News Release from AASCU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2021-07-13


Contact:
Kellee Edmonds
(202) 478-4662
edmondsk@aascu.org

AASCU HELPS LAUNCH NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO #DOUBLEPELL

New website provides students, families with tools to communicate with Congress

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2021—The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is proud to be part of a national campaign to double the maximum Pell Grant to $13,000 and help more students earn a degree, get a good-paying job, and achieve a brighter future.

 The campaign features a new website, doublepell.org, that provides students and families with the tools to communicate with Congress, engage on social media, share personal stories about how the Pell Grant has helped them, and express their support for doubling Pell.

#DoublePell is a national campaign led by the Double Pell Alliance, a coalition of higher education associations, organizations, and advocacy groups committed to doubling the maximum Pell Grant by the 50th anniversary of the creation of the program in June 2022. The Pell Grant is a proven program and the foundation of federal student aid for decades. It helps nearly 7 million low- and moderate-income students attend and complete college annually. 

“AASCU enthusiastically supports efforts to significantly increase the purchasing power of Pell Grants and calls on Congress and the Biden administration to simultaneously protect and encourage state investments in public higher education,” said AASCU President Mildred García. “Doubling the Pell Grant in this manner would be a historic investment in the new majority of students in higher education, those who are low-income, first-generation, and/or students of color. AASCU institutions would be transformed in their efforts to provide access, retention, and success, as they enroll 43% of all Pell Grant recipients at public four-year institutions.”

The heart of #DoublePell is the Take Action page, which includes a customizable letter that students, families, alumni, and other stakeholders can send to their members of Congress. It also features shareable social media graphics to amplify the #DoublePell campaign messages.

For millions of students, Pell Grants make the difference between being able to attend college or not. Pell Grants are well-targeted to students with clear financial need: Nearly 90% of all Pell dollars go to students with a family income below $50,000. The grants are especially critical for students of color. Congress is currently considering proposals to increase the maximum Pell Grant by a total of $1,875. While that represents an improvement, it does not go nearly far enough.

Double Pell already has the support of the Biden administration and widespread, bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. The #DoublePell website will be an important and accessible way for students and families to tell lawmakers why it is important to double the maximum Pell Grant now. AASCU and other members of the Double Pell Alliance hope colleges and universities and an array of organizations will share the #DoublePell website widely with students, families, and other stakeholders.

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The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise.