AASCU Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Pell Grant Program

By: The American Association of State Colleges and Universities

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) enthusiastically celebrates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. This significant piece of legislation created the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant program subsequently renamed the Pell Grant program in 1980 in honor of its main sponsor, Sen. Claiborne Pell.

“Pell Grants are the backbone of making access to higher education a reality for many low- and moderate-income and diverse students and their families. More than 80 million students, many of whom have enrolled and graduated from public regional comprehensive institutions, have relied on the principal investment made by the federal government to support students in financial need,” said AASCU President Mildred García. “AASCU and its close to 400 members call on Congress to increase its investment in Pell Grants by doubling its maximum value to $13,000 per academic term. This is one of the most meaningful and impactful ways to make higher education attainment more affordable especially for current and future underrepresented students,” she added.

AASCU thanks Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), chair of the House of Representatives Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee and the ranking member Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) as well as Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee and ranking member Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), for introducing an important Congressional Resolution to honor the importance of the program and designate June 23, 2022, as ‘‘National Pell Grant Day.”

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