November 28, 2012

Obama Cut Pell Grants by 33%

Students - This is a Learning Event!!

During his campaign for president Obama claimed credit for increasing funding to the Pell Grant program, which provides eligible students with money for college (undergraduate only).  There is no requirement of re-payment.  It is a GRANT.  Millions of students who would not have been able to afford college have received Pell Grants.

In an email recently sent out to students by the Dallas County Community College District students were given the details about the changes to their Pell Grant.  The changes are already in effect starting  with Fall 2012 Semester.

It seems that Obama left out some details when he was campaigning on those college campuses.  The length of time a student can receive a Pell Grant has been cut by as much as three years. The number of semesters a student can receive a Pell Grant has been cut from 18 down to 12.  This detail is unknown to most students.

This cut in eligibility was part of a bill President Obama signed in 2011.  On December 23, 2011 he signed the Consolidated Appropriations  Act 2012 (Public Law 112-74).  This law states that the amount of Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her LIFETIME will be reduced from 18 semesters (or its equivalent) to 12 semesters (or its equivalent).  This applies to ALL Federal Pell Grant eligible students, effective 2012-2013.  It began July 1, 2012.  The cut of course hurts part-time students and adults who go back to school, including retraining for a new career.  In other words students who work and go to school and the unemployed.  I wonder how this works for schools on the quarter system.  I am sure there is a calculation.  It can't be good.

This cut was never mentioned by President Obama when he was boasting about increasing funding for  Pell Grants.  The cut will come as a rude awakening to students who thought Obama was expanding their educational opportunities.  For those on a slow learning curve about the Democratic Party.  Write this one down.


ethnicguy said...

I'm no expert on Pell Grants, but it seems to me that Obama raised the maximum Pell Grant award to $5,635 for the 2013-14 award year. I'm told that this is a $905 increase since 2008. I also gather that the number of Pell Grant recipients has expanded by 50 percent over that same time. My memory is that there were big increases in Pell Grants during Obama's first administration. I believe that in 2010 the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 was signed and that it ended student loan subsidies for private financial institutions and banks and shifted over $60 billion in savings back to students. Some fact-checking is definitely in order. My figures come from e-mails I received last year and today about this issue. Are my numbers wrong?

ethnicguy said...

The only corroboration I could find for this was one right-wing blog that ran a story almost identical to this one. What are the sources for this article?