Nearly eight million low and moderate-income Americans currently depend on Pell Grants to attend and complete college. Prior harmful cuts to Pell Grants reduced grant sizes for some students and eliminated eligibility entirely for others. The maximum Pell Grant now covers less than 30% of the cost of attending a four-year public college, and grant recipients are already more than twice as likely to have student loans and graduate with higher debt than higher-income students.
The Ranking Member of the House Education & Workforce Committee has sent a letter to Congress urging them not to raid funding for a program that millions of students rely on to pay for college.
We need to be investing in and strengthening Pell Grants to help more students complete college without burdensome debt. It is imperative that Congress use Pell Grant funds for Pell Grants only. Taking money out of Pell now threatens our ability to provide critical support for students in the years ahead. Click here to send an email to your Representative and Senators, urging them to oppose the raid on Pell Grant funding.
There are many ways to help students by strengthening Pell Grants that you can highlight for members of Congress, including:
- Increasing the maximum Pell Grant award;
- Permanently adjusting the maximum Pell Grant for inflation each year;
- Restoring Pell Grant eligibility for students taking courses year-round;
- Resetting Pell Grant eligibility for students eligible for federal loans discharges due to school closure or fraud;
- Restoring Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated individuals who will return to the community.
The Senate is expected to release its plan to fund Pell Grants in early June. Act now, before a raid of Pell Grant funds is written into a bill that will become the starting point for upcoming budget negotiations.