“We applaud the House of Representatives for advancing the Build Back Better Act, which includes critical new investments in college affordability and completion. By making historic increases to the Pell Grant and directing that increase to public and nonprofit colleges, investing in minority-serving institutions, and creating a first-of-its-kind college completion fund, this bill will help millions of students earn a college degree.
“The bill’s $550 increase to the maximum Pell Grant will make it easier for millions of students to cover college costs — a critical step toward doubling the maximum grant. By excluding low-quality, high-cost institutions from this increase, the framework seeks to maximize Congress’ investment in students and make Pell dollars go the furthest.
“The package further unlocks the door to opportunity by expanding Pell Grant eligibility to students with DACA and Temporary Protected Status, and by making all Pell dollars tax-free. The bill also makes key investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and other minority-serving institutions.
“Importantly, these affordability investments are paired with a first-of-its-kind $500 million program to implement and scale evidence-based retention and completion initiatives that can help more students earn a degree. By setting aside funding specifically for interventions with strong evidence of effectiveness, this new program has the potential to dramatically improve the trajectories of students across the country.
“While more remains to be done to put a high-quality, debt-free college education within all students’ reach, including establishing a new federal-state partnership that fundamentally alters how we fund public colleges, the Build Back Better Act is an important investment in our nation’s students. We look forward to working with the Senate to enact it into law and advancing an equitable recovery through higher education.”
The Institute for College Access & Success is a trusted source of research, design, and advocacy for student-centered public policies that promote affordability, accountability, and equity in higher education. For more information see www.ticas.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.