Press Release/Statement | June 20, 2024

TICAS Applauds Introduction of Landmark Pell Grant Legislation

In response to the introduction of the Pell Grant Preservation & Expansion Act of 2024Michele Zampini, senior director of college affordability at TICAS, issued the following statement:

We applaud Sens. Mazie Hirono, Patty Murray, Jack Reed, and Sheldon Whitehouse and Representatives Mark Pocan and Robert C. “Bobby” Scott for leading the Pell Grant Preservation & Expansion Act of 2024. This landmark bill would make college more affordable and accessible for millions of students and strengthen, expand, and protect the Pell Grant program for years to come.  

“The Pell Grant program—which helps nearly seven million low- and moderate-income students attend and complete college annually—is our nation’s foundational investment in college affordability.   

“However, the current maximum Pell award covers the lowest share of college costs in the program’s history, contributing to the ongoing crisis of high costs and high debt burdens for millions of students. At its peak 50 years ago, it covered more than 75% of the average cost of attending a four-year public college; it now covers just 26% of that cost.  

“Today’s bill would nearly double the maximum Pell award to $14,000 within five years; fix the program’s funding structure to protect students from the annual threat of eligibility or aid cuts; extend grants to Dreamers; reinstate lifetime eligibility for Pell awards; and extend additional aid to beneficiaries of federal basic needs programs.   

“We strongly support this legislation as a critical step along the pathway to debt-free college.”