fresh voices from the front lines of change







The following are statements issued by the U.S. Student Association and the Education Trust.

From: Maxwell Love, President, U.S. Student Association
Alexandra Flores-Quilty, Vice President, U.S. Student Association

FRIDAY, MARCH 20th, 2015

As you might have heard, Republicans this week unveiled budgets in the House of Representatives and Senate that are devastating to American families. The cuts to student aid programs are especially vicious, with $150 billion in cuts to the Pell Grant, subsidized loan program, and income-based repayment.

USSA believes that public higher education should be free!

This budget is clearly headed in the opposite direction. Our students, staff, and supporters decided that this is the time to take a stand. We’ve generated over 1,000 calls to House and Senate Budget Committee members this week, and Wednesday, seven of us disrupted the Senate Budget Committee Hearing, and were subsequently arrested and charged for voicing our concern to our decision makers.

Activists with the U.S. Student Association disrupted a Senate budget hearing Wednesday to protest the GOP budget proposal.

We aren’t going to let the Republican’s authoritarian approach to dissent deter us. We’re calling on allies to join us in this fight. We’re shifting our focus to the Senate as the budget moves on to a full vote, trying to prevent them from getting the 60 votes they need to avoid getting the President’s approval.

We cannot do this alone. We need your help! We’re going to be escalating next week with more phone calls and more actions, because we believe we can stop these cuts from happening.

We need you to:

  1. Join us in finding creative ways to protest these cuts all across the country.
  2. Contribute to our Bail Fund. Just because Republicans are trying to quash dissent doesn’t mean we won’t oppose this budget. Contribute so that we have the resources to do more actions on Capitol Hill and afford the costs that come with it.
  3. Help us generate calls to the Senate & House to put the brakes on these cuts using USSA’s landing page.

We can’t let the Republicans use their control of the House and Senate to use the budget as a weapon to attack students and their families. Please support us in our fight to stop the cuts!


Nicolle Grayson
202-293-1217, x. 354
“Don’t Raid the Pell Grant Program”
Statement by José Luis Santos on the adoption of the U.S. House FY16 Budget
WASHINGTON (March 19, 2015) — José Luis Santos, vice president for higher education policy and practice at The Education Trust, issued the following statement on the adoption of the U.S. House FY16 Budget Plan.“The House budget proposal sends a clear signal that college access and affordability for low-income students is not a priority. The proposal freezes the maximum Pell Grant award at its current level for 10 years, regardless of escalating tuition, and proposes limiting eligibility requirements, which means fewer low-income students will have access to this much-needed aid. This is the wrong direction for the Pell Grant program. As is, it barely covers one-third of the cost of attending the average four-year, public college. And, as most recipients come from families earning less than $30,000, limiting the Pell Grant will put college out of reach for many more students. Instead, legislators should focus on expanding the Pell program and increasing its purchasing power by increasing institutional accountability. This is critical to building and maintaining a strong economy and healthy democracy. Raiding the Pell Grant program — like the House has proposed — is poor planning for our nation’s future.”


The Education Trust is a non-profit advocacy organization that promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels, pre-kindergarten through college. Its goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people — especially those from low-income families or who are black, Latino or American Indian — to lives on the margins of the American mainstream.

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