This agenda was developed by a five-member consortium designed to identify key reforms necessary for ensuring that Pell Grants and the Federal Work-Study program better meet the needs of America’s growing population of low-income, post-traditional students, with a special emphasis on underrepresented students.
In today's economy, postsecondary credentials are essential to securing good jobs that pay a family-sustaining wage. But with college costs rising rapidly, it can be difficult for low-income people to access higher education.
While more undergraduates are receiving student aid, the average college student still suffers from significant unmet need--the "gap" between college costs and what students can afford to pay on their own or with grant aid.
At current rates of credential attainment, the United States will fall short by tens of millions of postsecondary credentials over the next couple of decades. This hard reality comes at a time when many federal policymakers are struggling to prioritize investments in postsecondary education and workforce development.
A draft appropriations bill released by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee on Sept. 29 significantly harms Pell Grant students by slashing $44 billion from the program over 10 years, putting in jeopardy the maximum Pell Grant, and making drastic changes to eligibility. These proposed changes threaten low-income students' ability to access and succeed in higher education.