New bill would expand federal college grant program, and include part-time students

June 25, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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NATIONWIDE — COLLEGE COULD BECOME MORE AFFORDABLE to some lower-income families with legislation that U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced on Tuesday, June 25, via virtual conference. The Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act would double the maximum disbursement from its current $7,395 per academic year — just a third of the amount provided during the 1970s when the Pell Grants covered more than 75 percent of a year’s tuition at a four-year public college. The legislation would increase the Pell Grant maximum award to $10,000 for the 2025-2026 academic year and nearly double the award over the next four years to $14,000 for the 2029-30 academic year and beyond. The bill would also automatically qualify low-income students enrolled in federal benefit programs like SNAP or Medicaid for the maximum award and an extra award of up to $1,500 in addition to the maximum Pell award ($15,500 total). The proposed law would also shift the Pell Grant program to fully mandatory funding to ensure that students can count on receiving their Pell Grants throughout their time in college, irrespective of potential federal budget cuts.

Pell Grant access would also be expanded to part-time students or those who have to take fewer classes because they’re also working, for example.

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