Legislative Tracker Archive: Pell Grants

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

 

 

Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency Act (FAST Act)
S.108 Sponsor:
Sen. Alexander (R-TN)
Co-Sponsors:
11 (7 R; 3 D; 1 I)
Introduced:
1/7/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would eliminate the FAFSA in favor of a two question postcard, move to a one grant/one loan program, reinstate year-round Pell, provide authority to limit loans, among several other changes.

 

Affordability for Constant and Continual Education to Enhance Student Success Act (All-Year ACCESS Act)
HR 242 Sponsor:
Rep. L. Sanchez (D-CA, 46)
Co-Sponsors:
77 (0 R; 77 D)
Introduced:
1/9/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would restore the year-round Pell Grant to both part-time and full-time students. Under this legislation, a student may only receive up to 150% of the annual maximum award, and institutions determine the assignment of crossover periods.

 

Pell Grant Funding Act
HR 939 Sponsor:
Rep. Kind (D-WI, 3)
Co-Sponsors:
9 (0 R; 9 D)
Introduced:
2/12/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would redirect any potential surplus at the end of each federal fiscal year from the Direct Loan Program into Pell.

 

Access to Education and Training Act
HR 1064 Sponsor:
Rep. Bustos (D-IL, 17)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (0 R; 3 D)
Introduced:
2/25/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would reinstate the year-round Pell Grant with the original language, including the acceleration component, found in the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act.

 

Pell Grant Protection Act
S. 1060 Sponsor:
Sen. Hirono (D-HI)
Co-Sponsors:
4 (0 R; 3 D; 1 I)
Introduced:
4/22/2015
HR 1956 Sponsor:
Rep. Hinojosa (D-TX, 15)
Co-Sponsors:
23 (0 R; 23 D)
Introduced:
4/22/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This piece of legislation would eliminate Pell’s split funding process (between mandatory and discretionary spending) and move all funds to the mandatory side, thus eliminating the need for Pell to be subject to annual appropriations each year. This essentially provides a guarantee of funds.

 

Pell Grant Cost of Tuition Adjustment Act
S. 1061 Sponsor:
Sen. Hirono (D-HI)
Co-Sponsors:
7 (0 R; 7 D)
Introduced:
4/22/2015
HR 1957 Sponsor:
Rep. Hinojosa (D-TX, 15)
Co-Sponsors:
25 (0 R; 25 D)
Introduced:
4/22/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill assumes that Pell would be fully funded by mandatory funds and calls for an annual increase to the Pell Grant based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Workers (CPI-W). The bill would also increase the maximum award to $9,139 to match the national average tuition and fees for in-state students at four-year public schools.

 

Year-Round Pell Grant Restoration Act
S. 1062 Sponsor:
Sen. Hirono (D-HI)
Co-Sponsors:
12 (0 R; 11 D; 1 I)
Introduced:
4/22/2015
HR 1958 Sponsor:
Rep. Hinojosa (D-TX, 15)
Co-Sponsors:
28 (0 R; 28 D)
Introduced:
4/22/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would effectively 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
HR 2065 Sponsor:
Rep. Fudge (D-OH, 11)
Co-Sponsors:
14 (6 R; 8 D)
Introduced:
4/28/2015
S. 1106 Sponsor:
Sen. Portman (R-OH)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (1 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
4/28/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This piece of legislation would permit high school students to receive Pell Grant funds for completing college coursework while in high school, such as through dual enrollment programs.

 

Early Pell Promise Act
S. 1128 Sponsor:
Sen. Stabenow (D-MI)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
4/29/2015
HR 4415 Sponsor:
Rep. Lawrence (D-MI, 14)
Co-Sponsors:
6 (0 R; 6 D)
Introduced:
2/1/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would provide a 2-year Pell Grant commitment to qualifying 8th grade students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch. That funding will be available upon graduation to help pay for tuition at a college or university. A student may not receive the early Pell Grant for a succeeding year if the expected family contribution for either year is more than twice the threshold amount for Pell Grant eligibility for that year. This legislation is modeled after the Kalamazoo Promise program in Michigan.

 

Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act
HR 2350 Sponsor:
Rep. Fitzpatrick (R-PA, 8)
Co-Sponsors:
41 (14 R; 27 D)
Introduced:
5/15/2015
S. 1352 Sponsor:
Sen. Casey (D-PA)
Co-Sponsors:
4 (2 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
5/14/2015
Status: 5/10/2016: Passed Senate
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would generate an automatic zero EFC for 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.

 

Restoring Education And Learning Act
HR 2521 Sponsor:
Rep. Edwards (D-MD, 4)
Co-Sponsors:
59 (0 R; 59 D)
Introduced:
5/21/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would eliminate the provision that prohibits Pell Grant eligibility for individuals incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution and for sex offenders subject to civil commitment following incarceration.

 

Flexible Pell Grant for 21st Century Students Act
HR 3180 Sponsor:
Rep. Stefanik (R-NY, 21)
Co-Sponsors:
51 (28 R; 23 D)
Introduced:
7/23/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This legislation was introduced as part of package by House Republicans as the basis for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. This bill would reinstate the Year-Round Pell Grant award. Under this bill, a student could receive up to 150% of his or her Scheduled Award during an award year.

 

Kids Before Cons Act
HR 3327 Sponsor:
Rep. Collins (R-NY, 27)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (2 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
7/29/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, in response to President Obama’s “Second Chance Pell” pilot program, would prohibit the awarding of Pell Grants to incarcerated individuals.

 

Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students (JOBS) Act
S. 1900 Sponsor:
Sen. Kaine (D-VA)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (2 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
7/30/2015
HR 3985 Sponsor:
Rep. Richmond (D-LA, 2)
Co-Sponsors:
6 (1 R; 5 D)
Introduced:
11/5/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow Pell Grant funds to be used for short-term job training programs.

 

Middle Class Creating Higher Education Affordability Necessary to Compete Economically (CHANCE) Act
S. 1998 Sponsor:
Sen. Heinrich (D-NM)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
8/5/2015
HR 5310 Sponsor:
Rep. L. Sanchez (D-CA, 46)
Co-Sponsors:
40 (0 R; 40 D)
Introduced:
5/23/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This legislation would, among other things, address the significant loss in value of Pell Grants by adjusting them for inflation, reinstate year-round Pell Grants, and increase the number of eligible semesters to 15. The bill would increase the maximum award amount of a Pell Grant to $9,410 starting in 2017-2018.

 

Pell Grant Restoration Act
HR 3512 Sponsor:
Rep. Scott (D-VA, 3)
Co-Sponsors:
63 (0 R; 63 D)
Introduced:
9/16/2015
S. 2037 Sponsor:
Sen. Boxer (D-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
5 (0 R; 4 D; 1 I)
Introduced:
9/16/2015
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.

 

Higher Education Savings Accounts Act
HR 4222 Sponsor:
Rep. Carney (D-DE)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
12/10/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would create a pilot program that establishes "higher education savings accounts" for ninth and tenth grade students who participate in the free/reduced lunch program based on the current Pell Grant maximum award amount. 

 

Pathways to an Affordable Education Act
HR 4386 Sponsor:
Rep. Kilmer (D-WA, 6)
Co-Sponsors:
13 (0 R; 13 D)
Introduced:
1/13/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill makes several comprehensive changes to the Federal Pell Grant program. The bill would (1) move all funding for the program to the mandatory portion of the federal budget, (2) exclude the use of Pell Grant funds on indirect costs of attendance (housing, food, etc.) from the calculation of taxable income, (3) allow students to receive Pell funds for 15 semesters, instead of 12, (4) reinstate a year-round Pell Grant program, and (5) increase the maximum Pell award from its current level of $5,775 to $9,139 and index Pell Grant amounts in future years to the Consumer Price Index, among several other changes.

 

In the Red Act
S. 2677 Sponsor:
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Co-Sponsors:
28 (0 R; 28 D)
Introduced:
3/15/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The In the Red Act would simply combine some of the higher education legislation introduced in the Senate in 2015 by Democrats - including the America’s College Promise Act, which would make two years of community college and the first two years at HBCUs and MSIs tuition free; the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which allows borrowers to refinance their loans; and the Pell Grant Cost of Tuition Adjustment Act, which would increase the Pell Grant maximum award to $9,139, indexed annually to inflation -- into one package. The bill also includes language calling for enhanced accountability for institutions, but does not include legislative language to implement any sort of accountability system.

 

Pell for Performance Act
HR 4808 Sponsor:
Rep. Salmon (R-AZ, 5)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
3/17/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: In this bill, Pell Grant recipients who do not complete their program within the maximum timeframe will be required to repay the Pell Grant dollars received in the form of an unsubsidized loan with interest applied retroactively to the date of first disbursement. Pell Grant recipients who enroll in another institution less than a year later or who face undue hardship, which includes active duty military service, the death of a relative, personal injury, or "other special circumstances as determined by the institution," would be exempted from this provision.  

 

FY 2017 Appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
S. 3040 Sponsor:
Sen. Blunt (R-MO)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
6/9/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The FY2017 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill, the bill that sets the funding levels for several large domestic government agencies, provides all funding for federal student aid programs. Importantly, the bill cuts $1.2 billion from the Pell Grant surplus and restores year-round Pell without some of the provisions that caused implementation challenges in the last iteration. 
Status: 6/9/2016: Passed out of Committee

 

Restoring Education and Learning (REAL) Act
S. 3122 Sponsor:
Sen. Schatz (D-HI)
Co-Sponsors:
8 (0 R; 7 D; 1 I)
Introduced:
6/29/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would reinstate Federal Pell Grant eligibility for individuals incarcerated in Federal and State penal institutions.

 

Promoting Readiness through Early Pell (PREP) Act
HR 5702 Sponsor:
Rep. Takano (D-CA, 41)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
7/8/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would expand eligibility for Pell Grants to high school students who are dually or concurrently enrolled at a public institution of higher education. The bill would also prohibit state and local educational agencies from withholding funds that would have otherwise been available to the institution of higher education if they weren’t receiving the Early Pell Grant. The bill also calls for high schools to provide additional counseling for dually enrolled students and annual reports with data on students who receive a Pell Grant for dual enrollment and their persistence.

 

Helping Improve Grants for Higher Education & Repayment of Expensive Debt (HIGHER ED) Act
HR 6239 Sponsor:
Rep. DeFazio (D-OR, 4)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
9/28/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would increase the maximum Pell Grant award to $9,410, indexed annually for inflation, and would restore year-round Pell, while allowing institutions to assign crossover periods and without an acceleration component. The bill would restore graduate and professional student eligibility for subsidized loans and expand Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) eligibility to adjunct faculty members. In addition, borrowers would be able to discharge federal student loans in bankruptcy and refinance both federal and private loans at current interest rates. 

 

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Publication Date: 1/1/2017


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