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Reaching the Promise of the Pell Grant

Posted by Brian Sorenson on Jul 31, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Topics: Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning Success, Tuition

The Pell Grant has been a vital form of financial assistance for millions of students since the program was first offered to students in 1972. But as the national conversation on higher education continues to focus on increasing access for underserved populations, advocates for affordable postsecondary education are raising awareness for the need to better support the Pell Grant.

The Pell Grant, already affected by the fact that its value has not been raised to adjust for inflation, deserves our strong support against threats of budget cuts and student eligibility issues, says CLASP’s Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success. In its new paper, Reprioritizing Our Investment in Pell Grants to Further Reduce Poverty (PDF), the organization makes the strong case that Pell grants, important as they are, are not alone sufficient to meet the rising costs of a postsecondary education. The paper further stresses how those who most stand to benefit from Pell grants are typically underserved populations, including those who are parents.

As we know, adult students face a number of unique challenges that can prevent them from earning the degree or credential that they need to earn the careers that are often the highest paying. With the right financial aid policy that reflects the needs of today’s student, tuition and other student expenses don’t have to be one of them.

To read Reprioritizing Our Investment in Pell Grants to Further Reduce Poverty, click here.

CAEL advocates for policies that help support adult degree or credential completion, including those that encourage students to take advantage of cost-saving options like prior learning assessment (PLA) and competency-based education (CBE). Review CAEL’s resources at the link below to learn more about our latest findings that support adult-friendly policies.

CAEL's Public Policy