New Bill Would Make Community College Free for All, Double Maximum Pell Grant Award

Related Topics in the Ref Desk: Cost of AttendancePell Grant;

A bill introduced Wednesday by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) calls for making community college and public trade schools tuition-free for all, regardless of income. For students from families that make less than $125,000 annually, tuition would be free at public four-year colleges and universities, as well as public and private historically Black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions.

The College for All Act also calls for doubling the maximum Pell Grant award to $12,990 for the 2021-22 school year, though for-profit institutions would be excluded from the increase. The legislation would also allow students to use the funds from the Pell Grant for expenses other than tuition, such as books and housing costs.

To pay for the legislation, Sanders introduced another bill that would impose a tax on Wall Street transactions, a similar funding mechanism that he has called for in previous free college proposals to cover the estimated $700 billion price tag. Stay tuned to Today’s News for an in-depth analysis of the bill next week.


Publication Date: 4/22/2021

Sue G | 4/27/2021 8:20:13 AM

The bill sound great for students who really need it. However, we are a small adult technical center and students would be able to pay for their schooling completely with this increase in Pell, but without the ability to limit their loans, they would still be in student loan debt they may or may not need.

Jennifer A | 4/23/2021 5:51:02 PM

This bill sound wonderful! Couple it with broad student loan debt forgiveness and we might actually see real progress for millions of American, present and future. Black, Latinx, and Indigenous individuals, as well as almost all millennial, could get out of debt and start building their American dream that their degree promised them. I would suggest to anyone and everyone who thinks that Free College, an increase to the Pell Grant, and Student Loan Debt Forgiveness to read this article, because as a society we could all decide to do all of these for students:

Kyle R | 4/22/2021 11:36:27 AM

Thanks Bernie and friends for excluding the students who would like to attend proprietary institutions. Even though doubling the max Pell grant would but proprietary institutions in a bind with 90-10, we can clearly see that you are trying to do what is best for the students by limiting their choice. Maybe, for proprietary institutions, you double the max Pell grant and lower the max amounts students could borrow by the same amount??

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