Last week, the US Department of Education has announced that it plans to restore federal financial aid “Pell Grant Program” for summer students in college.
This was previously cancelled by the Obama administration five years ago as a “cost-cutting measure”, but has been reinstated and will take effect at the beginning of next month.
The Pell Grant
Last week, the Department of Education in the United States has announced that it will be restoring the federal financial aid “Pell Grant Program” for college students in summer classes. The grant was restored by the Trump administration, just five years after Obama’s administration had cancelled it as a “cost-cutting measure.” It is expected to take effect on July 1st.
This leaves college administrators at Southern California colleges scrambling to understand what exactly would happen to students whose summer course start dates are before July 1st.
Comments From Colleges
UC Irvine’s Financial aid director, Rebecca Sanches, said: “It’s a little unfortunate that the guidance came down as late as it did.” UC Irvine’s summer courses begin this Monday, and so none of its students would be able to receive the grant.
Rebecca said that the way the grant was first described by US officials made her think that students at UC Irvine wouldn’t receive it. The grant would have offered them up to $2,500 to be used for rent and food. She says that 141 students that are currently enrolled for summer courses are eligible for the grant, and that it can help them graduate faster.
“Typically, a lot of our neediest students can’t afford to go to summer because that Pell grant is such an important part of paying for their education,” Sanchez said.
She also mentioned that many of the students on campus didn’t even know about the grant, even though it would greatly help them. Administrators of the university also said that this grant would most likely increase student enrollment for next year.
“We weren’t able to really fully market this,” said Cindy Larive, U.C. Riverside’s Vice Chancellor. “We’re going to be able to make awards to almost 2200 recipients for Pell grants this summer. I think we could have done more than that.”
“Expanding access to the Pell program, so that students who need additional resources can graduate more quickly and with less debt, is the right thing to do,” said Betsy Devos, the Education Secretary. A California Community College spokesman said that they’re helping their students use their Pell funds.