How Doubling the Pell Grant Could Be a Down Payment on Free College
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How Doubling the Pell Grant Could Be a Down Payment on Free College

Doubling Pell by the Numbers

Posted: May 13, 2021
Author(s): Michelle Dimino
Organization(s): Third Way

In 1976, the maximum Pell Grant—the federal government’s flagship program for providing financial aid to students from low-income backgrounds—covered about 80 percent of the costs of attending a public four-year college. By 2016, the maximum Pell award covered only about 30 percent of those costs. That’s a precipitous drop in purchasing power, and it has had the starkest impact on students with the greatest financial need. This report explores how doubling the Pell Grant is a critical step in expanding college access and affordability for students who need it most.

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