Pell grants help fund higher education for nearly 10 million low-income students each year. With an annual maximum of $5,550, these grants aren’t extravagant; they barely cover one-third of the cost of two semesters at a public, four-year college. But for many students who are just scraping by, these grants can make or break their opportunity to go to school.
And in the recent budget crisis, legislators have put Pell grants on the list of potential cuts. With a key source of funding on the chopping block, many students aren’t sure they’ll be able to continue going to school next year.
One student whose funding is on the line is Alexiss C. of Texas. Alexiss was always committed to getting a higher education, which would allow her to contribute to her family’s financial situation. Without any money to get her started, she knew that funding a bachelor’s degree would be an uphill battle. Alexiss applied for and received a number of scholarships and grants, the largest of which was the Pell grant. Even with the help of the Pell grant, two Texas-specific grants, and student loans, she is still struggling to fund her education. Earlier this month, Alexiss was informed that the future of one of her Texas grants is uncertain given the stretched state budget. With Pell grants also up in the air, the next school year may be even more difficult for this hard-working student.
Investing in our future and in our economy means investing in education for our generation. It means giving students like Alexiss the opportunity to get a decent college education. Our country can’t afford to take that opportunity away.
Join the fight to save Pell grants from looming budget cuts by contacting your legislators and President Obama today. Then, on July 25, join Young Invincibles, Student PIRG, EdTrust, and many others for Save Pell Day, when we’ll be writing, tweeting, Facebooking, and blogging about the benefits of Pell. And, if you have benefitted from Pell yourself, you can share your story and help us to inspire action across the web and around Capitol Hill.