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Victory: Protecting the Pell Grant

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Earlier this month Congress acted to stop a huge cut to the Pell Grant program for next year.

The Pell Grant program is the cornerstone federal financial aid program, assisting close to 9 million students in paying for college.

Students from Arizona PIRG, CALPIRG, ConnPIRG, INPIRG, Maryland PIRG, MASSPIRG, MoPIRG, MontPIRG, NJPIRG, Ohio PIRG, PennPIRG, WashPIRG, and WISPIRG led a coalition of groups (PDF) that fought to defend the program. 

Students receiving the maximum Pell grant had faced a cut of $845 in aid next year if this year’s funding gap was not closed.

Due in great part to the economic downturn, more students went back to school this year than expected, and the number of low-income students eligible for Pell grants increased. This lead to a gap in financing grants for students.

Earlier this year, the Congress increased grant aid through the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, but those funds must combine with funding from the budget process in order to hit the increases promised in that law.