A statement from Student PIRGs Higher Education Advocate, Ethan Senack, following the Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill markup and passage in the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier today:
“While we appreciate the Committee’s bipartisan effort to restore year-round Pell Grant access for millions of students, we feel significant concern over the concurrent $1.2 billion raid on Pell Grant funding to close gaps elsewhere in the bill.
Nearly 8 million low- and middle-income students rely on Pell Grants to bring college within reach. Over the past decade, Congress has cut eligibility for the program, and failed to maintain the grant’s purchasing power – now less than 30% of college costs.
Instead of taking money out, Congress can, and should, do more to restore Pell Grants as the cornerstone of federal financial aid. As the appropriations process moves forward, we urge legislators to stand up for students and protect funding for the Pell Grant Program.”
Student PIRGs are independent statewide student organizations that work on issues like environmental protection, consumer protection, and hunger and homelessness. For nearly 40 years students working with their campus PIRG chapters have been making a real difference in people's lives and winning concrete changes to build a better world.
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