Eisgruber, New Jersey Higher Education Executives Urge Congress To Double Pell Grants


Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber and higher education leaders across New Jersey sent a letter to the State Congress delegation in support of the doubling of the maximum Pell grant. The Pell Grant is a federal financial aid program for students from low and moderate income backgrounds.

Eisgruber and Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway co-authored the letter, which was signed by 44 higher education leaders representing independent and public four- and two-year colleges and universities in New Jersey. The current maximum amount of the Pell Grant is $ 6,495.

“Doubling the maximum Pell grant will help more students from low- and middle-income families get to and complete college,” the letter said. “It helps everyone: by cultivating talents from all sectors of society, we make our state and our country stronger and better. “

Higher education leaders added, “It is exciting and gratifying to see Congress and the President consider ways to help make the university more affordable. … On behalf of our institutions – and, more importantly, on behalf of students of modest means throughout New Jersey and across the country – we are writing to ask for your support in doubling the maximum amount of the Pell Grant as you are developing and voting on a budget reconciliation program this month. “

When the Pell Grant was enacted in the 1970s, it covered almost 80% of the cost of attending a four-year public college. However, the Pell now represents less than 30% of the cost of attendance.

“It’s time to radically recalibrate this vital program to restore Pell’s promise to make university possible for the next generation of post-secondary students,” the letter told Congress. “Here in New Jersey, more than 150,000 students receive Pell Scholarships each year, part of a current universe of 7 million Pell recipients nationwide, a clear majority of whom are black students and about the United States. half of Latinx students currently enrolled in university. ”

Eisgruber has already argued for the doubling of the Pell grant, including in a recent blog with an essay by Cassidy Barnes senior on the life-changing power of financial aid.

“One of my highest priorities is to increase the number of low- and middle-income students graduating from universities, both at Princeton and nationally,” Eisgruber wrote in his article. July 30 blog.

While Princeton is able to provide generous financial aid to its undergraduates, many other students rely on federal and state aid like the Pell Grant.

“Pell is a proven program and, in combination with other federal aid, state aid and institutional grants, has provided millions of low-income students with a wide range of post-secondary opportunities in two- and four-year colleges and universities, ”the letter to Congress said.

Princeton is generous financial aid program covers all demonstrated needs of undergraduates. The University’s Loan-Free Assistance Program offers grants that do not need to be repaid, allowing Princeton students to graduate debt-free.

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