Congressman Bobby Scott working to double Pell Grant amount
Congress is about to consider a new bill from a Virginia member of the House aimed at helping low-income students attend college.
Congressman Bobby Scott says now is the time to build on the president's recent action forgiving college loans, especially for low-income students who receive Pell Grants. That's why he is introducing a bill that would double the amount of money available to students who qualify.
"There will be a significant cost, but this is the cost of making sure that people have the opportunity that President Johnson promised when he signed the Higher Education Act that any student in any state can apply to any college or university and not be turned away because the family is poor," Scott says. "And that has not been the case. You have to be willing to take on crushing debt now."
Lee Andes at the State Council of Higher Education says the bill is great news for low-income students.
"Right now, the current amount, $6,895 right now, would more than cover tuition at a community college. But it would only cover about half or less of the tuition and fees at a four-year institution," Andes explains. "So by doubling it going up to $1,300 students can use the Pell grant even if they didn't receive any other aid they would have most of their tuition and fees at the average cost of a four-year public institution."
Scott says once the Congressional Budget Office puts a price tag on the bill, he's hoping to schedule hearings this fall.