ERIC Number: ED464559
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Will the Pell Grant Have the Ability To Provide Access and Choice to Low-Income Students in the Future?
Lechuga, Vicente M.
This paper provides a basic understanding of the Pell Grant program and summarizes the evidence regarding its effectiveness. The Basic Educational Opportunities Program, known as the Pell Grant program, began in 1973 as a means of providing disadvantaged students access to a postsecondary education. The Pell Grant program has tried to keep up with the rising cost of college, but the growth of the Pell Grant program in real dollars has sharply declined. By the 2000-2001 academic year, the Pell Grant maximum covered only 39% of the total cost at a four-year public institution. The amount of money a student can receive through the Pell Grant program is need-based, with his or her family's expected contribution subtracted from the Pell Grant maximum. Students who are eligible to receive the maximum may not do so if allocations are not sufficient. This may help explain why Pell Grant awards are disproportionately used at two-year colleges. A number of researchers have considered whether or not the Pell Grant has helped large numbers of disadvantaged students attend college, and some findings suggest that it is being used by youth who had planned on attending college in any case. There is no doubt that the program provides a smaller percentage of college costs. Some of the options for reallocating the money the Pell Grant program receives each year are discussed. It is imperative that policymakers consider new ideas to revamp the program to allow for greater access and greater choice. Increased appropriations are not likely, and narrowing eligibility does not achieve the goal of increasing participation. Program changes must be carefully considered if the Pell Grant program is to provide continued access and college choice. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Pell Grant Program