News Releases

The Pell Grant Preservation & Expansion Act helps students offset the rising costs of college by permanently indexing Pell Grants to inflation, increasing its purchasing power

Bill also makes Pell Grant funding mandatory, providing students with security of stability of program

Nearly eight million students currently receive Pell Grants—more than 40 percent of students enrolled in higher education

(Washington, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate education committee, joined Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) to introduce the Pell Grant Preservation & Expansion Act today that will expand and permanently safeguard the Pell Grant program, helping millions of low-income students offset the rising costs of college. The bill would improve the purchasing power of Pell Grants, permanently index the maximum grant to inflation, shift the Pell Grant program to fully mandatory funding, and restore eligibility for defrauded students.

“Earning a college degree is the key to opportunity for so many low-income students in Washington state and around the country, but far too many students must take on massive amounts of debt just to get the skills and education they need to get a good job with a decent living,” said Senator Murray. “I am proud to introduce this legislation to expand the Pell Grant program and give the eight million students currently receiving Pell Grants some additional needed stability and security. As a recipient of Pell Grants myself, I know firsthand the danger of President Trump’s vision for slashing student aid. Instead, I will keep fighting to make college more affordable for students across the country.”

The Pell Grant Preservation & Expansion Act also extends the program to DREAMers and restores eligibility to incarcerated individuals, encouraging them to support themselves and their families, upon release. The bill also increases support for working students, expands eligibility to short-term job training programs of high quality, and increases Pell Grant eligibility to 14 semesters to give non-traditional students more flexibility to complete their degrees.

The bill also incorporates priorities from other Members of Congress, and is cosponsored by Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Representatives Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), and Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.).

The text of the Pell Grant Preservation & Expansion Act can be found HERE.

Fact sheet on the Pell Grant Preservation & Expansion Act can be found HERE.