitment is even more imperative now that education beyond the high school level is critical to success in the workforce. Nearly all new jobs created in our economy require some postsecondary education, and these jobs represent the kinds of high-wage, high quality employment that builds prosperity and reduces demand on government services.

At a time when many in our nation are deeply worried about jobs and wages, education and career training provide the surest pathway to secure, high-income employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in January 2017 the unemployment rate for workers with only a high school diploma was 5.9 percent, compared to 3.7 percent for those with an associate and just 2.5 percent for those with a bachelor’s or graduate/professional degree.

Federal student aid, including access to federal student loans and Pell grants, has been a remarkably effective tool for strengthening America’s economy and society for generations. Federal programs for college students date back to World War II, and have enjoyed strong bipartisan support ever since. As you consider the best ways to meet the needs of our country, we ask that you continue this support for our nation’s economy by opposing any attempts to cut or reallocate funds away from federal student aid programs.

On behalf of:

“I Have A Dream” Foundation

“I Have A Dream” Foundation Dallas

10,000 Degrees

Academic Success Program Dallas

Achieve Atlanta

ACT Center for Equity in Learning

Advancing Academics

Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

Alabama Possible

Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Alice Lloyd College

America Needs You-Illinois

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

American Association of Community Colleges

American Association of State Colleges and Universities

American Association of University Professors

American Association of University Women

American Council on Education

American Dental Education Association

American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Unions

American Federation of Teachers

American Federation of Teachers Washington

American Indian Higher Education Consortium

American Medical Student Association

American River College

American Veterinary Medical Association

Antioch University

Antlers Public Schools

Arizona College Access Network

Asbury University

Ashland Community & Technical College

Ashland University

Association for Biblical Higher Education

Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools

Association of American Medical Colleges

Association of American Universities

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

Association of Community College Trustees

Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities

Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts

Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio

Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design

Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities

Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities

Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Association of Research Libraries

Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions

Association of Vermont Independent Colleges

Athletic Scholars Advancement Program

Avila University

Azusa Pacific University

Baldwin Wallace University

Barnard College

Bay de Noc Community College

Bellarmine University

Bemidji State University

Benedict College

Bennett College

Bennington College

Bethany Lutheran College

Bethel University

Bluefield College

Boricua College

Boston College

Boston University

Bowdoin College

Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio

Brescia University

Brookhaven College

Buffalo Valley School

Burlington-Edison School District

Cabrini University

California Community Colleges, Chancellor’s Office

California Education Round Table Intersegmental Coordinating Committee

California Institute of Technology

California Public Interest Research Group

California State University, Northridge

California State University, Monterey Bay

Calvin College

Campaign for College Opportunity

Campbellsville University

CampusLogic, Inc.

Cape Cod Community College

Capital Community College

Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar, Inc.

Capital University

Career & College Clubs

Carleton College

Case Western Reserve University

Center for American Progress

Center for Law and Social Policy

Central Carolina Technical College

Central Community College

Central Wyoming College

Champlain College

Charles & Margaret Jones Scholarship Fund

Charleston Southern University

Chicago Public Schools, Office of School Counseling and Postsecondary Advising

Chicago Summer Business Institute

Chicago Urban League

Chicagoland Regional College Program

Cincinnati Scholarship Foundation

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Claflin University

Clark Atlanta University

Clarkson University

Cleveland Institute of Art

Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations

Cogswell Hall

College Access: Research & Action

College Beyond

College Bound-St. Louis

College Crusade of Rhode Island

College Forward

College Now

College Now Greater Cleveland

College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University

College of the Holy Cross

College Possible

College Possible, Chicago

College Possible, Milwaukee

College Possible, Omaha

College Possible, Philadelphia

College Possible, Portland

College Success Arizona

College Success Foundation

College Track

CollegeSpring

CollegeTracks

Colorado Public Interest Research Group

Columbia University in the City of New York

Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York

Commit! Partnership

Community Foundation of Lorain County

Complete College America

Concordia College

Concordia University Irvine

Conference for Mercy Higher Education

Connecticut Public Interest Research Group

Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area

Consumer Action

Consumers Union

Consumers Union

Corban University

Cornell University

Cosumnes River College

Cottey College

Council for Christian Colleges & Universities

Council for Opportunity in Education Council of Independent Colleges

Council of New Jersey State College Locals

Council on Social Work Education

Council on Undergraduate Research

Cranbrook Academy of Art

Crowder Public Schools

Crown College

Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation

Daemen College

Danville Area Community College

DC Prep: PrepNext

Defiance College

Delta College

Demos

Denver Public Schools

Denver Scholarship Foundation

Dillard University

Doane University

Dominican College of Blauvelt

Duke University

East Bay College Fund

East Mississippi Community College

East Valley School District 90

East Village Youth Program

Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Oklahoma State College

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

Emily Griffith Technical College

Esperanza, Inc.

Estrela Consulting

Faculty Association of Monroe Community College

Fairfield University

Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges & Universities

First Graduate

Fitchburg High School

Florida College Access Network

Folsom Lake College

Fordham University

Foundation for a College Education

Friends University

Fulfillment Fund

Fuller Theological Seminary

Gateway Community and Technical College

GEAR UP

Gear Up Project ReACH – Sul Ross State University

GEAR UP Vancouver Public Schools

Generation Progress

Genesys Works

Genesys Works Chicago

George M. Pullman Educational Foundation

Georgetown College

Georgetown University

Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

Georgia Independent College Association

Goddard College

Gogebic Community College

Gonzaga University

Grandview School District

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

Greenville College

Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

Guilford College

HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College

Hamline University

Harris-Stowe State University

Hartwick College

Harvard University

Heidelberg University

Henderson Community College

Heritage University

Higher Ed, Not Debt

Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland

Higher Education Loan Coalition

Hinds Community College

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Houghton College

Howard Community College

Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling

Illinois College Access Network

Illinois Public Interest Research Group

iMentor

Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida

Independent Colleges of Indiana

Independent Colleges of Washington

Indiana University

Institute for Higher Education Policy

International Association for College Admission Counseling

Iowa Association for College Admission Counseling

Ithaca College

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

Jackson College

James Madison University

Jarvis Christian College

Johns Hopkins University

Johnson C. Smith University

Johnson University

Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo Valley Community College

Kansas Independent College Association

Kentucky Christian University

Kentucky Wesleyan College

KIPP

Ladder Up

Landmark College

Le Moyne College

League of United Latin American Citizens

Learning for Life at Rhode Island College

Life Pacific College

Lincoln Park High School

LINK Unlimited Scholars

Lorain County Urban League

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Los Angeles Southwest College

Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

Louisiana College

Macomb Community College

Madisonville Community College

Maine College Access Network

Malone University

Marlboro College

Marquette University

Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition

Maryland Independent College and University Association

Maryland Public Interest Research Group

Massachusetts Education and Career Opportunities, Inc.

Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group

Maysville Community and Technical College

McCurtain Public Schools

Medaille College

Memorial College of Nursing

Mentoring You College and Career Program

Mercy College

Messiah College

Metropolitan College of New York

Metropolitan Education Commission

Michigan Association of State Universities

Michigan College Access Network

Michigan School of Professional Psychology

Michigan State University

Middlebury

Middlesex Community College

Minds Matter Cleveland

Minnesota Association of College Admission Counseling

Minnesota Association of Counselors of Color

Minnesota Private College Council

Minnesota State College Faculty

Minnesota State College Student Association

Minnesota TRIO Association

Mission Graduates

Mississippi College

Missouri Association for College Admission Counseling

Missouri Baptist University

Monmouth University

Montreat College

Morehead State University

Moreno Valley College

Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles

Mount St. Joseph University

Mount Vernon School District No. 320

Mount Wachusett Community College

Mt. Adams School District

Mt. Hood Community College

Multnomah University

NAACP

National Association for College Admission Counseling

National Association of College and University Business Officers

National Association of College Stores

National Association of Graduate and Professional Students

National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

National College Access Network

National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients)

National Council for Community and Education Partnerships

National Council of La Raza

National Education Association

National Scholarship Providers Association

Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education

Network for College Success at the University of Chicago

Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities

New American Colleges & Universities

New Jersey Association for College Admission Counseling

New Jersey Public Interest Research Group

New Mexico State University

New York Public Interest Research Group

New York State Association for College Admission Counseling

New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association

New York University

Newbury College

Niagara University

NODA-Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education

Norco College

Normandale Community College

North Central Michigan College

North Park University

Northwest Christian University

Northwest Missouri State University

Northwest Nazarene University

Northwest Technical College

Northwest University

Northwestern College of Iowa

Notre Dame College

Oberlin College

Ohio Wesleyan University

Oklahoma GEAR UP

Olivet Nazarene University

One Million Degrees

One Wisconsin Now

OneGoal

Opportunity Nation

Oral Roberts University

Owens State Community College

Owensboro Community and Technical College

Pace University

Pacific Lutheran University

Panola Public School

Partners for Education at Berea College

PASFAA, The Pennsylvania Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Pass With Flying Colors

Paul Smith’s College

PCACAC Government Relations Committee

Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling

Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group

Pepperdine University

PHENOM (Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts)

Philadelphia Futures

Pierpont Community & Technical College

Point University

Portland State University

Positive Impact Program

Princeton University

Progress Florida

Quinton Public Schools

Ramapo College of New Jersey

Reed College

Regis University

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Richmond Promise

Riverside City College

Riverside Community College District

Robert Morris University TRIO, Upward Bound and Talent Search

Robert and Janice McNair Educational Foundation

Roberts Wesleyan College

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rocky Mountain Association for College Admission Counseling

Rust College

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Sacramento City College

Saint John’s University (MN)

Saint Louis University

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing, St. Peter’s Health Partners

Santa Clara University

Savanna Public School

ScholarMatch

Scholarship America

ScholarVersity

School District of Lancaster

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle University

Seven Hills Behavioral Health Foundation

Siena College

Sitting Bull College

Smith College

South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities

South Louisiana Community College

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College

Southern Association for College Admission Counseling

Southern California College Access Network

Southern Nazarene University

Southern Vermont College

Southern Wesleyan University

Southwest Baptist University Southwestern Christian University

Southwestern College

Spalding University

Spelman College

Spiro Public Schools

Spring Arbor University

St. Bonaventure University

St. Catherine University

St. Francis College-New York

St. John Fisher College

St. John’s College-New Mexico

St. John’s University GEAR UP Program

St. Joseph’s College-New York

St. Louis Graduates

St. Michael’s College

Sterling College

Student Debt Crisis

Students Rising Above

Students United

Suffolk University

Summit Public Schools

Sunnyside School District

Tabor College

Talent Development Consultant

Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation

Tennessee College Access and Success Network

Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association

Terra State Community College

Texas Association for College Admission Counseling

Texas Tech University System

The Active Advocacy Coalition

The Bobby R. Larkin, Sr. Charitable Association, Inc.

The College of New Rochelle

The College of Saint Rose

The Community College of Rhode Island

The Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges

The Council of New Jersey State College Locals

The Education Trust

The EnCompass Program, De La Salle, Inc.

The Institute for College Access & Success

The Noble Network of Charter Schools

The Ohio Association of College Admission Counseling

The Ohio Student Association

The Resurrection Project

The Sage Colleges

The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis

The State University of New York

The State University of New York at Albany

The State University of New York at Geneseo

The State University of New York at Potsdam

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

The University of Toledo

The West Contra Costa Public Education Fund

Thomas More College

Tiffin University

Tillamook Bay Community College

Transylvania University

Trevecca Nazarene University

Trinity College

Trinity Washington University

Trocaire College

U.S. Public Interest Research Group

uAspire

UNCF

Union College (KY)

Union Institute & University

United Faculty of Miami Dade College

United States Student Association

United University Professions

United Way Suncoast

University of California Student Association

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Riverside

University of Cincinnati

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

University of Colorado Boulder

University of Colorado Denver

University of Dayton

University of Evansville

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Illinois at Springfield

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Kansas

University of Maryland

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

University of Michigan

University of Michigan-Flint

University of Michigan-Dearborn

University of Missouri Graduate Professional Council

University of Missouri System

University of New Hampshire

University of Northwestern-St Paul

University of Northwestern Ohio

University of Rochester

University of San Diego

University of Southern Maine Student Government Association

University of St. Francis

University of the Southwest

University of Virginia

University of Washington

University of Washington GEAR UP

University Settlement, Inc.

Utica College

Valley City State University

Vanderbilt University

Vassar College

Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

Vermont Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Vermont Law School

Victoria College

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Volunteer State Community College

Waco Foundation

Walla Walla University

Warner Pacific College

Warner University

Wartburg College

Washington Campus Compact

Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts

Washington Public Interest Research Group

Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

Washington State University

Washington Student Association

Washington University in St. Louis

Waukegan to College

Wayne State University

Webb Institute

Weber State University

Wells College

West Contra Costa Public Education Fund

West Kentucky Community and Technical College

Western Association of College Admissions Counseling

Western Technical College

Western Washington University

Westmont College

Whitworth University

Wilberforce University

Wilburton Public Schools

Williams College

Wilmington College

Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

Wittenberg University

Women’s College Coalition

Work Colleges Consortium

Wyman

Wyoming Community College Commission

Xavier University

Xavier University of Louisiana

Yale University

Yes We Must Coalition

Young Invincibles