This week, the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) joined more than 300 colleges, universities, and other organizations in sending a letter to leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives urging them to continue the annual indexation for Pell Grants.
Pell Grants are the cornerstone of our federal financial aid system and are critical to supporting college access and persistence for students in need. This year, 7.5 million students will receive Pell Grants to assist in their pursuit of a postsecondary education. The maximum Pell Grant covers only 30 percent of the average cost of attendance at a public, four-year institution—its lowest purchasing power in over 40 years. For the last five years, the maximum Pell Grant award has adjusted with inflation. But without Congressional action, that adjustment will end after the 2017-2018 school year.
The letter urges Congressional leaders to maintain the inflation adjustment and ensure Pell Grant recipients don’t see a decline in the buying power of their awards.