March 20th, 2010
10:15 AM ET
13 years ago

Pell grants on the line

Washington ( - On Sunday, the House is set to vote on an historic overhaul of the nation's health care system. It will also take up an issue that will get far less attention but could affect the wallets of millions of Americans.

The nation's popular Pell grant program, which provides federal grants to millions of Americans based on financial need, is facing a $19 billion budget gap.

The economic downturn is a big part of the cause. Federal officials who run the program were caught off guard by the sheer number of people who went back to school and earned low enough incomes to qualify for the grants. They underestimated the number of recipients for this year by 765,000.

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Filed under: Education • Health care
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. T'SAH from Virginia

    @Kevin – that's because the RIGHT WING can afford it.

    My daughter qualified for a Pell grant her first semester and we BOTH work (she part time – me, full time). Her dad passed away and she So you're saying she cannot go to school???

    March 20, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. T'SAH from Virginia

    @Kevin – that's because the RIGHT WING can afford it.

    My daughter qualified for a Pell grant her first semester and we BOTH work (she part time – me, full time). Her dad passed away and she does not qualify for social security. So you're saying she cannot go to school???

    Also, I am sure there are a few "Right Wings who benefitted from these Pell grants too."

    March 20, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Donna

    I'm confused...all we hear is how Americans do not make the cut in math and science and how we are being beaten by other countries in top career we hear the money to help Americans become more educated so they can get into top career fields is seriously underfunded. I think perhaps a few less bombs, nuclear subs, stealth air craft and the like is in order...

    March 20, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. Corey Schmitz

    It's pretty creepy that people can think that college isn't worth it because they're all "left wing academics." We cannot compete with the rest of the world if we don't shape up. If we don't fix our eduction system at all levels, we are boned. Simple as that Kevin in Ohio.

    March 20, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Turnabout is Fair Play

    Dude, I bet you hate morning because you have to wake up and face it. Just put yourself in a sensory deprevation tank for the rest of your wait, you'd hate the dark silence then wouldn't you. Get a life loser, just because you are uneducated and ignorant doesn't mean the rest of us are.

    March 20, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. Lynn

    Let's get this straight, no more funding for Pell grants, but keep sending blllions to fund the wars and kill off more of our young people,a great way to take the load off of higher education, fewer to educate..

    March 20, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. Mark from Louisiana

    Simple, just eliminate Pell grants, my ex wife and I both work one full time job and one part time job to enable our son to go to college. He works part time jobs during the semester and full time in the summer. If we can do it anyone can.

    He qualifies for some tuition help from the state for his good grades but is not qualified for any federal financial aid because he works and his parents work. Pell grants go to people who won't help themselves. Those who help themselves get screwed.

    March 20, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Mark from Louisiana

    Why is there so much money in this bill going only to black or hispanic colleges????? If it were only going to white schools the media would be going crazy, this wasn't even in this story and should be.

    March 20, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Republicans are Repugnant Taliban

    Once again the mi9serable Repugliban speak out against anything for the common American. They are against education, health care and unemployment benefits for the needy. Then they claim to be pro-life. One has to truly wonder what life they are pro for, it sounds like only the rich and corporate lives are the only ones they are concerned for, but then those are the same people paying their campaign funds so I guess we know where they stand. They want reelected so they do not have to go out and get a real job, such a surprise, the most worthless people in America afraid to get thier hands dirty doing a real job for a change like they expect the common American to do to support them. The Repugliban are nothing but hypocrites, plain and simple.

    March 20, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Masked Avenger

    Oh, just great...fewer educated people means more ignorant Republicans.

    March 20, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. annie against biased news

    Fed officials aren't smart enough to be on guard!

    March 20, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Leslie in Chicago

    Actually it's so my 3 white kids can go to college this Fall. Love from a widowed, conservative parent working 2 jobs to make ends meet (no welfare involved and yes, I have health insurance for all of us). We want it, we work for it, but do need the help.

    March 20, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. WrongKindofChange

    Could it be just like the pell grant, medicaid, and everything else the government runs that they have underestimated the total cost of this health care bill they are trying to ram down our throats. People we need less government...not more.

    March 20, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Melvina Wreiole

    Oh, another efficiently run government program, it's broke? The taxpayers will have to bail it out? Let me show you my surprised face!

    March 20, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. Donald in Florida

    Investing in education and the future of the country is a NO-BRAINER!!Thanks to 8 years of Republican monetary bungling and handouts to the rich and powerful we are strapped today! The radical wingnuts on the right just never seem to have nothing on their agenda but "NO!" WE WILL OVERCOME THEM!!!

    March 20, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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