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Subject:

FW: IHEP Policy Report Release: FEDERAL GRANT AID NOT ENOUGH TO SUPPORT STUDENTS WITH THE LOWEST INCOMES

From:

Dan Kern <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 28 Apr 2008 13:26:15 -0500

Content-Type:

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (282 lines)

 

 

  _____  

From: The Institute For Higher Education Policy [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 12:16 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: IHEP Policy Report Release

 

 
<http://cl.exct.net/open.aspx?ffcb10-fe9810767463047d70-fdfd1672776400757611
7172-fef81274776300-fe911572726d027d70-fe181679706c0279701d77-ffcf14> 


 

 

 

 


 

IHEP POLICY REPORT RELEASE 

 IHEP <http://www.ihep.org/assets/images/newsletter/ihep-logo.gif> 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

  <http://www.ihep.org/assets/images/newsletter/spacer.gif> 

FEDERAL GRANT AID NOT ENOUGH TO SUPPORT STUDENTS WITH THE LOWEST INCOMES 

Study Offers New Policy Options for Pell Grant Program to Ease Financial
Burden on Poorest Students

Washington, D.C., April 28, 2008 -Like many students, Pell Grant recipients
must rely on multiple financial aid sources, including other grants and
loans, to cover the rising cost of college. Students from the lowest-income
families often compete with students from higher-income families for federal
aid. As a result, the poorest students may have to work long hours or rely
on expensive private loans and high-interest credit cards to cover the
entire cost of tuition and fees as well as books, transportation, and living
expenses. 

According to a new report by the Institute for Higher Education Policy
(IHEP), published in partnership with the American Association of State
Colleges and Universities
<http://cl.exct.net/?ju=fe521772736d0d747315&ls=fdfd16727764007576117172&m=f
ef81274776300&l=fe911572726d027d70&s=fe181679706c0279701d77&jb=ffcf14&t=>
(AASCU), changes in federal policy are needed to strengthen America's
investment in financial aid in ways that help students from low-income
backgrounds overcome financial barriers to higher education. The report,
<http://cl.exct.net/?ju=fe511772736d0d747316&ls=fdfd16727764007576117172&m=f
ef81274776300&l=fe911572726d027d70&s=fe181679706c0279701d77&jb=ffcf14&t=>
Window of Opportunity: Targeting Federal Grant Aid to Students with the
Lowest Incomes, discusses options intended to deliver significant additional
aid to the poorest students. The study highlights specific policy steps,
based on Congress' recent boost in Pell Grant aid, to more-narrowly target
grant aid to the lowest-income students. 

FEDERAL POLICY OPTIONS 

*	Adjust the Federal Need Analysis Rules to Allow for a Negative
Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This option would allow significantly
more grant aid to flow to the lowest-income Pell Grant recipients without
affecting the awards available to other students. Bureaucratic rules put in
place by the Department of Education prohibit the EFC from falling below
zero even though the federal-aid formula often results in negative numbers.
Students whose families have a "negative" EFC currently receive the same
amount of aid as higher-income students whose families' EFC is zero. A
targeted and effective solution involves allowing the lowest-income
students, those with a negative EFC, to receive up to an additional $750 in
Pell aid. 
*	Raise Both the Minimum and Maximum Pell Awards. Raising the minimum
award eliminates higher-income students from the program while
better-targeting assistance to students from lower-income families by
potentially increasing the size of their individual grants. However, raising
the minimum amount awarded to individual students could make it tougher from
some students who really need the help to meet postsecondary expenses. 
*	Target New Investments to Low-Income Students. When new investments
are made in federal grant aid, it is important to target them to the
students who need it most. Two new federal grant programs created in
2006-the Academic Competitiveness Grant and the National Science and
Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant-are tied to the Pell program in
how they are delivered; however, both programs are constrained by
eligibility requirements (e.g., grade point average) that call into question
the ability of the lowest-income students to access these new resources. To
receive the Academic Competitiveness Grant, for example, students must
complete a college preparatory curriculum which may not be available to very
low income students attending poorly resourced high schools. 
*	Raise the Maximum Ceiling for Individual Pell Grants. The College
Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 delivered a much-needed boost to the
appropriated maximum award for eligible recipients-the maximum Pell will
reach $5,400 by 2012-13. By raising the maximum award, the program increases
the amount of aid available to all Pell recipients, including those with the
lowest incomes. Raising the maximum award also expands the pool of eligible
recipients and includes students with higher incomes. 

"The experiences of Pell Grant recipients enrolling in and paying for
college demonstrate the economic hardship that postsecondary expenses can
have on low-income students, especially those from the poorest families,"
said Thomas Parker, IHEP interim president and senior associate. "We are
calling for narrowly focused policy changes as first steps. Given the
legislative environment regarding student financial-aid policy, policymakers
have a real opportunity to make fiscally responsible decisions that
significantly increase support through the Pell Grant program for students
who need help the most." 

Earlier this month, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) introduced the
Strengthening Student Aid for All Act of 2008 to help students and families
more easily receive federal grant and loan aid to pay for college amid
today's unstable credit markets. Kennedy, chairman of U.S. Senate's
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, stressed this
legislation "reduces the need to rely on higher-cost private loans by
increasing grant aid for the neediest students, expands federal loan limits,
and makes low-cost federally subsidized loans to parents more attractive."
The bill also includes policy options presented by AASCU President
Constantine W. (Deno) Curris, who wrote to Kennedy in March to suggest
alternatives less financially burdensome for students and their families
than raising the federal student loan limits. 

"The policy options outlined in this report are fiscally sound and would
help remove financial barriers that currently keep many students who are in
or near poverty from attending college in the same numbers as students of
similar ability but from middle- or higher-income families," said Curris.
"The more than 430 public colleges and universities that are members of
AASCU have a deep commitment to access and to building a society where
economic status does not determine educational opportunity. It is this
commitment that motivated AASCU to commission the Pell Grant study," he
said. 

The full report, Window
<http://cl.exct.net/?ju=fe511772736d0d747316&ls=fdfd16727764007576117172&m=f
ef81274776300&l=fe911572726d027d70&s=fe181679706c0279701d77&jb=ffcf14&t=>
of Opportunity: Targeting Federal Grant Aid to Students with the Lowest
Incomes, is available for download on IHEP's Web site at www.ihep.org
<http://cl.exct.net/?ju=fe501772736d0d747317&ls=fdfd16727764007576117172&m=f
ef81274776300&l=fe911572726d027d70&s=fe181679706c0279701d77&jb=ffcf14&t=>  .
The AASCU president's letter and an accompanying policy statement ("AASCU
Policy Alternative to Raising Federal Student Loan Limits Project") may be
found on the organization's Web site at www.aascu.org
<http://cl.exct.net/?ju=fe521772736d0d747315&ls=fdfd16727764007576117172&m=f
ef81274776300&l=fe911572726d027d70&s=fe181679706c0279701d77&jb=ffcf14&t=> .
Funding for the report was provided by Lumina Foundation for Education
<http://cl.exct.net/?ju=fe4f1772736d0d747310&ls=fdfd16727764007576117172&m=f
ef81274776300&l=fe911572726d027d70&s=fe181679706c0279701d77&jb=ffcf14&t=> ,
an Indianapolis-based private foundation striving to help people achieve
their potential by expanding access to and success in education beyond high
school. 

About the Institute for Higher Education Policy 
The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) is an independent,
nonprofit organization that is dedicated to increasing access and success in
postsecondary education around the world. Established in 1993, the
Washington, D.C.-based organization uses unique research and innovative
programs to inform key decision makers who shape public policy and support
economic and social development. IHEP's Web site, www.ihep.org, features an
expansive collection of higher education information available free of
charge and provides access to some of the most respected professionals in
the fields of public policy and research. 

About the American Association of State Colleges and Universities 
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities is the
leadership association of 430 public colleges and universities delivering
America's promise through their common commitments to access, affordability
and educational opportunity. Enrolling more than 3 million students, these
institutions fulfill the expectations of a public university by working for
the public good through education, stewardship and engagement, thereby
improving the lives of people in their community, their region and their
state. 

###

CONTACT
Tia T. Gordon
Institute for Higher Education Policy
202 861 8227
[log in to unmask] 

Jennifer Dawn Herrera
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
202 478 4665
[log in to unmask] 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 
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ef81274776300&l=fe911572726d027d70&s=fe181679706c0279701d77&jb=ffcf14&t=>
DOWNLOAD - POLICY REPORT

 


 

 

 


 

 
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ef81274776300&l=fe911572726d027d70&s=fe181679706c0279701d77&jb=ffcf14&t=>
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