Pell Grants — a Key Tool for Expanding College Access and Economic Opportunity — Need Strengthening, Not Cuts

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Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

For 45 years, the federal Pell Grant program has been the cornerstone of financial assistance for students from low- and moderate-income families, helping millions go to college. Pell Grants are awarded to students solely based on financial need and serve as the foundation of an eligible student’s financial aid package upon which other forms of aid are layered, including loans and state and institutional aid. However, in the last years, Pell Grants cover a small and shrinking share of college costs for students who receive them. In this report, the authors argue how Pell Grants should become a key tool for expanding college access and economic opportunity.

low-income students, Pell Grants, higher education funding