College (Un)Affordability

By: Meredith Kelly


Paul Ryan’s policy response to the college affordability crisis – making it even harder for students to pay for college – befits his own callous approach to the problem. When a college student asked Ryan a legitimate question about his proposed cuts to the critical Pell Grant program, Ryan flippantly told the student he should “work three jobs to pay for college.”


Headline: The Daily Iowan: “Paul Ryan’s budget cuts student aid.” [The Daily Iowan, 4/16/14]

Ryan Proposed Freezing Pell Grant Amount And Making Annual Funding For Pell Grants Optional. “Dramatic cuts to federal student aid programs are included in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget which passed the Republican-controlled U.S. House last week — a decision he argues is focused on the long term. A visit to Iowa’s GOP Lincoln Dinner on April 11 marked the second stop in Iowa for the former vice-presidential candidate since the conclusion of the 2012 election. Under his proposal, the maximum Pell Grant award would be frozen at $5,730 for a decade, and the funding of the overall program would be at Congress’ discretion. Currently, funding is mandated each year. The goal of Ryan’s proposal is to balance the federal budget by 2024 through $5 trillion in spending cuts.” [The Daily Iowan, 4/16/14]

Ryan Budget Would Charge Students Interest On Their Loans While They Are Still In School, Costing Them $40 Billion. “University students would start being charged interest on their loans while still in school, reaping $40 billion.” [New York Times, 4/01/14]

Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial: Ryan Told Student Who Asked Question About Ryan Budget’s Pell Grant Cuts That He Should “Work Three Jobs To Pay For College.” “It should be remembered that Ryan, a frequent critic of Pell Grants, is the same congressman who suggested to a college student in October that instead of relying on grants he should do what Ryan did – work three jobs to pay for college. The congressman is to be congratulated on his work ethic, but if he believes it is a model for success in college for everyone, he is sorely mistaken.” [Editorial, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/21/12]