Despite threatened cuts, the fiscal year 2011 bipartisan budget agreement would preserve the maximum Pell Grant award of $5,550 for the 2011-12 school year, however the House Budget Committee has already proposed drastic cuts to Pell funding in fiscal year 2012. These proposed cuts would slash the maximum grant and shrink or completely eliminate need-based grants for more than nine million students nationwide. We also need to ensure that Pell Grants are not wasted on career education programs that overpromise and under-deliver. Along with dozens of civil rights, consumer, veterans, and college access groups, we are very pleased that the fiscal year 2011 negotiators rejected the career college industry’s massive lobbying effort to block a common-sense “gainful employment” rule.
We urge Congress to continue to protect and invest in Pell Grants in fiscal year 2012, and look for ways to increase the maximum grant, not cut it, so that more qualified students can stay in school, graduate, and enter the workforce with the skills that our economy demands.