Low-income college students can get an extra $500 this year to help them pay for their education.
Under the latest federal spending plan signed by President Joe Biden on Thursday, the maximum value of Pell’s scholarship is set to rise to nearly $7,400 for fiscal year 2023, an increase of $500 from the current award cap of $6,895.
Higher education advocates applauded the increase, saying it could help more low-income students begin and complete college.
said Terry Hartl, senior vice president of government relations and public affairs for the American Council on Education, a trade group of universities.
How many low-income students receive Pell Grants?
More than 6 million college students received a Pell Grant in the 2020-21 school year, according to the Department of Education. Unlike student loans, students do not have to repay the money in all but the most extreme cases.
Biden has said he plans to increase the maximum Pell Grant to $13,000 by 2029, and other Hartle supporters were hopeful the increase would happen sooner rather than later.
However, this year’s top prize will help an overwhelming number of people who are trying to decide whether to start or continue their post-secondary education, Hartl said..
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How do I apply for a Pell scholarship?
To receive a Pell Grant, students are required to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, as it is more commonly known. It is free to complete.
Under a new model that is due to take effect in 2024And the Students will only have to answer about a third of the questions they had in previous iterations. The government is also adjusting its method for determining how much students and their families contribute towards the costs of their education, which could result in more money for students who need it most.
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Hartl said universities are keen to see the changes take effect because they can make it easier for students and families to receive the money they need to attend college.
How much is a Pell Grant?
Not every student will receive the full $7,400 available under the Pell Scholarship. In the 2020-21 award year, the average student received approximately $4,600. The student’s award is based on how much they and their families are expected to contribute towards the cost of their education.
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The average four-year degree at a public university costs about $9,400, and the cost rises dramatically to $37,600 for those attending a private institution, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
What does $500 on campus cover?
Peel scholarships are usually awarded directly to universities, and the foundation will use the funds to cover tuition, fees, and other costs. Anything left over is given directly to the student, who can use the money for other education-related expenses.
It’s fair to say that $500 doesn’t cover much when it comes to higher education but it might make life easier for some students.
The average student spent about $340 on course materials — think textbooks and similar equipment — in the 2021-22 school year, according to a survey by the National Association of College Stores.
Student parking permits can cost hundreds of dollars at colleges across the country annually. For example, on-campus parking for students who live at Montana State University costs $100 to $245 per year. At the University of Virginia, student permits can cost anywhere from $324 to $804 per year.
Students, especially in STEM majors, are likely to pay extra fees for specialized lab courses that can cost hundreds of dollars. Many universities require students to have Medicare plans and some automatically enroll students into programs where annual premiums can cost thousands of dollars. Students can opt out of these plans if they can prove they are insured either through their parents or through plans available through the Affordable Care Act.
Contact Chris Quintana at (202) 308-9021 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @CQuintanadc