The Daily Illini

Trump’s new budget proposal to affect student loans

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

President Trump’s new budget plan calls for changes in higher education and student loans. The budget is still subject to change as it waits for congressional approval.

The new budget will not affect students finishing up their education at the time of implementation, so only students starting in 2019 will be affected.

In the proposed budget, public service loan forgiveness will be cut entirely.

“President Trump’s budget proposal is the first step in a long process to determine the FY2019 federal budget. The budget document outlines the administration’s priorities and policy direction,” Daniel Mann, director of the office of student financial aid, said.

Mann said the new budget proposes significant reductions to federal education funding and would cut the Department of Education’s budget by $3.8 billion, which is a 5-percent reduction.

“This budget would reduce financial aid program funding and make college less affordable and less accessible for many students and their families,” Mann said.

The public service loan forgiveness currently allows students who are pursuing a public service career, such as a public school teacher, to have their loans erased after paying them on time for 10 years.

This program is cut in Trump’s proposed budget, which may lead to fewer people pursuing public service careers.

“Public service programs don’t make any individuals incredibly wealthy, and an administration built on the idea that individuals should be able to enrich themselves using the government, well, they are just not gonna do it,” Jonathan Kent, freshman in Engineering, said.

Kent said it seems like the administration and the legislature are less interested in making the country better than they are in enriching a few selected people.

“No economic suggestions that they are doing make any sense from the perspective of actually making the country any better,” he said.

Other programs and funds affected include funding for federal work study being cut in half and a reduction in repayment plans based on income. The government is also encouraged to go after students who are not paying back loans more often.

According to the new plan, graduate student loans would be forgiven in 30 years, while undergraduate student loans would be forgiven in 15.

“Graduate students are always screwed,” Kyra Sadovi, freshman in LAS, said. “When the Obama administration instituted some policies that made these student loan policies a little lighter, everybody understood why.”

Sadovi said people may not have agreed with the Obama policies regarding student loans, but they understood why they were in place.

“This kind of reversal of those practices is a sign that the person who is reversing those practices doesn’t understand why they were in place,” Sadovi said. “You have to carry the burden of debt for longer, and this is taking a step back from whether you should borrow, or have to borrow so much for education on credit.”

Sadovi said the reversal of the policies would be the difference between having to carry the financial burden for longer versus having to carry a heavier burden for shorter, and possibly collapsing under that burden.

“So I think it’s a bad idea and people who don’t know poverty, or even financial struggle, even slight financial struggle are who made this budget proposal,” she said.

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