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

Ivan Frishberg

Ellynne Bannon


To: Student Aid Activists
Fr: Ellynne Bannon, State PIRGs' Higher Education Advocate
Date: July 9, 2002

***Call your Senators TODAY and ask them to support increases in the maximum Pell Grant, and other key student aid programs***

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education will mark up the appropriations bill early next week, making key decisions on how much student aid funding will be available next year. It is critical that you call your Senators today and urge them to them support a $500 increase in the maximum Pell Grant award and increases for other key student aid programs in FY2003.

Due to rising costs, state budgets cuts and the failure of federal financial aid to keep pace, many students and their families struggle to finance a college education. Increasingly students are taking on high debt levels—the typical student now graduates with almost $17,000 in federal education loan debt—and working long hours—nearly half of all full-time students work 25 or more hours a week-to help pay for college.

It is crucial that you convey to your Senators how essential federal student aid is to making a college education more affordable. It is especially important for students whose Senators are on the Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Subcommittee to make this call today. Please see list at the end of this alert.

Action: Call your Senator today and ask them to support a $500 increase in the maximum Pell Grant award and increases in these other key student aid programs: the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants by $150 million; the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership by $33 million; and the loan forgiveness program by $32 billion.

Senate Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

You can also call your Senators and Members of Congress by using the student aid hotline: 1 (800) 574-4AID.

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education:

Sen. Harkin-IA, Sen. Specter-PA, Sen. Hollings-SC, Sen. Cochran-MS, Sen. Inouye-HI, Sen. Gregg-NH, Sen. Reid-NV, Sen. Craig-ID, Sen. Kohl-WI, Sen. Hutchinson-TX, Sen. Murray-WA, Sen. Stevens-AK, Sen., Landrieu-LA, Sen. DeWine-OH, Sen. Byrd-WV.