Friday, January 21, 2022

Play

Despite a failed attempt in the U.S. Senate, more than 200 business owners call for federal reforms to strengthen election laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court deals another blow to abortion providers.

Play

President Biden gets cheers and jeers as he marks his first year in the White House, the Jan. 6 committee wants to hear from Ivanka Trump, and the Supreme Court rejects another challenge to the Texas abortion law.

Play

Expanded broadband akin to electrification in rural America 80 years ago; small Wyoming grocery store survives monopolization; revitalized Kansas town gets national recognition; and Montana's Native communities look for voter suppression work-arounds.

As College Cost Worries Grow, Campaign Urges Doubling Pell Grants

Play

Wednesday, August 18, 2021   

EUGENE, Ore. - Pell Grants are a lifeline for many students attending college, but the federal aid covers far less than it used to. That's why student groups, colleges and universities are urging Congress to pass a measure to double the amount allotted to students.

The maximum Pell Grant for this academic year is about $6,500. Jim Brooks, director of student financial aid and scholarships at the University of Oregon, said many have criticized the grants for not keeping up with the cost of college.

"If you think about $13,000 in cost of attendance, that would have a big impact on students everywhere," he said. "So personally, as someone who's been a Pell recipient and has worked with lots of students at more than one institution who are Pell eligible, I think doubling Pell would be incredible."

In the past, a Pell Grant covered as much as three-quarters of the cost of attending a public university. Today, it covers less than a third. About 90% of Pell Grants go to families with incomes of less than $50,000. More than $290 million in Pell Grants came to Oregon in the last disbursement.

Nearly 7 million students, or about 40%, are Pell Grant recipients, but they're still more likely to graduate with debt than other students. Brooks said folks are always concerned about the cost of college, and the pandemic has deepened those concerns.

"We have certainly seen more families who've been financially impacted by the pandemic, in one way or the other," he said, "whether it's a parent losing income or a parent being laid off for a while, losing their job completely because a business is closing."

Brooks said he sees Pell Grants as foundational - for families, and for students' future success.

"This is money they're going to have that they can use for educational costs and they aren't going to have to repay it," he said. "So, they reap the benefits of their education; that basically opens up job markets for them and it opens things up that they wouldn't have if they were not able to earn a college degree."

The University of Oregon also has a program called Pathway Oregon, which helps Pell Grant-eligible students pay tuition and other fees through a combination of federal, state and university funds. Nearly 1,200 organizations, including 900 colleges and universities, signed a letter to Congress in March urging members to double the maximum Pell Grant amount.

---

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.


get more stories like this via email
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 to fill the seat previously held by Republican Jeff Flake. (Flickr)

Social Issues

A wave of new Arizona voters in the 2020 election changed the normally conservative state to one where progressive candidates and ideas have a fightin…


Environment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …

Social Issues

Healthcare workers at an Oregon hospital have achieved what they say is a "win" after several strikes in recent months. Nearly 300 workers and …


Pennsylvania has over 300 million square feet of big-box building rooftops, which new research suggests could provide almost half the electricity that these buildings consume if they were outfitted with solar panels. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …

Social Issues

If Iowa wants to create healthier outcomes for its residents, advocates say there are steps policymakers can take right now to make it happen…

Over the course of the pandemic, North Dakota has received more than $350 million in federal aid to help struggling renters, but says it has sent back roughly 40% of that money unspent. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, but groups working …

Social Issues

After a defeat on Wednesday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate say they'll keep trying to pass voting-rights legislation, and one Wisconsin group wants …

Social Issues

Bridgeport is one of six U.S. cities selected for an 18-month project kicking off this month, to create more education and career opportunities for …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021