Don?t Cut Pell Grants, College Leaders Urge Congress

Sharon Rieger's picture
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Leo Morton today joined college leaders on Capitol Hill and pleaded for lawmakers to spare funding for Pell Grants for the nation’s poor students.

Pell Grants, which unlike loans don’t have to be paid back, each year aid some 10 million lower-income students in affording a college education.

In its effort to deal with the nation’s debt, Congress is considering cutting the program nearly in half, which could bounce about 1.5 million students off the grants.

Morton was in Washington with college leaders from across the country. They were backed by a contingent of students chanting, “You say cut back — we say fight back.” Many of the students at the morning event said they would be greatly affected by such a cut.

Currently the maximum Pell Grant allotment is $5,550 a year, about a third of the cost of most four-year public colleges and universities.

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