Public Affairs

Passage of Reconciliation Bill Boosts Pell Grants

April 6, 2010
By Marilyn Pitts

Pell Grant funding over the next decade has received a major boost thanks to the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which was included in HR 4872, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, that was signed into law March 30 by President Obama. The CSU receives the greatest number of Pell Grants for its students of all universities in the country. HR 4872 increases the maximum Pell Grant award from its previous cap of $5,350 to $5,550 for the 2010-11 academic year. In addition, starting in 2013, Pell Grants will be matched to the rising cost of living by being indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Also, the bill sets aside $13.5 billion to avoid a major reduction in Pell funding for the upcoming year by alleviating a massive shortfall caused by increased demand.

The legislation also ends the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program, under which banks made government-subsidized loans to students. Beginning this summer, all new federal student loans will be made by the federal government through the Direct Loan (DL) program. Further, the Act provides for the continued provision, through fiscal year 2019, of supplementary funds to minority-serving institutions, including Hispanic-Serving institutions. Thirteen CSU campuses have attained Hispanic-Serving Institution status, which is defined as an institution that has at least 25 percent Hispanic full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment. More information.