Pell Facts and Statistics


 Pell Statistics   

  • The program provided $33.4 billion to nearly 9.7 million students in 2011-12[1]   
  • The maximum Pell Grant award for the 2013-14 award year (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014) is $5,645, the statutory minimum is $564.[2]   
  • Over 17 million Title IV Pell Grant applicants submitted valid applications in 2010-2011, up over 6 million from 2005-07 [3]    
  • In fiscal year 1976, the maximum Pell Grant was $1,400 and covered 72 percent of the cost of attendance at a typical four-year public college. In 2009-10, the maximum Pell Grant covered 36 percent of the cost of attendance at a typical four-year public college.[4]             

 The Education Premium   

  • The share of jobs requiring postsecondary education increased from 28 to 59 percent from 1973 to 2008. Over the next decade, this number is expected to increase to 63 percent.[5] (View Report) (View State-by-State Analysis)  
  • The U.S. needs to produce 22 million new college degrees by 2018, but is projected to fall 3 million short of that number.[6]    
  • On average, someone with a high school diploma can expect to earn $1.3 million over their lifetime. In contract, a person with a Bachelor’s degree will earn, on average, $2.3 million over a lifetime.[7] (View Report  
  • The income gap between college degree holders and those with only high school degrees is widening.[8]     
  • In 2002, a bachelor’s degree holder could expect to earn 75 percent more over a lifetime. Today, that number is 84 percent.[9]   


[1] "Pell Spending Levels Off" Inside Higher Ed 09/7/2012
[2] U.S. Department of Education. 2013014 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules. 30 January 2013 (Link)
[3] U.S. Department of Education. Federal Pell Grant Program: Summary Statistics for Cross-Year Reference. Table 1 (Link)
[4] New America Foundation. Federal Higher Education Programs  

 [5] The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018, 2010 
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Source: The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings 2011 
[9] Ibid
[14] U.S. Census Bureau, Household Data Annual Average,