Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled a budget blueprint on Tuesday that would slow spending on Pell Grants as part of an effort to balance the federal budget.
The plan, which would slash spending by $5.5 trillion over the next decade, would freeze the maximum Pell Grant for 10 years and roll back some recent expansions of the program. The plan is for the 2016 fiscal year, which starts on October 1, but it would set spending priorities for the coming decade.
According to the budget, the changes in the Pell program would make it “permanently sustainable, so that it is able to serve students today and in the future.”
While the program now runs a surplus, it is expected to face a shortfall as early as 2017. The Department of Education has estimated that a quarter of recent growth in the program’s cost is due to increases in the maximum award that have taken place under President Obama. Fourteen percent is due to recent changes in the needs-analysis formula that have made more students eligible for the grants. <Read more.>