House FY12 Appropriations Bill Increases Uncertainty and Complexity in the Financial Aid Process for Students with Family Income
Under current law, students with family incomes below $32,000 who also meet additional requirements may receive an automatic-zero expected family contribution (EFC), making them eligible for the maximum Pell Grant if they attend full-time. The House Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bill rolls back this income requirement to the lowest level in history, so that students whose family income is between $15,000 and $32,000 would no longer be eligible for an automatic-zero EFC. This would reverse changes from the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (CCRAA), which passed with bipartisan support in Congress as well as support from numerous higher education and student groups. Almost two million Pell Grant recipients—many of whom are students with children—would be affected by this policy change.