Experts Pitch Lawmakers On Ways To Cut Pell Grant Costs

"Experts on higher education lending urged House lawmakers today to adopt a series of fixes for the Pell grant system," Talk Radio News Service reports. "The Pell grant is federal money that is intended to provide low-income students with a chance to go to college. Eligible students can receive a maximum of $5,635 per year, which covers about 35 percent of their annual college costs. The grant currently serves nine million students, according to National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators President and CEO Justin Draeger, who testified at a hearing held by a House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee. Draeger said the program cost the federal government $33 billion dollars from 2011 to 2012. To save taxpayers money, Draeger suggested creating partnerships between colleges and high schools to motivate students to consider going to college from a young age, thereby creating more potential more scholarships and less public aid. Draeger also recommended to policymakers providing students more flexibility with their Pell funds, and rewarding students who are on track to graduate on time. Doing both, he said, would save the Pell program money. ... All those who testified said that the Pell program must be changed to more efficiently provide for low-income students that require federal aid to pay for a college education, but they had varying opinions on how to do that."

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