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Bush’s Backtrack: Freezes Pell Grants For Fourth Straight Year

Bush, 1/14/05:

We want to increase the Pell Grants by $100 a year over — $100 per year over the next five years.

Bush, 2/2/05:

[W]e’ll make it easier for Americans to afford a college education, by increasing the size of Pell Grants.

A year later, the president has completely backed away from his promises. The President’s FY ’07 budget freezes the Pell Grant for the fourth year in a row. The maximum Pell Grant remains $4,050.

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Meanwhile, the costs of higher education continue to skyrocket. The maximum Pell Grant covers only 33% of the average cost of attending a 4-year public university. Between 2001 and 2010, 4.4 million low- and moderate-income academically-qualified students forgo college because of the prohibitive costs.

The administration should work to make college more affordable for all students. Until this goal can be achieved, we need to make federal, state and institutional aid more widely available, especially to those with the greatest financial need.   — Elena Rocha