Regarding President Trump's 'America First' Budget Plan:

A message from President Chillo regarding President Trump's 'America First' budget plan:

This morning, President Trump unveiled his budget plan “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.” This plan includes a $52 billion increase to the Department of Defense while making major and concerning cuts in other areas including the Department of State and USAID, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education and others.

As a private, independent college which serves many low-income and first generation students, we are concerned about this proposed budget plan and the effects it will have on college access and affordability. Under the “America First” budget, the Department of Education would see a $9 billion total budget reduction from 2017 as well as eliminations or reductions to many programs and agencies that students and colleges depend on. While Pell Grants and Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions currently remain at level funding, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) and GEAR-UP are facing elimination and Federal Work-Study and TRIO Grants are facing significant cuts.

As a former Federal Pell Grant recipient, I relied on SEOG and Work-Study to make my college education affordable. I know for my family, without these funds, my college education would have certainly been in jeopardy. For many students, these funds are essential components in making college affordable and accessible.

On a national level, two-thirds of college students graduate with some level of debt and student-loan debt has reached over $1.1 trillion—a historic level. As the guarantor of these funds, the Federal government generates a significant amount of money from the interest it charges on these loans. Rather than investing in education, it is making the decision to defer students' dreams of a college education.

At Newbury, 68% of our students are first generation and nearly 59% are Pell-eligible. Overall, about 92% of students receive some form of financial aid. We see first-hand the struggle many families face in order to afford a college education. Higher education institutions, Newbury included, already face many challenges to keep costs down and give the opportunity of earning a degree to as many students as possible. The “America First” budget plan as it is currently presented will further decrease college access and affordability and most severely impact low-income students.

At Newbury, our priority is our students. We moved to a Monday-Thursday schedule so that Fridays could be used for outside employment. We will provide whatever Federal Work-Study opportunities are available and our Financial Aid staff will continue to work with our students and parents. We will continue to invest in our educational facilities, like the new Student Success Center, in order for our students to get the most out of their education.

We are very concerned about President Trump’s budget plan. We will continue to analyze the immediate and long-lasting detrimental effects on higher education. It is my hope that changes made before Congressional approval put more emphasis on the importance of higher education and the need to make it more affordable and accessible to all students. Newbury will continue to work on its initiatives and provide opportunities for students to get both a meaningful and affordable education.

I believe, as President of Newbury College, I have a responsibility to voice concern on these budget actions, which will directly and detrimentally affect our students. I encourage our Legislators to strongly support educational access and affordability in the coming Federal Budget discussion.

With best regard,
President Chillo


About Newbury: Newbury College is a private, independent college located just minutes from Boston in the Fisher Hill neighborhood of Brookline, Massachusetts. Founded in 1962, Newbury College offers bachelor and associate degree programs in over 20 career-focused majors. Committed to personalized and experience-based teaching, Newbury inspires students to become independent thinkers, valuable collaborators, and global-minded citizens.

Contact: Sarah Johansson, Communications Coordinator

A message from President Chillo regarding the announcement of President Trump's budget plan