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: November 19, 2001

***Call your Senators and Representatives today to protect the $4,000 Pell Grant maximum award***

Call your representatives today and urge them to protect the new $4,000 Pell Grant maximum, as promised in both the House and Senate FY 2002 appropriations bills. Last week Congressional members received hundreds of calls and letters from students and citizens urging them to fully fund the $4,000 Pell Grant maximum award. If you haven't called in to ask your representatives to support the $4,000 maximum award please call today! It's imperative that your representatives hear from you on this issue.

This month the Bush administration sent a letter to Senate leadership showing that thousands more Pell-eligible students than expected are attending college this year. This is good news- because it means that an increasing number of poor students see a college education as possible, and thousands of Americans who have lost their jobs in the economic downturn are choosing to improve their career options by going back to school.

However, it also 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. Reducing the maximum Pell Grant award 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.

Action: Call your Representatives and Senators and tell him/her that students in his/her district are counting on them to fully fund $4,000 Pell Grant maximum award.

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

To send a personalized emails to your representatives go to: http://www.pirg.org/highered.