Sens. Mazie Hirono, D-HI and Patty Murray D-WA, and Reps. Mark Pocan, D-WI and Bobby Scott D-VA)introduced the Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act of 2021, which would double the Pell Grant over five years.
Sen. Mazie Hirono
Dr. Barbara Mistick, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), praised the decision which has gained widespread support from many higher education advocacy organizations.
“Doubling the Pell Grant maximum from $6,495 to $13,000 is the single most important step Congress can take to make access to college possible for all students,” she said. “Pell Grants are a proven bipartisan program and the fairest and most efficient way to help low-income and first-generation students access and complete college. Additional grant aid helps keep low-income students in college and on track to graduation.
“As we attempt to bring America back to strong and sustainable economic growth, doubling Pell Grants is one of the most effective and immediate tools that policy makers can use to accelerate economic recovery.”
There are more than 1.1 million students at private, nonprofit colleges and universities who get Pell Grants each year, Mistick said.
“While this legislation is an important step, I challenge Congress to work to double the Pell Grant more quickly so families who are recovering from the pandemic can take advantage of this essential assistance. Ideally, Congress should double the Pell Grant by June of 2022, which is the 50th anniversary of the program.”