College students concerned over Trump's proposed aid cuts

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More than 35,000 students in Arizona alone could see a grant, supplemental to the Pell Grant, cut. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) More than 35,000 students in Arizona alone could see a grant, supplemental to the Pell Grant, cut. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Some college students and former college students are speaking out against the cuts to college grants. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Some college students and former college students are speaking out against the cuts to college grants. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Student groups are preparing to lobby against President Donald Trump's proposed cuts to federal student aid programs.

More than 35,000 students in Arizona alone could see a grant, supplemental to the Pell Grant, cut.

The White House budget calls for $21,364,000 to be cut from the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) in Arizona.

Arizona State University officials say 4,000 students depend on the federal grant.

"It's going to have an extreme impact on the debt I accrue finishing my degree. Honestly, I don't know how I'd pay for college," Maricopa Community College student Brittany Harb said.

"It made it possible for me to earn my degree. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to earn my bachelor's," Michael Martinez said of the grants which helped pay his tuition at Arizona State University.

Martinez, a recent graduate, who now works for the Arizona Students' Association, calls the budget proposal 'short-sighted.'

"It'll hurt the economy. Each graduate brings in $660,000 to the economy over their lifetime in the workforce. This is going to make it impossible for some students to earn that degree," Martinez said.

"Education breaks the poverty cycle. It's the great equalizer of America," Shayna Stevens, the executive director of the Arizona Students' Association, said.

"It allows someone like me, from a very low socio-economic status family move up, and become something," Stevens said of federal aid programs.

Stevens lobbied to save the Pell Grant when it was on the chopping block in 2011 and is vowing to do it again.

"We have to educate our legislators about the impact. The more faces members of Congress can see, the better," she said.

The budget process on Capitol Hill is just beginning.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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