On June 13 higher education organizations launched #DoublePell, a new national campaign to double the maximum Pell Grant award. The campaign is aimed at encouraging current and future Pell Grant recipients and others to speak out and contact members of Congress to encourage their support of doubling the maximum Pell Grant to $13,000.
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is coordinating the effort, which includes many higher education association partners, including the American Council on Education (ACE), the Association of American Universities (AAU), NASPA (an association of student affairs administrators in higher education), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The coalition, known as the Double Pell Alliance, is advocating for doubling the maximum Pell Grant by the 50th anniversary of the creation of the program in June 2022.
The campaign features a new website, doublepell.org, that provides students and families with tools to communicate with Congress in support of doubling Pell, engage on social media, and share personal stories about how the Pell Grant has helped them.
The #DoublePell Background and Fast Facts About Doubling the Maximum Pell Grant handout provides talking points and statistics about the Pell Grant.
- Pell Grants help nearly 7 million low-and moderate-income students attend and complete college annually. That is 40 percent of undergraduates at U.S. colleges and universities.
- Students from all 50 states and all corners of the country rely on the Pell Grant program to pursue their college aspirations and achieve a brighter future. Nearly 70 percent of Pell Grant dollars go to students with a family income below $30,000 and nearly 90 percent to students with a family income below $50,000.
- Pell Grants are especially critical for students of color, with nearly 60 percent of Black students, and roughly half of American Indian or Alaska Native students and Hispanic students receiving a Pell Grant each year.
- The share of college costs covered by the Pell Grant is at an all-time low. Nearly 50 years ago, the maximum grant covered more than three-quarters of the cost of attending a four-year public college. After decades of state budget cuts that drove up tuition, combined with flat household incomes over the same period, Pell Grants now cover less than one-third of those costs.
The #DoublePell website includes a Take Action page, which includes a customizable letter that students, families, alumni, and other stakeholders can send to their members of Congress, and shareable social media graphics to amplify the #DoublePell campaign messages.
In March, the UO signed on to a letter with 1,200 other organizations addressed to all members of Congress, asking them to double the amount of the maximum Pell Grant to approximately $13,000. Currently Congress is considering proposals to increase the Pell maximum by as much as $1,875. In addition, in late June, a group of senators reintroduced the Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act.