Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Senate Nixes Pell Increase: Democrats Say Government Must Increase Grant to Keep Pace with Rising College Costs

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Senate Nixes Pell Increase: Democrats Say Government Must Increase Grant to Keep Pace with Rising College Costs

Article excerpt

Plans to increase the maximum Pell Grant for needy students hit a snag in the U.S. Senate last month, as members of a powerful committee voted to freeze the top grant again in 2007.

The Senate's education appropriations subcommittee voted to leave the maximum grant at $4,050, where it has remained since 2003. Advocates had hoped the Senate would join the House of Representatives in proposing a $100 increase for next year.

In what some considered a surprise move last month, a House panel recommended the $100 increase in the maximum grant for 2007. But that plan would have needed Senate support before reaching the White House.

Despite the Pell freeze, Senate Republican leaders noted that their bill would protect many programs from cuts, including Talent Search, Upward Bound and GEAR UP. All three are programs that promote college access.

With the exception of the Pell Grant, the Senate subcommittee's funding recommendations are identical to those made by the House in its 2007 education funding bill released last month.

Elsewhere, the Senate would protect the Carl D. Perkins Act, which provides student funding for career and technical education. …

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