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 sessions of Congress, visit the Legislative Tracker Archive: Pell Grants.
Sponsor: Rep. Lawrence [D-MI]
Cosponsors: 5 (5D; 0R)
NASFAA Summary: This bill would extend students' lifetime Pell Grant eligibility to 16 semesters and allow students who have received a Pell Grant award during their undergraduate education to utilize their remaining Pell eligibility towards their first graduate degree.
Sponsor: Rep. Casten [D-IL]
Cosponsors: 3 (3D; 0R)
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would index the Pell Grant to inflation.
Sponsor: Rep. Kilmer [D-WA]
Cosponsors: 2 (1D; 1R)
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would allow institutions to provide a Pell Grant bonus to low-income students in their third and fourth years to aid in on-time completion. Eligible students who are on track to graduate in four years would be given access to the same total Pell Grant amounts that are currently made available only to those who take six years to complete. The additional funds would be matched by participating institutions.
Sponsor: Rep. Hayes [D-CT]
Cosponsors: 12 (12D; 0R)
Sponsor: Sen. Warren [D-MA]
Cosponsors: 3 (3D; 0R)
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: The Pell Grant Restoration Act would restore Pell Grant eligibility for students who attended an institution of higher education that closed due to certain violations.
Sponsor: Sen. Heinrich [D-NM]
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: The Degrees Not Debt Act would increase the maximum amount of the Federal Pell Grant, increase the income threshold for auto-zero EFC calculations as well as creates a simplified FAFSA application for low-income families.
Sponsor: Sen. Hawley [R-MO]
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would expand the allowable use of the Federal Pell Grant program by allowing it to be used by eligible students pursuing vocational programs, like job-training and certification programs.
Sponsor: Rep. Trone [D-MD]
Cosponsors: 5 (3D; 2R)
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would repeal the prohibition on incarcerated individuals to receive Pell Grants, as well as repeal legislation that prohibits students who were convicted of drug-related offenses from receiving federal financial aid. The bill would also ensure that credits earned by incarcerated individuals, if transferred to another institution, in an eligible and equivalent program, would not be treated any differently.
Sponsor: Rep. Richmond, Cedric L. [D-LA]
Cosponsors: 5 (3 R; 2 D)
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would establish a Job Training Federal Pell Grant Program. It would allow Pell Grant funds to be used for short-term job training programs at an institution of higher education.
Sponsor: Rep. Kuster, Ann M. [D-NH]
Cosponsors: 4 (2 R; 2 D)
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow students to use Pell grants for graduate studies.
Sponsor: Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. [D-OR]
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, the Achieving Independence through Degrees (AID) Act, makes a number of changes to the federal student aid programs. The bill increases the Pell Grant maximum award to $10,230 and indexes the maximum award to inflation for subsequent award years. In addition, the bill expands Pell Grant eligibility to certain short-term programs and increases the semester eligibility limit to 15 semesters from 12. The bill would require annual loan counseling and uses the counseling language in the PROSPER Act; however, this bill would not require annual counseling for Pell Grant recipients. The bill would increase funds for the campus-based programs and would revise their allocation formulas. The allocation formula for federal work-study funds would consider the amount of Pell eligible students at an institution, as well as institutional improvement. The bill eliminates the drug conviction provision for student eligibility and requires a financial aid shopping sheet as a nationwide standardized student aid award letter. Finally, the bill would allow certain students to qualify for SNAP based on EFC or certain dependency status questions.
Sponsor: Rep. Davis (D-IL)
Cosponsors: 5 (2 R; 3 D)
Sponsor: Sen. Schatz (D-HI)
Cosponsors: 2 (1 R; 1 D)
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would restore Pell Grant eligibility to incarcerated students.
Sponsor: Rep. Banks, Jim (R-IN)
Cosponsors: 8 (8 R; 0 D)
Sponsor: Sen. Braun, Mike (R-IN)
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: These companion bills are aimed at allowing the Pell Grant to be used by students enrolled in short-term skill-based programs on a pilot program basis.
Sponsor: Sen. Kaine (D-VA)
Co-Sponsors: 10 (0 R; 10 D)
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow Pell Grant funds to be used for short-term job training programs.
Publication Date: 3/6/2020