NACAC Opposes President Trump's Preliminary Budget Proposal

Michael Rose

Arlington, VA (March 16, 2017) – The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) expressed deep concerns about President Donald Trump’s budget blueprint, which would dramatically cut funding for scores of federal programs, including education.

“Our nation has always recognized the value, if not the necessity, of educating our citizens,” said Nancy Beane, NACAC’s president. “The budget proposal released today fails to adequately invest in education throughout the United States. Any serious proposal to renew America's promise of opportunity must begin with a recommitment to supporting education.”

Many of the cuts included in the president's proposed budget are targeted at non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending, which includes funding for education. NDD funding represents approximately 15 percent of federal spending and 5 percent of projected spending growth over the next 10 years, which means that cuts to these programs have little impact on overall deficit reduction. In addition, cuts to NDD programs disproportionately affect individuals and families with the highest need.

Overall, President Trump proposes to decrease the Department of Education’s budget by just over $9 billion, or 13 percent. The president proposes to “level fund” the Pell Grant program, which essentially cuts this critical program due to anticipated increases in tuition costs and greater demand as more individuals choose to go to college. In addition, the Trump budget recommends significant reductions to the federal work-study program as well as the elimination of the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. By failing to invest in these key federal financial student aid programs, tens of thousands of students will find it more difficult to attend college.

NACAC is also concerned by the administration’s proposed cuts to the Federal TRIO Programs, and its apparent plan to eliminate GEAR UP programs. Both these efforts help students from disadvantaged backgrounds realize their academic dreams.

Additionally, NACAC is concerned about the proposed elimination of several international education programs, which would disregard the educational, cultural, economic, and other benefits of these exchanges.

While the Trump budget only represents proposed funding levels for the upcoming year, NACAC is concerned that if these funding cuts are implemented by Congress, states and local school districts would be forced to make similar cuts to their own budgets. Taken together, these reductions would undermine efforts to ensure that our students are prepared for and able to succeed academically at all levels and to obtain education or training beyond high school. NACAC's priorities include providing all students with access to quality school counseling, rigorous curriculum (a better predictor of college success than test scores and one of the strongest predictors of bachelor's degree completion), and access to need-based financial aid.  

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of nearly 16,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. NACAC is committed to maintaining high standards that foster ethical and social responsibility among those involved in the transition process, as outlined in the NACAC Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP).

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