Save Pell: Tell Congress not to Cut the Pell Grant Program
A few months ago, Congress passed a historic piece of legislation that cut wasteful subsidies to student loan companies and used the $67 billion in savings to invest in education, including the Pell grant program.
Unfortunately, the program is still suffering from a funding shortfall because many people are enrolling in school because of the difficult job market, and because the recession has strained family budgets, leading many more students to qualify. If Congress doesn't act soon, students would see $5.7 billion less in need-based grants. This would mean that the maximum award--given to the neediest students--would be reduced by $845 to $4705.
This 15% cut would represent only the 3rd time the grant has ever been cut, and one of the largest. To put it in perspective, the last cut to the maximum Pell grant was $100 in 1993.
Congress does not have much time to act. It could, and it should, attach Pell grant funding to the FY2010 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill (HR.4899), which could be considered by the end of the month.