Kuster Discusses President’s Proposed Budget Cuts to Higher Education Affordability with Students, Higher Education Leaders at Keene State College
(Keene, NH)- Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) joined Granite State students and higher education leaders at Keene State College to discuss President Trump’s proposed budget cuts and their impact on higher education. Kuster heard directly from students and education stakeholders on how the President’s proposed budget reductions to critical higher education programs would impact access and affordability for students across New Hampshire.
“Access to quality, affordable higher education is one of the best ways to provide opportunity for our young people and maintain our state’s economic competitiveness,”said Congresswoman Kuster. “The budget proposed by President Trump would decimate critical financial aid programs and be a disaster for Granite Staters who want to pursue higher education. Our young people deserve the opportunity to access the educational opportunities that will help them achieve their goals, which is why I’m pushing legislation to increase financial support and address the costs of education. I will continue to advocate for policies that expand access to education and skills training programs and against President Trump’s harmful cuts.”
“Keene State College is pleased to host this important conversation about the need to keep the cost of college affordable,” said Dr. Melinda Treadwell, President of Keene State College. “As the state’s only public liberal arts college, we are guided by our mission to provide a high quality educational experience that is both accessible and affordable. We deeply appreciate Congresswoman Kuster’s leadership in this area and in other matters of importance to higher education here in New Hampshire and across the country.”
“I welcome the opportunity to join with our counterparts at Keene State to share key insights and information with Congresswoman Kuster,” said Dr. Kim Mooney, President of Franklin Pierce University. “I am encouraged by her interest in talking with us and with our students as budget cuts loom on the horizon that could have a deeply negative impact on our state and our country. New Hampshire has a long tradition of public and private colleges and universities collaborating around common higher-education issues and challenges in the best interests of our students and for the good of our state.”
Congresswoman Kuster has been a strong advocate in promoting college affordability during her time in Congress. She is currently supporting legislation to strengthen and expand Pell Grants through the Affordability for Constant and Continual Education to Enhance Student Success Act and the Year-Round Pell Grant Restoration Act. She has supported the Perkins Loan Program and funding for Pell Grants through her role as a member of the Higher Education Caucus. This spring, Kuster helped reintroduce the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act to allow students to refinance their student loans at lower interest rates.
Kuster has also worked to expand access to community college and job training programs for Granite Staters. Earlier this year, she introduced her Workforce Development Investment Act, which would create tax incentives to encourage companies to partner with education providers to develop workforce training programs for skills that are in demand within their community or region. It would also create a separate credit for the cost of direct training conducted as part of an educational partnership or licensed apprenticeship.
Kuster was joined at today’s discussion by Dr. Melinda Treadwell, President of Keene State College; Dr. Kim Mooney, President of Franklin Pierce University; Steve Goetsch, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management and Director of Student Financial Aid at Keene State College; Ken Ferreira, Associate Vice President of Student Financial Services at Franklin Pierce University; Debby Scire, Executive Director of Campus Compact for New Hampshire; Tori Berube, Vice President for College Planning and Engagement at New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF); Jay Kahn, State Senator for New Hampshire District 10; Bailey St. Laurent, resident of Chicester and student at Keene State College; Luke Parkhurst, Littleton resident and student at Franklin Pierce University; and local students and higher education leaders, among others.