The Obama administration is preserving some higher education programs even in the midst of the spending freeze. The Pell Grant, in particular, is protected and even increased.
But the fate of the American Graduation Initiative, a major proposal to increase community college graduates, depends on the passage of a bill in the Senate that has already passed the House, to eliminate bank subsidies from the student loan program. This move is supposed to save $95 billion over 10 years, much of which is already spoken for (like $10.6 billion for the American Graduation Initiative). If the bill falters, or if government accountants adjust their calculations, these programs, too, may fall victim to cuts.
At the same time, private colleges like Williams are backpedaling from promises they made a few years ago to eliminate student loans, thanks to the recession.