News Releases

Senator Murray worked to provide defrauded Pell Grant students with the opportunity to continue their education in bipartisan Appropriations bill 

Many defrauded students have used up Pell Grant eligibility and are unable to complete their studies 

New restoration could benefit more than 31,000 former students nationwide and more than 1,400 former students in Washington State

(Washington, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced a bipartisan deal to restore Pell Grant eligibility to students who were defrauded by their colleges and universities, including many former students who attended Corinthian Colleges. The Fiscal Year 2018 LHHS appropriations bill was approved by the full Senate Committee on Appropriations yesterday with a provision to provided much-overdue help to defrauded students.

As Secretary DeVos continues to prioritize the interests of for-profit colleges ahead of students, I’m pleased Republicans and Democrats in Congress were able to come together to soundly reject her proposed budget to deeply cut financial aid that students rely on today,” said Senator Murray. “While I believe we need to do more to strengthen our investments in Pell Grants and financial aid, I’m pleased this budget builds on the reinstatement of year-round Pell Grants earlier this year by increasing the maximum Pell Grant and restoring eligibility for students defrauded by predatory colleges. Too many defrauded students were left with a mountain of debt and no degree to show for it, so I’m proud we are taking this step in the right direction to give these students a second chance.”

Accompanying the bill yesterday was bipartisan report language that encourages the Department to move swiftly to help tens of thousands more defrauded students who are waiting for debt relief. The restoration of Pell Grant eligibility for defrauded students builds on Senator Murray’s work to ensure fairness for all students who have been mistreated or abused in higher education. Last year, on October 5, 2016 Senator Murray identified authority in the law to restore Pell Grant eligibility for students who were impacted by the abrupt collapses of ITT Tech and Corinthian. The Department agreed that this authority to help students exists and is currently implementing the restoration, which benefits tens of thousands of students.

Earlier this year, Senator Murray also worked to restore year-round Pell Grants in the most flexible manner possible, supporting both full and part-time students, and giving them the flexibility they need to complete their degrees. These changes together will help to secure and expand the Pell Grant program for the most vulnerable students who rely on financial aid to attend and complete a college certificate, degree, or credential—including vital workforce training programs.