Adler University has joined the American Council on Education and nearly 1,200 other institutions across the U.S. to support the federal Pell Grant program and to call for doubling the maximum award in a letter to Congress. The Pell Grant is usually awarded to undergraduate students and there is widespread support for this effort across the higher education community.
“The Pell Grant program has provided access to undergraduate higher education for millions for almost 50 years,” said Adler University President Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D. “This long-overdue increase in the Pell Grant must then be followed by increases in funding and loan forgiveness for graduate and professional higher education that prepares the practitioners who are essential to the health of our communities.”
President Crossman is a member of the American Council on Education on behalf of Adler University. The council mobilizes higher education institutions to advocate for effective public policy.
“We urge [Congress] to bring an affordable, high-quality college education within reach for all students by doubling the maximum Pell Grant,” the letter states. “This long overdue investment will drive economic recovery, help address racial and economic inequities in college completion rates, and increase overall educational attainment.”
The Pell Grant helps nearly seven million low- and moderate-income students attend and complete college annually.
“Students from all 50 states and all corners of the country — from rural areas to cities to everywhere in between — rely on the Pell Grant program to build their future,” the letter states. “Pell Grants are especially critical for students of color, with nearly 60 percent of Black students, half of American Indian or Alaska Native students, and nearly half of Latinx students receiving a Pell Grant each year.”
The letter also explains that raising the grant maximum is critical because the percentage of college costs covered by the grant is at an all-time low and recipients are experiencing disproportionate student loan debt.
“Doubling the maximum Pell Grant — and permanently indexing the grant to inflation to ensure its value doesn’t diminish over time — will boost college enrollment, improve graduation rates, and honor the history and value of these grants as the keystone federal investment in college affordability,” the letter states.