By: Jasmine Saunders, Editor-in-Chief
Photo: USA Today
President Donald Trump released his 2018 budget blueprint a few weeks ago, and he has not proposed an increase in the funding allocated for HBCUs, currently at $492 million.
This comes after Trump’s invitation for HBCU presidents, including DSU’s Dr. Harry L. Williams, to visit the White House for a closed-door meeting to talk about their concerns for the future of the institutions back in March. Even before that, Trump had signed an executive order that would “promote excellence and innovation” for these institutions.
In the blueprint, the Pell Grant has not decreased; he plans to “safeguard” the program by cancelling the leftover funds that are not used to be incorporated in other ways, of which are unclear.
The plan does however, reduce Federal Work-Study, and it eliminates the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program, the latter which is used for students who have exceptional financial need.
Despite this, the plan is viewed positively by the university. Director of News Services Carlos Holmes spoke on its behalf. “We are pleased that the [budget] appropriation for HBCUs has not decreased,” Holmes said.
However, some students don’t see the plan so positively.
“I wasn’t surprised by him not increasing the budget for HBCUs,” said Khalil Ahmad, president of the Political Science Club. “I was however, surprised that he didn’t lower the budget [for HBCUs],” he said.
On the plan to not decrease Pell grants, College Democrat President Gabi Davis didn’t think it was anything to rejoice. “I believe we shouldn’t pat people on the back for doing the bare minimum, or the ‘right thing,’” she said.
To reiterate, this is only Trump’s plan for spending, and does not include what Congress drafts up which will then begin negotiations. Their plan still has not been released yet.