Colleges and universities frequently are at odds over education policies debated in Washington, but one concept seems to be gaining momentum in some circles: doubling the Federal Pell Grant Program.
Recent interviews by The Business Journals with school presidents have highlighted growing support for a Biden administration proposal to expand the program, which was designed to provide grants for low-income students seeking a college degree. Launched in the 1960s, the Pell program is the federal government’s largest source of need-based aid for students.
“I’m very supportive of making college more accessible to those who need it most and doubling Pell would be a much bigger impact,” said Laurie Leshin, president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.
The Biden administration has outlined goals to ultimately double the program’s maximum grant to $13,000, up from a current cap of $6,495 per student per year. As of the U.S. Department of Education’s latest reporting on the Pell program, the federal government’s annual grant outlays run about $30 billion per year.