Education advocates say a Trump administration plan to use federal Pell Grant money to fund space exploration would jeopardize aid for future college students and could trigger a budgeting crisis within just a few years.
The plan aims to redirect $1.9 billion from a Pell Grant surplus to jump-start other projects, primarily a NASA initiative to put astronauts back on the moon. In announcing the plan last month, administration officials said it would keep the Pell program, the largest source of federal aid for low-income students, on sound fiscal footing and not harm students. But a chorus of education organizations pushed back.
All told, the White House wants to steer $3.9 billion away from the Pell program’s surplus, which is projected to reach almost $8 billion going into 2020.
A version of this article appeared in the June 05, 2019 edition of Education Week