February 3, 2022
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy Minority Leader U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Chuck Schumer Majority Leader United States Senate Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Mitch McConnell Minority Leader United States Senate Washington, DC 20510
Dear Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McConnell, and Leader McCarthy:
As you work toward a spending agreement for fiscal year 2022, the undersigned organizations urge you to invest in our nation’s students by doubling the maximum Pell Grant award and protecting the longterm viability of the Pell Grant program. To meet this critical goal, we urge you to pursue all available means, including appropriations and other spending measures.
Pell Grants are the foundation of our national investment in higher education. Each year, they allow more than seven million low- and middle-income students — including nearly 60 percent of Black undergraduates and almost half of Latino undergraduates — to attend and complete college.
The share of college costs covered by the Pell Grant is at an all-time low. Nearly 50 years ago, the maximum grant was worth more than three-quarters of the cost of attending a four-year public college. after decades of state budget cuts that drove up tuition, Pell Grants now cover less than one-third of those costs. Furthermore, household incomes were flat over the same period. 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. Doubling the Pell Grant would significantly reduce or eliminate low-income students’ need to borrow.
In a climate where political parties, candidates, and even neighbors have difficulty finding common ground, a recent national survey of registered voters showed strong bipartisan support for investing in the Pell Grant program, with 75 percent explicitly supporting doubling the maximum award.
A postsecondary credential or degree is an increasingly necessary gateway to economic opportunity, and a strong Pell Grant is critical to ensuring that students from all financial backgrounds can participate and grow a strong, diverse economy. Thank you for your attention to this critical matter.
10,000 Degrees 1000 Women Strong Academic Success Program Dallas Achieve Atlanta ACPA-College Student Educators International Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities Alabama Possible American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers American Association of Community Colleges American Association of State Colleges and Universities American Association of University Professors American Council on Education American Federation of Teachers American Indian Higher Education Consortium American Psychological Association APIA Scholars APPA, “Leadership in Educational Facilities” Asociación de Colegios y Universidades Privadas de Puerto Rico (ACUP) and universities of puerto rico>and universities of puerto rico> Association for Biblical Higher Education Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools Association of American Universities Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities Association of Independent Colleges & Universities in Massachusetts Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania (AICUP) Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Rhode Island Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Association of Presbyterian Colleges & Universities Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions Association of Young Americans (AYA) Bold Thought Partners, LLC Bottom Line Breakthrough Central Texas California EDGE Coalition California Student Aid Commission Capital Area College Access Network, Lansing, MI Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar CCCU - Council for Christian Colleges & Universities Center for American Progress Center for First-generation Student Success Chiefs for Change COHEAO College Advising Corps College Beyond College Bound - St. Louis College Horizons, Inc. College Now Greater Cleveland College Success Foundation CollegeBound Foundation CollegeTracks Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities Common App & Reach Higher Community Bridges, Inc. Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area Consumer Action Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) Council for Opportunity in Education Council of Independent Colleges Council of Independent Nebraska Colleges Foundation Council on Social Work Education Denver Scholarship Foundation Detroit College Access Network Dr. Doretha Pressey Southern Scholars Initiative, Inc. Education Forward Arizona EDUCAUSE EduDreamer Excelencia in Education Florida College Access Network Generation Progress Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce Georgia Budget and Policy Institute Goddard Riverside, Options Center GRASP (Great Aspirations Scholarship Program) Grind To Grad Higher Education Loan Coalition Higher Heights Youth Empowerment Programs, Inc. Higher Learning Advocates Higher Learning Commission Higher Level Educational Consulting, Inc. Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities ICUF (Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida) Independent Colleges of Indiana Independent Colleges of Washington Indigenous Education, Inc. Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) John Burton Advocates for Youth Kansas Independent College Association Kid City Hope Place KIPP Public Schools Latino U College Access (LUCA) LeadMN -- College Students Connecting For Change Learn to Earn Dayton, Inc. Let's Get Ready Los Angeles United Methodist Urban Foundation Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA) Mastery Charter Schools Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling Michigan League for Public Policy Middle States Commission on Higher Education Mid-Eastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel Minnesota Private College Council More Than Bootstraps Muskegon Opportunity College Access Network, Muskegon, MI NAACP National Association for College Admission Counseling National Association of College and University Business Officers National Association of Graduate-Professional Students National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators National College Attainment Network (NCAN) National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of our low-income clients) National Down Syndrome Congress National Education Association National Young Farmers Coalition New America Higher Education Program New American Colleges and Universities New England Association for College Admission Counseling New England Commission of Higher Education New York Public Interest Research Group Noble Schools North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Northern California College Promise Coalition Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities Ohio Student Association On Point for College OneGoal Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities Partners for Education at Berea College Partnership for Los Angeles Schools Partnership for the Future Path to College Tennessee PeerForward Peninsula Bridge Penn AHEAD Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling Phi Beta Kappa Society Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Philadelphia College Prep Roundtable Philanthropy Ohio Phoenix Pact Project GRAD Akron Puget Sound College & Career Network - Puget Sound Educational Service District Reach Higher Montana Rocky Mountain Association for College Admission Counseling SACSCOC Scholarship America South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities Southeast Asia Resource Action Center Stand by Me NexGen Delaware State Higher Education Executive Officers Association Student Debt Crisis Center Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) Student Veterans of America Students United Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Assoc. The Century Foundation The Coalition of State University Aid Administrators The Education Trust The Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) The Opportunity Network The Peninsula College Fund Third Way TN College Access and Success Network Toledo Tomorrow uAspire UNCF (United Negro College Fund) UnidosUS UNITE-LA University of California Graduate & Professional Council WASC Senior College and University Commission West Virginia Independent Colleges & Universities Western Association for College Admission Counseling Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities Women Employed Woodward Hines Education Foundation Work Colleges Consortium Worthington Scholarship Foundation Yes We Must Coalition Young Invincibles cc: The Honorable Patty Murray The Honorable Richard Burr The Honorable Patrick Leahy The Honorable Richard Shelby The Honorable Roy Blunt The Honorable Bobby Scott The Honorable Virginia Foxx The Honorable Rosa DeLauro The Honorable Kay Granger The Honorable Tom Cole