Pell Grant 2023-24 Update: Major Increase and Expanded Eligibility
The Pell Grant, a significant form of financial aid for college students in the United States, has seen some noteworthy updates in the recent period. These changes are crucial for students, educators, and policymakers to understand, as they have direct implications on college affordability and access.
Increase in Maximum Award
For the 2023-24 award year, the maximum Pell Grant has been raised to $7,395. This amount marks a significant increase from the previous year's maximum of $6,895. This increase is part of a broader trend in the federal government's investment in the Pell Grant program, showcasing a commitment to supporting higher education affordability.
Use of Grant Funds
The Pell Grant funds can be used for a variety of school-related expenses. Eligible institutions where these funds can be utilized include two-year community colleges, career schools, online schools, and four-year colleges and universities. This flexibility ensures that a wide range of students can benefit from the grant, regardless of the type of institution they attend.
Duration of Eligibility
Students can receive Pell Grants for up to 12 full-time terms or approximately six years. This duration is significant as it aligns well with the typical time frame for completing undergraduate studies, including potential delays or part-time enrollment.
Recent Legislation and Increases
The increase to $7,395 represents the largest boost in the grant's amount in a decade, and it's a part of a legislative effort spearheaded by President Biden. This increase was implemented through a bill that was recently signed into law.
Expansion of Eligibility
There's also an ongoing effort to overhaul the financial aid formula, which is expected to significantly boost Pell Grant eligibility. A recent report suggests that nearly 220,000 additional students will qualify under the new federal aid formula. This change could greatly expand access to higher education for many students who previously may not have qualified for the grant.