From: Ellynne Bannon, State PIRGs Higher Education Advocate
Date: April 4, 2002
Call your Senators and Representatives today and urge them
to support a $4,500 Pell Grant maximum award and a $100 million
in funding for the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership
Program (LEAP) ***
next few weeks Appropriators in both the Senate and House
will begin to make decisions about 2003 funding levels for
several key grant-aid programs. It is imperative that they
hear from students about how important it is to increase both
the maximum Pell Grant awards to $4,500 and funding for the
Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program (LEAP)
to $100 million.
Pell Grants are the foundation of the federal financial aid
system. However, over the past 25 years their buying power
has seriously eroded. In 1976 the maximum Pell Grant award
covered 84% of tuition costs at a 4-year public institution,
today it only covers 39%. More than 4 million students depend
on the Pell Grant to finance college.
The LEAP program encourages states to continue to expand their
own grant programs. States use LEAP funds to support increased
grant aid, early intervention, community service, and scholarship
programs in specialized academic areas. Currently the LEAP
program serves 667,000 students throughout the country-60%
of whom are from families with incomes under $20,000.
costs swell, federal financial aid dwindles and state budget
shrink, it is more important than ever to increase federal
grant-aid programs to ensure access to higher education for
all Americans. Urge your members to support increased funding
for both the Pell Grant maximum award and the LEAP program.
Call your Members of Congress today and ask them to support
an increase in the maximum Pell Grant award of $500 to $4,500,
AND an increase to $100 million in funding for the LEAP program
in this year's Education budget.
Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
House Switchboard: (202) 225-3121
can call your Senators and Members of Congress by using the
student aid hotline: 1 (800) 574-4AID.
For more information on LEAP and other student aid programs