Press Release/Statement | December 16, 2019

Congress’ 2020 Spending Package Increases Max Pell Grant by $150, Cuts Pell Reserve Fund by $500M

Author: Statement of Jessica Thompson

“The education portion of the $1.4 trillion bipartisan spending package released by lawmakers today includes a modest but meaningful $150 increase in the maximum Pell Grant. At the same time, the bill cuts $500 million from the Pell Grant reserve fund.

“A broad coalition of Pell advocates has for years urged Congress to protect and strengthen the program, including in a letter earlier this year from 63 organizations that urged lawmakers to oppose a $1.3 billion rescission from the Pell reserve fund originally proposed by Senate appropriators.

“Pell Grants are the foundation of our national investment in higher education, but the current maximum grant covers less than one-third of the cost of attending a four-year public college — the lowest share in more than 40 years. While a $150 increase to the maximum award is certainly welcome, we continue to encourage policymakers to make significant new investments in the Pell Grant program, including restoring an automatic annual inflation adjustment so that appropriators do not have to reach a political deal to plug that gap with limited funds.”


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