College presidents, students lobby to keep Pell Grant funding

Monday, July 25, 2011 - 11:29am
The Washington Post

Before agreeing to raise the federal debt ceiling, Republican lawmakers want Democrats to agree to a number of budget cuts. Some of the proposed plans call for cuts to the Federal Pell Grant Program, which allows many of the country’s poorest students to attend college.

This continues and intensifies a months-long debate about how the Pell Grant program is funded and administered. Next school year, the program is slated to spend $35 billion on 9.4 million students. Republicans looking to cut the program have suggested restricting student eligibility or reducing the maximum amount students can receive.

This week, dozens of university presidents, students and education advocates are on the Hill to persuade lawmakers to protect Pell Grants. Monday has been designated as “Save Pell Day” by the Education Trust, a nonprofit focused on closing education achievement gaps.