With the lame-duck Congress winding down and a $5.7 billion gap in financing looming for next year’s Pell grants — and a further $8 billion gap for the following year — there is growing uncertainty about the future of the grants, the nation’s most significant financial-aid program for college students.
Earlier this year, Congress passed legislation that provided an extra $36 billion over 10 years to the Pell grant program and increased the maximum grant to $5,550, up from $4,050 five years ago. But with a new Congress arriving in January and determined to cut spending, it is unclear whether that expansion is sustainable.
If Congress does not cover the gap in financing, millions of students could see their Pell grants reduced by more than 15 percent, with the maximum grant shrinking by about $845.
Financial aid officers are starting to worry about a program that is supposed to provide more than $30 billion next year to college students.
This is scary news for families of college students - and a story we'll be keeping an eye on as the new Congress convenes.
cross posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org