PAUL RYAN REALITY CHECK: COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY AND OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2015

Over the past few days, Paul Ryan has touted that his Speakership brings “a new day to the House of Representatives” and that they “aren’t going to have a House like it looked the last few years.”

And Paul Ryan just stated in his acceptance speech that the House of Representatives will now focus on making college more attainable and affordable and creating opportunity for all.

What does that “new day” mean for prospective college students and their families across the country? A Paul Ryan reality check tells us that a focus on college affordability means freezing Pell grants for students in need and increased interest charges on student loans, even while the person is still in school.

College Affordability

Headline: The Daily Iowan: “Paul Ryan’s Budget Cuts Student Aid.” [The Daily Iowan, 4/16/14]

Ryan Proposed Freezing Pell Grant Amount And Making Annual Funding For Pell Grants Optional. “Dramatic cuts to federal student aid programs are included in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget which passed the Republican-controlled U.S. House last week — a decision he argues is focused on the long term. A visit to Iowa’s GOP Lincoln Dinner on April 11 marked the second stop in Iowa for the former vice-presidential candidate since the conclusion of the 2012 election. Under his proposal, the maximum Pell Grant award would be frozen at $5,730 for a decade, and the funding of the overall program would be at Congress’ discretion. Currently, funding is mandated each year. The goal of Ryan’s proposal is to balance the federal budget by 2024 through $5 trillion in spending cuts.” [The Daily Iowan, 4/16/14]

Ryan Budget Would Charge Students Interest On Their Loans While They Are Still In School, Costing Them $40 Billion. “University students would start being charged interest on their loans while still in school, reaping $40 billion.” [New York Times, 4/01/14]

Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial: Ryan Told Student Who Asked Question About Ryan Budget’s Pell Grant Cuts That He Should “Work Three Jobs To Pay For College.” “It should be remembered that Ryan, a frequent critic of Pell Grants, is the same congressman who suggested to a college student in October that instead of relying on grants he should do what Ryan did – work three jobs to pay for college. The congressman is to be congratulated on his work ethic, but if he believes it is a model for success in college for everyone, he is sorely mistaken.” [Editorial, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/21/12]

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