Amidst Outcry, House Appropriators Approve $3.3 Billion Cut to Pell Grants, Freeze Grant Amounts

July 19, 2017
Statement of Jessica Thompson

On July 19, 2017, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) appropriations bill that cuts $3.3 billion from Pell Grants, raiding funds needed to help millions of low- and moderate-income students attend and complete college. The bill also freezes Pell Grant award amounts for the first time in six years -- a move that will cause the value of the maximum grant to sink to a new historic low. Pell Grants are our nation’s most effective investment for ensuring equitable access to higher education, and are an integral part of growing a robust workforce. Rather than increasing grant sizes to help millions of Americans struggling to get ahead in today’s economy, this bill adds insult to injury by piling on to the $1.3 billion cut in May for a $4.6 billion total cut to Pell Grants.