Declining value of Pell Grants is harming students

There’s a kid who’s a senior in high school. She’s a track athlete, a choir member, an actress in school plays, a volunteer and, oh and yeah, she’s a valedictorian.

Someone in her life has just sat her down and told her that she can’t afford to go to college. And just in case you were thinking this is a pitch for some new binge-worthy TV series, it’s not. This was my reality. Luckily, I received the federal Pell Grant, and am currently a junior at the University of Washington. The Pell Grant is our country’s signature investment in higher education, and it has been since 1965. Back then, the maximum funding was enough to cover 75 percent of a public four-year college. Today, due to the overwhelming increase in college tuition costs as well as the lack of federal interest in increasing funding each year according to inflation, the Pell Grant covers less than 29 percent of the cost of attendance.

The only way to secure a future for our country is to call on the federal government to double the maximum Pell Grant funding. We have seen that Congress is open to increasing funding for the Pell Grant in their next budget, but no commitment has been made to doubling funding, which should be the bare minimum requirement. Contacting your senators and representatives and holding them accountable is the only way to make this happen. Don’t let another teenager be told they can’t afford their dreams, and fight for #doublePELL.

Mallory Anzivino

Seattle

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