The Trump administration proposed cutting the Pell Grant surplus to fund new spending at agencies including NASA in a budget amendment this week.
The White House fiscal year 2020 budget proposal released in March included a $2 billion cut to the Pell surplus. The budget amendment calls for redirecting another $1.9 billion in Pell funds. The Associated Press first reported the proposal.
As the economy has improved in recent years, enrollment of Pell Grant recipients has declined, the administration wrote, meaning funding has lasted longer. The White House argued that the program would still have enough discretionary funding until fiscal year 2023 and that students would not be affected by the proposed cut. The Pell program currently has a surplus of $9 billion, according to the Office of Management and Budget.