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CU Urges Congress to Double Pell

Pell Grants are the leading source of federal aid for low and middle-income students, providing students with affordable and accessible pathways to obtaining four-year degrees. There are more than 77,000 Pell Grant recipients in Colorado, making the grants an important resource for local students. In recent decades, the purchasing power of the Pell Grant has decreased significantly, now only covering approximately 30% of the cost of a four-year degree compared to 80% in past decades. Given their importance and value to students, CU advocated to double the Pell Grant maximum award throughout 2021. CU President Todd Saliman, CU Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano, CU Anschutz Medical Campus Chancellor Don Elliman, CU Denver Chancellor Michelle Marks, and UCCS Chancellor Venkat Reddy spearheaded a letter signed by 18 Colorado colleges and universities on August 25, urging the Colorado congressional delegation to support doubling the Pell Grant maximum award from $6,895 to $13,000. This letter added to a national campaign launched in the summer of 2021 by CU’s national association partners, led by the American Council on Education (ACE), the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the Association of American Universities (AAU). CU President Todd Saliman penned an op-ed for The Denver Post on October 24, citing the importance of doubling the Pell Grant to ensure more students can attend and finish a four year degree. Both the House and Senate have proposed a modest $400 increase to the Pell Grant maximum award for the current fiscal year. CU will continue to advocate for doubling the grants in 2022. 

Photo of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Photo of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Michael Judkins from Pexels

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