ATD Supporting Students' Financial Aid: Calling for the Continuation of the Annual Indexation of Pell Grants to Inflation

Achieving the Dream (ATD) is supporting the nation’s college students by calling for the continuation of the annual indexation of Pell Grants to inflation to ensure that their financial aid dollars stretch as far as possible to keep pace with increasing costs.  Pell Grants are the foundation of our national investment in higher education, giving more than 7.5 million low-income students the opportunity to access and complete college and to prepare for careers that require postsecondary education or training. Of the more than 220 ATD Network institutions, almost 80 percent have an undergraduate student body of 50% or more that rely on Pell Grants to offset the rising cost of college tuition and materials. 

Without Congressional action, the maximum Pell Grant award will no longer be adjusted according to the rate of inflation after the 2017-2018 school year. The current maximum Pell Grant is at its lowest purchasing power in more than 40 years, exacerbating current significant financial barriers for students. In an economy where postsecondary credentials are critical for pursuing a career, these financial barriers significantly limit social mobility and the availability of a skilled workforce. Earlier in 2017, Congress made an important investment by restoring students’ access to Pell Grants year-round, but that single action is not enough to offset the greater financial burden on students. Without action to maintain the inflation adjustment, students will face a decline in their aid therefore ATD is supporting the annual indexation of Pell Grants to inflation.

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