Pell Grant Funding
There were over 16 Million applications submitted for the Pell Grant, which is the highest number of Pell Grant Applications in the history of this program. Of the 16 Million applications that were submitted, only 10.9 Million applicants received a Pell Grant award amount. 66% of all applicants that attends a Title IV college received a Pell Grant for the following school term.
A total of $30 Billion was allocated for the Pell Grant during the 2009-2010 school year, which was a 64% increase from the prior school year. The average Pell Grant award amount was $3,706, while the minimum Pell Grant award amount was $976 and the maximum Pell Grant award amount was $5,350 during this school year.
The total number of applicants is expected to increase dramatically for the 2011-2012 school year due to the weakness is the economy and continued high unemployment rate. Parents are no longer about to pay for their childís education and unemployed students are now returning back to school to learn a new vocation.
The $30 Billion that was distributed to students is a substantial increase from the $47.6 Million that was distributed in 1973, which was the first year of the Pell Grant. Even though there is a substantial increase in the total Pell Grant spending, it still doesnít cover many of the school expenses that a student faces today.
Continued Pell Grant cuts are being discussed in Congress due to the recent major budget deficits. Democrats continue to support the Pell Grant program because they feel it encourages low-income students to continue with this education. The Tea Party/Republican Party would like to see this program cut itís massive budget because they feel the funding is not appropriately distributed.
As college costs continue to increase, many more students will have to depend on the Pell Grant to fund their education. Students have fewer resources to use, since the federal government no longer uses private industry loans and other private banking student loan options. The Pell Grant remains one of the only financial aid options available to low-income students pursuing their education past the high school level.