Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Pell Grants May Increase Next Year

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Pell Grants May Increase Next Year

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON-Education lobbyists are a step closer to their goal of a large increase in the maximum Pell grant - particularly if an aid-friendly Senate proposal takes effect.

The Senate in mid-May proposed a $350 increase in the top Pell grant for the neediest students, which would push the maximum grant to $3,650 next year. Higher education groups set a goal of a $400 increase this year, something the Clinton administration and the House of Representatives have yet to endorse.

But the Senate plan provides some hope, advocates say, particularly during a year when both major political parties want to show they are supportive of education.

So far, the White House and the GOP-controlled House have favored a smaller, $200 increase in the top grant, which would bring it to $3,500 next year. Pell funding often is viewed as the bellwether for student financial aid and higher education programs, since the large number of students involved means any increase in the top grant generally requires a hefty investment.

Elsewhere in financial aid, both the House and Senate support a $77 million increase for college work-study. The program would receive $1.01 billion next year, the same level sought by the White House. …

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