NEC Again Calls on Congress to Double the Pell Grant
Established by Congress in 1972 and named for the late U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, the federal Pell Grant program is a need-based federal grant for low-income students to pursue undergraduate education. However, this grant has not kept up with the rising cost of higher education. Doubling the Pell Grant is the most impactful step Congress can take to make public, private, and community colleges more accessible for low-income and first-generation college students. On March 24, 2023, the New England Council sent a letter to the New England Delegation on the importance of increasing access to higher education by Doubling the Pell Grant. In 2021, the Council also sent a letter advocating to Double the Pell Grant can that letter can be read here.
While pleased that President Biden’s FY2024 budget proposal included a $500 increase to the maximum Pell grant, we firmly believe that doubling the Pell Grant would be a long-term solution. The impact this program has had on the New England higher education system is incomparable; however, there remain too many families who currently do not have access to these funds or for whom the funds do not align with the rising costs. The New England Council supports the collective effort to ensure this program can continue to create transformative opportunities for all Americans, and help prepare the workforce of the future.