Legislative Tracker: Pell Grants

Legislative Tracker Logo On this page, you'll find proposals that include recommendations for expanding or altering the Federal Pell Grant Program.

For Pell Grant proposals from the previous session of Congress, visit the Legislative Tracker Archive: Pell Grants

 

*NEW* Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act
S. 1136 Sponsor:
Sen. Hirono (D-HI)
Co-Sponsors:
7 (0 R; 7 D)
Introduced:
5/16/2017
HR 2451 Sponsor:
Rep. Davis (D-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
63 (0 R; 63 D)
Introduced:
5/16/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would make a number of improvements to the Federal Pell Grant Program, many of which are long-time NASFAA recommendations. Among the funding changes, the bill would re-instate the annual inflation increase to the maximum award and make Pell funding fully “mandatory,” meaning it wouldn’t be subject to year-to-year appropriations. In terms of eligibility, the bill would allow incarcerated individuals, undocumented students, students with drug-related offenses, and students enrolled in short-term job training programs to receive Pell Grant. 
 
*NEW* Pell Grant Restoration Act
S. 1135 Sponsor:
Sen. Warren (D-MA)
Co-Sponsors:
4 (0 R; 4 D)
Introduced:
5/16/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would provide students who have attended a fraudulent institution to reset their Pell Grant lifetime eligibility under certain circumstances. Under this measure, Pell Grant eligibility would be restored for students who have had their student loans discharged through compromise and settlement authority, defenses to repayment, or statutory discharges or for students who would qualify under these provisions if they had taken out a federal student loan.
 
*NEW* Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017
HR 244 Sponsor:
Rep. Cook (R-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
28 (19 R; 9 D)
Introduced:
5/3/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, the omnibus spending bill for federal fiscal year 2017, includes the restoration of the “year-round Pell Grant” and a cut to the Pell Grant program surplus. In addition, the spending bill provides level funding for the Federal Work Study (FWS) and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs. 
Status: 5/5/2017: Signed into Law by President Trump
       
*NEW* Middle Class CHANCE Act
S. 996 Sponsor:
Sen. Heinrich (D-NM)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
5/1/2017
HR 2260 Sponsor:
Rep. Carbajal (D-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (0 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
5/1/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, the Middle Class Creating Higher Education Affordability Necessary to Compete Economically (CHANCE) Act, would raise the maximum Pell Grant award to $9,650 and continue to index the maximum award to inflation. In addition, this measure would restore the year-round Pell Grant (permitting access to a second scheduled Pell Grant award) to both part-time and full-time students. Under this legislation, a student may only receive up to 150% of the annual maximum award, the additional Pell Grant counts toward the student's lifetime eligibility, and institutions determine the assignment of crossover periods. Finally, the bill raises Pell Grant lifetime eligibility to 15 semesters from 12. 
 
Year-Round Pell Grant Restoration Act
S. 900 Sponsor:
Sen. Hirono (D-HI)
Co-Sponsors:
9 (0 R; 9 D)
Introduced:
4/7/2017
HR 2084 Sponsor:
Rep. Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
34 (0 R; 34 D)
Introduced:
4/8/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would reinstate year-round Pell by allowing continuously enrolled students to receive more than one scheduled award in an award year. While still maintaining the 12-semester or equivalent limit, the bill would allow students to draw down from a “well” of Pell funds at their own pace.
 
Go to High School, Go to College Act
S. 840 Sponsor:
Sen. Portman (R-OH)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
4/5/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This piece of legislation would permit early college high school students to receive Pell Grant funds for completing college coursework while in high school, such as through dual enrollment programs. Any Pell Grant received through this expansion would count towards a student's Pell Grant lifetime eligibility limit, though the Secretary of Education may waive this provision on a case-by-case basis "for any student demonstrating evidence of a credible disruption or redirection in course of study necessitating additional time to complete a postsecondary degree or credential." 
 
To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to discontinue certain administrative cost allowances, and for other purposes.
HR 1767 Sponsor:
Rep. Russell (R-OK)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
3/28/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would eliminate the Pell Grant Program administrative cost allowance, funds financial aid offices use for administering the program.
       
Flexible Pell Grant for 21st Century Students Act
HR 1485 Sponsor:
Rep. Stefanik (R-NY)
Co-Sponsors:
28 (15 R; 13 D)
Introduced:
3/9/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This piece of legislation, reintroduced in 2017, was introduced in 2015 as part of a package of bills introduced by House Republicans as the basis for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. This bill would reinstate the year-round Pell Grant award, or "Summer Pell." Under this bill, a student could receive up to 150% of his or her scheduled award during an award year; however, a student must be using the additional scheduled award to "accelerate" his or her program of study. “Accelerate” would mean that the total number of credits (or equivalent) earned during the previous payment periods in the award year plus the credits in which the student enrolls during the additional payment period together must exceed the number of credits in the institution’s definition of academic year for the student’s program of study. 
       
Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act
HR 949 Sponsor:
Rep. Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Co-Sponsors:
21 (9 R; 12 D)
Introduced:
2/7/2017
Sponsor:
Sen. Casey (D-PA)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (2 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
3/9/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow students who are less than 24 years old or enrolled at an institution of higher education at the time of a death of a parent or guardian who died in the line of duty as a police officer, firefighter, or other public safety officer to receive the maximum Pell Grant award. 
 
All-Year ACCESS Act
HR 813 Sponsor:
Rep. Sanchez (D-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
70 (0 R; 70 D)
Introduced:
2/1/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would restore the year-round Pell Grant (permitting access to a second scheduled Pell Grant award) to both part-time and full-time students. Under this legislation, a student may only receive up to 150% of the annual maximum award, the additional Pell Grant counts toward the student's lifetime eligibility, and institutions determine the assignment of crossover periods.
 
Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act
S. 206  Sponsor:
Sen. Kaine (D-VA)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (1 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
1/24/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow Pell Grant funds to be used for short-term job training programs at an institution of higher education. The maximum award for a job training Pell Grant would be 50% of the current maximum award amount and would not be subject to the annual inflation adjustment to the maximum award, meaning in award year 2017-2018, a hypothetical job training Pell Grant would have a maximum award of $2,430.
 
Early Pell Promise Act
HR 413 Sponsor:
Rep. Lawrence (D-MI)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
1/10/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would create an “Early Federal Pell Grant Commitment Program,” which would be administered by state educational agencies.  The initiative would provide a two-year Pell Grant commitment for use at an institution of higher education to qualifying 8th grade students on the basis of their eligibility for free or reduced lunch. A student would not receive a Pell Grant for the second year of the commitment if the expected family contribution were more than twice the threshold amount for Pell Grant eligibility for that year. Students in the program are automatically eligible for the maximum Pell Grant award for that award year. This legislation is modeled after the Kalamazoo Promise program in Michigan.

 

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Publication Date: 6/12/2017


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