In a letter sent to each member of the New England House and Senate delegation, the Council encouraged the region’s Senators and Representatives to support any legislation put forth to double the maximum amount for the Pell Grant program, and also called for making that increased portion of the grant permanent by making it an entitlement. The Council noted that the Pell Grant program is a vital tool to ensure that low-income students—many of whom are first generation college students—are able to pursue their undergraduate degree. In its letter, the Council also stressed the importance of developing a skilled pipeline of educated workers to meet workforce demands and support continued economic growth in the region.
Established by Congress in 1972 and named for the late U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, the federal Pell Grant program is a need-based federal grant for low-income students to pursue undergraduate education. In 2021, the Pell Grant program will provide more than $1.2 billion to help low-income students pursue undergraduate degrees at institutions in New England.