Obama to cut individual Pells amid exploding growth

WASHINGTON Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:45am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's proposed budget for the next fiscal year nips and tucks at individual grants for low-income students but the amount budgeted is twice as high as two years ago because the number of students has grown.

One tuck is a decision to end the year-round Pell which allows students to collect two grants in a calendar year if they attend summer school, which is most likely to be felt by for-profit schools, according to one analyst.

The other tuck is the elimination of interest subsidies for loans to graduate students.

The maximum award for a Pell grant remains $5,550, which more than nine million students expected to benefit from as part of the program. That's up from 5.6 million students who received Pell grants in the 2008-2009 academic year, said Mark Kantrowitz, a financial aid expert.

"Cutting the year round Pell grant does affect the (for-profit) colleges because they're the most likely to take advantage of it," said Kantrowitz.

The department said in its budget that the year-round program "has cost 10 times more than anticipated and failed to demonstrate a meaningful impact on students' academic progress."

The Education Department budget allotted $36.3 billion for federal Pell grants for the 2012 fiscal year, up from $17.5 billion in 2010.

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Comments (1)
Momlee wrote:
Obama and his liberal friends want to throw more money toward education. When is enough enough? As long as the unions dictate to americans our children will suffer. It doesn’t take more money. The government should mind our countries business and leave education to the parents. Frankly our president thinks money will solve our problems. Sadly mistaken.

Feb 14, 2011 3:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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