Publication | June 29, 2022

Pell Access and Completion Series | Part I: Community College

The Pell Grant is targeted to students with the greatest financial need, and many policymakers find Pell to be a useful policy lever for promoting access and success for students from lower-income backgrounds. There are several examples where policymakers use Pell eligibility to allocate resources and hold colleges accountable for their outcomes; however, basic information about Pell access and completion is not well documented in policy research. To address this problem — and to provide baseline statistics useful in policy conversations — this analysis provides new information about Pell enrollments and degree completion rates for community colleges.

As the first in a three-part series on the Pell Grant, this brief provides background on the community college sector and data used in the analysis, followed by trends on the percentage of undergraduates receiving Pell Grants over time.