The aptly named Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act, sponsored by Senators Hirono and Murray in the Senate and Representatives Scott and Davis in the House, represents a much-needed modernization of the Pell Grant program for the 21st century. 

This sweeping piece of legislation addresses some of the most significant shortcomings of the current program and provides important enhancements. Specifically:

  • It increases the purchasing power of Pell for low- and middle-income students;
  • Puts the program on a more reliable financial footing;
  • Restores the eligibility of defrauded students;
  • Assists DREAMERs;
  • Allows a true pathway to rehabilitation for incarcerated students;
  • Improves educational opportunities for children of fallen service members;
  • Adapts the program to realities facing working adults;
  • Simplifies eligibility for the lowest income families; and
  • Extends the timeline for Pell eligibility. 

This landmark legislation easily qualifies as the single most significant enhancement to Pell Grants since their inception more than four decades ago. AASCU is pleased to enthusiastically support it.


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of more than 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 of Opportunities for All.