Saturday, May 26, 2018
Roy Blunt: Pell Grants make college affordable for students
One out of 3 students at Missouri colleges and universities are eligible for Pell Grants. That’s why, as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, I led efforts to restore year-round Pell, allowing students to receive an extra Pell Grant to stay enrolled throughout the year. I was also able to increase the maximum Pell Grant award to $6,095, an increase of 3 percent, to help make college more affordable.
I traveled across Missouri, from Springfield to Cape Girardeau and St. Louis, to speak with students, educators, and college administrators and heard how Pell Grants are helping them.
Here are just a few of the stories I heard from my roundtable meetings:
"The Pell Grant has given me the opportunity to stay in school because I had to wait until I was 25 because I couldn't afford to go before I was 23 or 24." - Ashley White, Truman State University, student
"It was pretty disheartening at times to tell a student that they weren't going to have any money to go to school in the summer. Now we don't have to do that." - Artie Fowler, Moberly Area Community College's Higher Education Center, director
"[Year-round Pell] made all the difference. Without it I'm not sure how I would've paid for college." - Stormi Potts, Missouri Southern State University, student
"I can leave Crowder College debt-free, and that's going to be extremely beneficial, an extra stressor I don't have to worry about." - Amy Levya, Crowder College, student
I know firsthand the importance of being able to go to school year-round. I became the first person in my family to earn a college degree, and since I took classes during the summer, I was able to do it in three years.
For first generation college students and non-traditional students, staying enrolled through the summer can make a big difference. Year-round Pell Grants will help more students stay on track for graduation, enter the workforce sooner, and graduate with less debt.
Every Missourian should have access to a high-quality, affordable post-secondary education. Year-round Pell Grants will help more students achieve their goals and provide the foundation they need to get ahead.
I congratulate all of this year’s graduates, and look forward to seeing even more graduation caps in the air next year.