Joint Letter: 63 Orgs Urging Appropriators to Protect Pell in FY20 Spending Bill

Today, Americans for Financial Reform joined 62 other organizations representing students, veterans, colleges, consumers, financial aid administrators, college access providers, unions, researchers, scholarship providers, education advocates, and civil rights advocates sent a letter to Senate appropriators urging them to oppose the overall Labor-HHS-Education spending allocation and the accompanying proposed $1.3 billion rescission from the Pell reserve fund and to instead fully retain all current Pell funds where they belong – in the Pell Grant program.

The signatories wrote, “A $1.3 billion cut would put much-needed investments to strengthen Pell further out of reach. This cut would also place the program at risk of future cuts to grant amounts or eligibility that would exacerbate student debt and limit access to higher education.

“The current maximum Pell Grant already covers less than one-third of the cost of attending a four-year public college – the lowest share in more than 40 years. Pell Grant recipients today are more than twice as likely as other students to have student loans, and recipients who borrow graduate with over $4,500 more debt than their higher income peers.

“At a time when a postsecondary credential or degree is an increasingly necessary gateway to a meaningful career, a strong Pell Grant is critical to ensuring that students from all financial backgrounds are able to participate and grow a strong, diverse economy.”

You can read the full text of the letter here.