Sending Office: Honorable Marcia L. Fudge
Sent By:
Sarah.Nasta@mail.house.gov

SUPPORT PELL GRANTS

Deadline to Sign-on: COB March 15

Dear Colleague:

 

Please join us in sending the letter below to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee in support of at least $34.6 billion in mandatory and discretionary dollars
for the Federal Pell Grant program.

 

Pell Grants assist in making higher education more affordable for more than 7.1 million low income students.  This critical funding serves as a pathway to college for those who might have thought a higher education was unattainable.  Under the current baseline,
the maximum award would remain at the 2017-18 academic year level indefinitely, and inflationary increases would cease.  Without action to maintain the purchasing power of Pell Grants, students in the subsequent academic years will find Pell Grants covering
a diminishing portion of their college costs.

 

Failure to support the Pell Grant program will shut out millions of low-income students from obtaining a college degree.  Funding cuts, rescissions, or cancellations would worsen the funding outlook for Pell Grants and make it harder to strengthen the program
through the Higher Education Act (HEA) Reauthorization.  Pell Grants are the cornerstone of our nation’s student financial aid program and investing in them is a strong investment in our nation’s future.

 

Please join us in urging the committee to fund this vital program.  If you have questions or would like to sign on to the letter, please contact Sarah Nasta in Congresswoman Fudge’s office at
Sarah.Nasta@mail.house.gov or 5-7032.

 

Sincerely,

 

Marcia L. Fudge                     Maxine Waters                        David N. Cicilline

Member of Congress               Member of Congress               Member of Congress

 

 

March 19, 2018

 

The Honorable Tom Cole                                                   The Honorable Rosa L. DeLauro

Chairman                                                                             Ranking Member

Labor, Health and Human Services,                                   Labor, Health and Human Services,

Education, and Related Agencies                                        Education, and Related Agencies

Washington, D.C. 20515                                                     Washington, D.C. 20515

 

 

Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:

 

As the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations subcommittee develops its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Appropriations bill, we respectfully urge you to include at least $34.6 billion in mandatory and discretionary funding
for the Federal Pell Grant program.

 

Pell Grants are the cornerstone of our nation’s student financial aid, providing aid to more than 7.1 million low-income American students last academic year.  Pell Grants provide a pathway to college students who might have thought their dream of obtaining
a higher education was unachievable.  These grants are often the only vehicle available to low-income students to cover higher education expenses without being saddled with student loan debt.  Our failure to protect the Pell Grant program will shut out millions
of low-income students from obtaining a college degree.  The President’s budget requested no increase in the maximum Pell Grant, which in 2016-17 covered just 29% of the average cost of attendance at a public, four-year university.

 

To support the Pell Grant program, it is critical to preserve all available resources in the program.  Funding cuts, rescissions, or cancellations would worsen the funding outlook for Pell Grants and make it harder to strengthen the program through the Higher
Education Act (HEA) Reauthorization.  The current Pell reserve fund reflects Congress’ intent to make college more affordable for millions of students.  We thank appropriators for using Pell dollars for Pell students last year by enacting the common sense
reform restoring year-round Pell Grant eligibility, also known as Summer Pell.  This critical change will help more students complete their degrees at faster rates by supporting financial aid for robust summer course loads.

 

The Subcommittee has been a strong supporter of the Federal Pell grant program in the past.  We ask that you continue to support this critical program by including at least $34.6 billion in mandatory and discretionary funding.  In addition to sustaining
Summer Pell, this amount could allow other improvements to the program including a modest increase to the base discretionary award, and indexing of the Pell Grant to inflation.  Under the current baseline, the maximum award would remain at the 2017-18 academic
year level indefinitely, and inflationary increases would cease.  Without action to maintain the purchasing power of Pell Grants, students in the 2019-20 and subsequent academic years would find Pell Grants covering a diminishing portion of their college costs. 
We should seek to increase the proportion of tuition and fees covered by the Pell Grant over time, and ensure that these increases are indexed to inflation for future years.

 

Our investment in the Pell Grant program is a strong investment in our nation’s future.

 

Sincerely,

___________________                      ___________________                      __________________

Marcia L. Fudge                                 Maxine Waters                                    David N. Cicilline

Member of Congress                          Member of Congress                           Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Education

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