Pell Grant legislation passed in Congress

jackie.stark and jackie.stark

With tuition prices rising every year, students have to dig deeper into their (or their parents’) pockets to pay for a college education.

However, now that Congress has recently passed the “College Cost Reduction and Access Act,” the maximum Pell Grant can be raised a total of $1,350.

In 2006, the maximum value of the Pell Grant was $4,050. This new measure would have this amount raised to $5,400 by 2012.

The legislation also takes into account student loans, and has a provision allowing for interest rates on federal, need-based student loans to be cut in half from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent.

Though Congress passed the measure, it still requires a signature from President Bush, who has the option to veto the legislation.

Michigan Senator Bart Stupak praised the passage of the bill.

“Pell Grants make a big difference for families that are struggling to afford college costs,” he said in a press release. “180,000 students in Michigan receive Pell Grants and I am pleased Congress voted to restore the purchasing power of the Pell Grant program.”

The legislation will be paid for by reducing federal subsidies paid to lenders in the college loan program by $20.9 billion.

“This legislation will make debt more manageable and make it easier for students and graduates struggling to pay for their education,” Stupak said.