Friday, March 11, 2011

Pell Grants at Risk

I certainly know the term Pell Grants, but I was never sure who was a candidate for them when it comes to funding college. In summary, these federal grants are available for lower income families. The amount, no greater than $5,500 a year, is dependent about need, status as a student (full time or part time), etc. As with anything related to college finance, a FAFSA form must be submitted. The beautiful thing is, they do not have to be repaid.

Today, the largest federal student aid program is at risk. It's being looked at for cuts, along with so much else. Unfortunately, cuts here will severely affect students who look to these grants to get through college, even though Pells would cover just a portion of tuition costs. High school counselors don't know how to advise their students -- and colleges can't give incoming freshmen concrete numbers about aid.

It is only fair that all elements of the federal budget are scrutinized. But our country's future depends on an educated, innovative populace. The effects of our economic meltdown may last a generation -- or longer.

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