Stephen Burd was quoted by Diverse Issues in Higher Education on the future of the Pell Grant surplus under the Trump administration:
Stephen Burd, senior policy analyst at New America, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., also said the Trump administration and Congress could use what’s left of the Pell Grant surplus — currently at $10.6 billion — to replace the mandatory funding portion of Pell Grants for fiscal 2018 if they cut it. “But once the surplus is gone, Congress would either have to find an additional $6 billion or so to appropriate or reduce the program’s funding by that much,” Burd said.
While there is no immediate threat to the maximum Pell award now, Burd said whether that remains true in future years remains to be seen. “We could be talking about very significant reductions if Republicans follow through on threats they’ve made to cut mandatory funding in the past,” Burd said. But doing so would come at a political cost.
“Cutting student aid has been detrimental to Republicans in the past,” Burd said. “I believe it would be detrimental again.”