State PIRGs' Higher Education Project
218 D Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 546-9707

Director:
Ivan Frishberg

Advocate:
Ellynne Bannon

 

To: Student Activists
From: Ellynne Bannon, State PIRGs Higher Education Advocate
Date: December 13, 2001

*** Call today: Urge the White House not to support a cut in the maximum Pell Grant award***

The White House is calling for Congress to cut the $4,000 maximum Pell Grant award. Congress should make a final decision on funding levels for Pell Grants in FY02 by early next week. Both the House and Senate appropriations bills recommended a $4,000 Pell Grant maximum award, yet there continued pressure to cut the award because of the shortfall. Call the White House and urge President Bush not to support a cut in the $4,000 Pell Grant maximum award.

Last month the Bush administration sent a letter to Senate leadership informing them that thousands more Pell-eligible students than expected are attending college this year. While this is good news-- because it means that an increasing number of poor students see a college education as possible, it means that the Pell Grant program is facing a $1.7 billion shortfall.

To solve this problem, the administration has proposed reducing next year's planned increase in the Pell Grant maximum from $4,000 to its current level of $3,750. As members are about to make final spending decisions the administration continues to pressure Congress to cut the maximum award. This is the wrong approach. While Congress has worked to restore the value of the Pell grant, the current economic climate may put us even further behind. Decreasing the maximum award threatens to halt the significant progress we have made in recent years to restore the buying power of the Pell Grant program. The shortfall must be addressed to ensure that students receive the $4,000 maximum award that they have been promised. Urge the White House not to support a cut in the $4,000 Pell Grant maximum award.

Action:
Call the White House today and urge President Bush not to support a cut in the $4,000 Pell Grant maximum award.

The White House comment line: 202-456-1111.

*****
If you haven't already contacted your representatives to ask them to not to cut the $4,000 award you can use the student aid hotline to call: 1 (800) 574-4AID.