U.S. Senate Hits College Students in the Purse

Over the winter vacation, the 109 Congress was able to pass the new budget in the wee hours just before the holiday adjournment, with a narrow majority that was afforded by Vice President Dick Cheney, who attended the Senatorial session to use his authority and vote to pass the fiscal legislation.

The Budget has created new areas for federal spending, but at the expense of cutting back on other amenities, such as college student loans that have been provided by the Federal Government.

The new budget will cut student loans by 12.7 billion dollars over the next five years, which could spell serious trouble for college students nationwide who depend upon financial aid. The National Education Association printed a statement on December Twentieth that stated that these loan cuts were the largest that had occurred to date and that the Senate’s actions have caused the United States to “squander a chance to help countless college students work their way out of poverty and into America’s workforce today.”

This budget cut comes at a time when the average sum of college tuition and fees have increased by nearly 57 percent over the past five years, making it difficult for students of modest backgrounds to afford a higher education even before the financial aid cuts were made.

Reg Weaver, the President of The National Education Association, said that these budget changes were done in an attempt to create further tax cuts for America’s wealthy citizens, at the cost of American students, which is an act that “is shameful” for it “finance[s] tax cuts for millionaires with the hard earned dollars of students.”

The budget cuts were passed in an attempt to cut back the national deficit, while also allowing for further tax cuts in America, but many college organizations were not supportive of the measure and lobbied to the Senate before the bill was compromised and passed last December.

The primary objections that were posed by college lobbyists is the fact that the bill will derive nearly one third of its savings from the student loan programs. Most of that money would come from the returning of money to the government that now goes to lenders when students and families pay a higher interest rate then the rate that lenders are guaranteed to receive.

College leaders have also complained that the budget cutting bill will overturn 900 million dollars that the Education Department spends each year to administer the two federal student loan programs.