TEANECK, NJ – New Jersey higher education leaders have come together to urge Congress to double the maximum value of Pell Grants. This includes Bergen County college presidents, such as Christopher Capuano of Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Capuano joined 44 other higher education executives who signed a letter to the New Jersey congressional delegation urging them to consider doubling the value.
When the Pell Grant was enacted in the 1970s, it covered nearly 80% of the cost of attending a four-year public college, according to the letter dated Wednesday. Now it represents less than 30 percent of the cost of attendance. The maximum value of a Pell Grant is $ 6,495.
“Doubling the maximum Pell grant will help more students from low- and middle-income families get to and finish college,” the letter says, available at Princeton University website. “It helps everyone: by cultivating talents from all sectors of society, we make our state and our country stronger and better.”
More than 150,000 New Jersey students receive Pell Scholarships each year, according to the letter. There are 7 million beneficiaries nationwide, a majority of which are black students and half are Latinos currently enrolled in college.
University leaders expressed gratitude for the relief funds made available to students during the pandemic, but urged Congress to “support this long-term investment in the youth of our country and state, for whom a college education will be life changing.
The Pell Grant is a federal grant provided to students to attend college. Pell scholarships are reserved for students with financial need, who have not obtained their first baccalaureate or who have enrolled in certain post-baccalaureate programs, through participating institutions.
But scholarship amounts have not kept pace with the rising costs of higher education. According to federal data. Of all the students who took out loans, Pell students borrowed the most on average.
Last June, several House Democrats reintroduced the Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act, which would double the Pell Grant price and index it to inflation. Corn The law project has not yet been voted on in the House.