Pell Grants at 50: Loss of Buying Power Has Congress Rethinking Ways of Paying for College

"Congress just approved the largest increase for Pell Grants in a decade to help needy students pay for college. And it didn't even keep up with inflation," USA Today reports. 

..."Still, Pell might turn out to be the only game in town for federal student aid, since Biden's campaign pledges to make community college free and to act on federal student loan debt forgiveness by wiping out $10,000 for all borrowers are now long shots – at best.

The nearly $30 billion program is the most logical way of addressing college affordability, said Justin Draeger, president & CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Doubling Pell, for example, would more than cover the average cost of community college and would help address soaring student debt by paying for between 50% and 66% of the price of an in-state public university and nearly 30% of the average four-year private school price tag, he said.

'And it's a program everybody knows and is familiar with, and all of our federal and institutional systems are built around. That grant might be the most streamlined and efficient way to take a bite out of college affordability issues,' he said. 'It's just the simplest and easiest way to address college affordability.'"

..."The program's need-based format also means those who can least afford the price of tuition, textbooks and living expenses also would benefit most, Draeger said. The Gender Equity and Policy Institute, a nonprofit to advance equity through public policy, found doubling the Pell Grant would cut student debt by more than half."

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 4/4/2022

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