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Redesigning the Pell Grant Program for the Twenty-First Century

Posted: October 8, 2013
Authors: Sandy Baum, Judith Scott-Clayton
Organizations: The Hamilton Project, Brookings

The Pell Grant program, authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965, is the largest source of federal grant aid for postsecondary education. Over the forty years since the Pell Grant program was introduced, it has expanded dramatically in both size and scope. It currently serves an increasingly diverse set of students in an increasingly diverse mix of programs and institutions. Initially targeting just a small fraction of undergraduates, Pell Grants supported 9  million individuals (more than one out of every three undergraduates) in 2012–13, at a cost of $32.8 billion.

Redesigning the Pell Grant Program for the Twenty-First Century