Massive Spending Bill Slips In Decade-High Pell Grant Increase

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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A trillion dollar spending bill being considered this week by Congress would increase the maximum amount given to Pell Grant borrowers by $500, making it the largest increase given in a decade.

If the bill is approved, the maximum Pell Grant award would increase by 7.2% to bump the amount to $7,395 for the 2023-2024 academic year, according to a summary of the bill published by the Senate Committee on Appropriations. The amount is $100 more than what was awarded as an increase during the 2022 fiscal year (FY) and is the largest increase allotted since the 2009-2010 academic year.

Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who display financial need and, as opposed to loans, do not need to be repaid, according to Federal Student Aid, which is an office of the Department of Education. Approximately seven million students receive Pell Grants per year, the summary reported. (RELATED: Congress’ Spending Bill Contains Millions In Woke Handouts)

In August, President Joe Biden announced he would eliminate $20,000 in student loan debt for borrowers who received a Pell Grant, and $10,000 for borrowers who did not. The plan, however, is currently suspended as it awaits two challenges to be heard in front of the Supreme Court in February.

Overall, the bill would shell out a total of $79.23 billion in discretionary funds for higher education which is $3.83 billion more than what was allotted for FY2022.

Historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) and other “Minority Serving Institutions” (MSI) would receive $1 billion, which is a $137 million increase from the previous year. It would also designate “$50 million for a new program to promote transformational investments in research infrastructure at HBCUs, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and other MSIs,” according to the summary.

The bill also designated $1.2 billion toward TRIO, a federal program which helps more than “800,000 low-income first generation students” attend college, the summary claimed. The amount is $54 million more than was previously given.

Additionally, the bill would provide $75 million to increase child care options for student parents and fund $285 million toward apprenticeships.

The 2023 omnibus bill is nearly 4,000 pages in length and comes with a nearly $1.7 trillion price tag to fund government initiatives for the upcoming fiscal year. Both chambers of Congress are expected to vote whether or not to approve the bill before Friday.

The Department of Education and the Senate Committee on Appropriations did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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