More details from President Donald Trump’s long-awaited education budget leaked to the Washington Post on Wednesday. The proposed plan would slash $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, including after-school programs, public service loan forgiveness, and grants for low-income college students, according to the Post.
Here’s what we know so far:
This May Be the End of Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Trump has long promised to dramatically scale back the role of government in education, a plan heartily supported by Betsy Devos, the embattled Education Secretary appointed by the president earlier this year.
Among the programs on the chopping block is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness initiative. Implemented in 2007, the PSLF sought to reward student loan borrowers who took jobs in nonprofits or the public sector by allowing them to discharge their federal student loan debt after 10 years of on-time payments.
Over half a million students were enrolled in the program, and the first cohort would have been eligible for loan forgiveness this October.
Now, the future of the initiative is uncertain. There are no details on whether eligible students will be grandfathered into the program, as has been the case when previous student loan assistance programs were phased out. A Department of Education representative didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Disgruntled college graduates took to social media Thursday to cry foul.
Raise your hand if you were counting on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
*can’t raise hand due to rage weeping*
— Librarianry (@LibrarianRy) May 18, 2017
Changes are Coming to Income-Driven Repayment Plans
As it stands there are five different income-driven repayment plans available to student loan borrowers. The proposed budget calls for one single IDR plan, which could potentially be good news for borrowers.
Typically, under the current IDR plans, borrowers are eligible to have their loans forgiven after 20 years of on-time payments, and their monthly payments are capped at 10% of their income. Trump’s new budget would decrease the payment period from 20 to 15 years but would increase the payment cap to 12.5% of income, the Post reports.
But advanced degree earners wouldn’t be so lucky. Trump’s plan would not only raise the income cap for borrowers who earned advanced degrees, it would lengthen the repayment period. IDR plan payments would be maxed at 12.5% of their income, up from 10%, and they would have to pay for 30 years rather than 25.
Low-Income College Students Could Lose Child Care Services
Trump’s budget would slash the entire $15 million budget for CCAMPIS, a federal grant program that funds on-campus child care services for low-income parents. Dozens of campuses received grants under the program.
$700 Million Cut from Perkins Loans
While Pell Grant funding remains untouched under the proposed budget, the plan would slash more than $700 million in funding from Perkins loans, according to the Post. Perkins loans are low-interest federal student loans for low-income undergraduate and graduate students.
Federal Work-Study Programs Scaled Back
The Federal Work-Study program offers part-time jobs to college students who prove financial need. Their earnings help cover their education expenses. Under the proposed budget, the program would lose $490 million, or about half its budget.
We wait. The final proposed budget is still set to be released May 23, and the particulars could still change. After that, it will have to pass muster with lawmakers in Congress. To write a letter to your representatives, contact them here.
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