Biden's Pell Grant Increase a Good Start to Help Marginalized College Students—but It's Only a Start

"In a crisis, any help is better than none. That’s why the Biden administration’s proposal to boost the cornerstone federal funding program for low-income college students is a very welcome step," Real Clear Policy reports.

..."Around 7 million students receive Pell Grants, with an average award amount of just over $4,000 per year, according to a brief by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Around 60% of black students and roughly half of American Indian and Hispanic students are Pell recipients, compared to a third of white students.

The grant is a vital — but increasingly tenuous — lifeline for students lacking financial resources. Dependent on discretionary approval each year, increases in the maximum grant have failed to keep up with overall inflation or with the even faster increase in college attendance costs.

“The 2020-21 maximum Pell Grant of $6,495 covers only 26% of the average cost of attendance at a public four-year institution, while the maximum grant in 1975-76 covered more than three-quarters of the cost of attending a public four-year institution,” per the brief mentioned above. As a result, Pell Grant recipients are emerging from college with significantly bigger debt burdens than their non-Pell counterparts — around $6 billion more in total, according to an analysis by the Institute for College Access and Success."

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: 6/21/2022

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