Pell for the neediest — or Pell for all?

Pell Grants should be targeted at the neediest students, argues Arthur Hauptman, a higher education policy consultant, on Inside Higher Ed. Eligibility rules have been expanded so much that half of undergraduates now receives a Pall Grant, driving up the costs. In addition, it should be easier and simpler to apply.

Instead of FAFSA, parents and students should use their federal income tax form to calculate their eligibility for student aid, Hauptman writes. Students enrolled less than half time would not be eligible.

Students who lost Pell eligibility would be able to use tuition tax credits.

Hauptman also proposes linking aid to colleges to the graduation rate of Pell recipients.

Middle-class families can’t afford college, writes Hamid Shirvani, president of California State University at Stanslaus. He proposes expanding Pell eligibility to families earning up to $100,000 and awarding larger grants.

Tuition tax credits, which help wealthier families the most, should be eliminated, Shirvani writes. That would cover some of the cost of an expanded Pell program.


POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON January 26, 2012

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Autif Kamal

Those who cannot afford higher education should receive financial assistance. However, not all higher education costs the same. So, whether any given family actually needs financial assistance will at least depend on the specific school that their child decides to go to.

Also, I agree with the idea that “wealthier” families should not receive tuition tax credits. However, I’m just not sure where the floor for “wealthier” would begin.

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