President Donald Trump’s budget proposal unveiled on Monday would slash funding for the U.S. Education Department by more than 10 percent.
The plan, titled “A Budget for a Better America,” requests $62 billion for the Department of Education, or $7.1 billion less than the agency’s allowance in 2019.
The budget eliminates subsidized student debt, in which interest doesn’t accrue on the loans while borrowers are in school or in economic hardship. It also reduces the number of repayment plans for borrowers and scratches the popular, if challenged, public service loan forgiveness program.
“We have also reaffirmed our commitment to spending taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently by consolidating or eliminating duplicative and ineffective federal programs,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
The plan would narrow the numerous income-driven repayment plans, which caps people’s bills at a percentage of their income, to just one. Under that option, students’ monthly payments would be limited to 12.5 percent of their discretionary income, compared with 10 percent now.
Any remaining debt would be cancelled after 15 years for undergraduate students, and 30 years for graduate students.
The federal work study prgram, which provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, would also face cuts. Pell Grants would be expanded to cover short-term training programs, a priority of the administration.
“As college remains more crucial for economic opportunity than ever before and costs continue to rise, these proposals move in the exact opposite direction that students and our economy need,” said James Kvaal, president of The Institute for College Access & Success.