The Pell Grant has proven to be a highly successful program that has opened the doors of educational opportunity for many low- and moderate-income students across our state, including here at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Lower-income students at colleges across the nation depend on federal Pell Grants to afford college, earn their degrees, and hold down debt. However, after years of under-investment, Pell Grants are not able to help students like they used to – the buying power of the program has simply not kept up with the financial aid needs of students.
We are part of an alliance of national organizations – including the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), and private and public colleges across the country – that have joined together to support the cause of doubling the Pell Grant maximum from $6,495 to $13,000. Doubling Pell Grants will:
- Increase access to higher education for more low- and moderate-income students and families;
- Increase degree completion; and
- Reduce student debt.
At Saint Mary’s, Pell Grants are critical, helping 472 (29% percent) of our undergraduate students afford their education. At DoublePell.org, you can find a wealth of information about the Pell Grant program and why it needs to be doubled now.
As a Lasallian Catholic institution of higher education, accessibility and affordability are central to our values and mission. Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the founder of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, started his educational ministry in France in the 1600s to provide a high-quality education to the working class and poor. That continues to be our ministry at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Hence, our request to you today.
All of us have an opportunity to encourage our members of Congress to act. I am writing now to ask you to consider joining me and our national coalition in asking our Members of Congress to double the Pell Grant — allowing the maximum grant to grow from $6,495 to $13,000.
Please take a moment now to send your own notes to your members of Congress: doublepell.org/take-action
Contact with your federal elected officials can make a real difference.