Charlie Nelms has little patience for the 15 percent cut to Pell Grant funding proposed by House Republicans.
The proposed spending bill would cut millions in federal research and financial aid funding and would reduce the maximum Pell Grant - the primary source of federal need-based aid for college - from $5,500 to $4,705.
The $845 in lost potential funding per student could have a significant impact, Nelms said Wednesday.
"It would just decimate the whole notion of access and opportunity," he said. "We cannot afford to go backward."
At NCCU, 65 percent of students - more than 3,000 in all - receive Pell funding. The reduction would surely keep some from college, he warned.
"It is the base of our financial aid package," he said. "The people who are impacted are the people who can least afford to be impacted."
The House proposal is part of a budget-cutting plan that would trim $100 billion from President Obama's spending request for the remainder of the current fiscal year.