The House passed a $1 trillion dollar budget deal that will make it harder to get, and harder to keep, Pell Grants. Students taking longer than 6-years will have their grants cut off and fewer Pell Grants will be made available to new applicants.
The Sacramento Bee reports that millions of students receive Pell grants every year. The government aid is offered to low-income students who don’t have to pay the money back.
Jennifer Hing, spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee, said:
“The rapidly rising costs of the Pell program cannot be sustained — especially in this time of tight budgets and sky-rocketing deficits.”
CNN Money reports that students will be able to receive a maximum of $5,500 in Pell Grants during the 2012 school year. Congress is trying to save more than $11 billion from the program. To do so, they will limit the amount of students who receive grants and will limit students to 6-years of grant money.
Amy Wilkins, the vice president for government affairs and communications at the advocacy group Education Trust, estimates that over 100,000 students will be effected by the cut in Pell Grants.
More and more students have been applying for the grant in recent years. According to the SacBee, 6.2 million students received the grant during the 2008-2009 school year. More than 9 million students received an average of $3,828 in 2010-2011.
The bill has passed the house and it is expected to be voted on by the senate today.
Do you think spending on Pell Grants is out of control? Should the senate pass these cuts on education?