DearColleague.us

Letter

From: The Honorable Brenda L. Lawrence
Sent By: Sophia.Anwar@mail.house.gov
Date: 1/29/2016

Cosponsor the Early Pell Promise Act

Dear Colleague,

 

Education is a key component to investing in our nation’s future and our economy. Whether working towards a degree or a certificate, students who pursue post-secondary education statistically prove to have higher earnings and lower unemployment rates than those with a high school diploma. Yet, for far too many students and their hard-working families college seems like an unattainable goal. A 2015 study by the Pell Institute and University of Pennsylvania Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy found that in 2013, students from upper-income families were eight times more likely to receive a bachelor’s degree than students from families with the lowest incomes.

One of the best ways to close the economic barriers to post-secondary education is to provide an early commitment and more information on financial aid available to low-income students. Some states have piloted early financial aid commitment programs to students and have seen 20% – 30% increases in college enrollment. Our students deserve to know that if they work hard and graduate from high school they will have resources to help pay for college that is why I plan to introduce the Early Pell Promise Act, a House companion bill to Senator Stabenow’s bill S.1128.

The Early Pell Promise Act would provide an early commitment to low-income students in 8th grade that if they work hard and prepare academically they will be eligible for at least two years of Pell grants to be made available when they go to college. In addition, twice a year, families will receive information about the cost of college and student financial aid career programs from the state and federal governments so that those families can plan ahead for their child’s college.

Early commitment programs are successful because they empower students. I hope you will join me in this effort by cosponsoring the Early Pell Promise Act. If you have any questions, please contact Sophia Anwar in Congresswoman Brenda L. Lawrence’s office at Sophia.Anwar@mail.house.gov or (202) 225-5802.

Sincerely,

Brenda L. Lawrence

Member of Congress