President Donald Trump's budget outline for fiscal 2018 calls for a major restructuring of the student loan program, including about $143 billion in cuts in student financial aid and loan repayment programs.

Among the key White House budget cuts: eliminating federally subsidized loans, which go to students with financial need. Public-service loan forgiveness would also be ended. This is a relatively new option designed to benefit teachers, nurses, and others working in nonprofit or public sector jobs.

“This budget only accelerates the growing student debt crisis,” says Maggie Thompson, executive director of Generation Progress, a youth-focused advocacy arm of the Center for American Progress.

Presidential budgets are essentially wish lists, and Congress typically makes major revisions before passing any legislation. Critics of Trump’s budget are already contending that it contains math errors and overly optimistic projections, which are reasons some budget experts and Washington officials have already declared it “DOA.”

Still, given the Republican-controlled Congress, some analysts think there’s a good chance that some portions of Trump’s budget may be enacted.

“By making it clear that this is an administration priority, Trump gives lawmakers political cover to pursue their own higher education cuts,” says Clare McCann, senior policy analyst at New America, a think tank.

Big Changes for Loan Programs

Here are three major changes being proposed:

Ending subsidized student loans. Undergraduates who are deemed to have financial need can qualify for these loans, which do not accrue interest while the borrower is in school and for six months after graduation. Some 6 million students per year receive subsidized loans.

The interest deferral can make a big difference, especially for low-income students. According to an analysis by the nonprofit Institute for College Access & Success, for someone who borrowed the maximum in subsidized federal loans ($23,000), eliminating the subsidy would mean a 15 percent increase in total payments, or $4,350, over a 10-year repayment period.

That analysis was based on the current federal undergraduate loan rate projections, points out Debbie Cochrane, vice president at TICAS. Higher rates could push up the debt burden sharply. Federal loan rates will climb to 4.45 percent July 1.

Ending public-service loan forgiveness. For college graduates struggling with student debt, there has been a valuable path to reducing that burden: working in a public service job. By doing so, and by making regular repayment for 10 years, you could get any outstanding loan balance forgiven, assuming you had federal loans.

There have been problems with the program since it launched in 2007, including lack of clarity about which jobs qualify for forgiveness. And it is proving to be more costly than originally forecast. Still the first borrowers are becoming eligible for forgiveness this fall, though those who have taken out these loans already may be grandfathered in.

“This cut really wallops those who need it most—people who need graduate degrees to pursue relatively low-paying careers in public service,” McCann says.

Overhaul of income-driven repayment plans. Trump's plan would consolidate what are now numerous loan repayment programs into one. The program for undergraduates would require that students pay 12.5 percent of their discretionary income vs. the current 10 percent under the Pay As You Earn plan. The repayment term would be cut to 15 years, down from 20.

For some undergraduates, the changes may result in a better deal, Cochrane says. Although the payments may be higher, the shorter repayment term could mean those who earn higher salaries later in their careers may come out ahead.

But Trump’s loan repayment plan would create major problems for graduate students. Those higher repayments would be stretched over 30 years. “Most grad students will not see an advantage to using 30-year income repayment,” McCann says. “It’s a lot like taking on a mortgage.”

“The White House budget cuts sends a troubling signal,” says Suzanne Martindale, a staff attorney at Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. “It’s an indicator that the administration does not value higher education as a public good, one that makes a transformative difference in people’s lives and that benefits the nation as a whole.”