NASPA has joined 33 other higher education associations in opposition to a recent proposal by Senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) to use a reported $2 billion short-term surplus in Pell Grant funding to support other programs as part of the Fiscal Year 2015 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. Although the Pell Grant program has a short-term surplus, a long-term funding shortage of this program is expected. As such, any extra money taken from a short-term surplus may further harm student eligibility in the future.
The Pell Grant continues to help pave the way for a more accessible, affordable avenue of opportunity for our citizen-students who aspire to contribute to our global, knowledge-based economy. An estimated 9 million students received the Pell Grant in 2014, reflecting a substantial increase as compared to the program’s 5 million recipients in 2006. We respectfully encourage our elected leaders to reject any proposals that would impede opportunity for our students to pursue and earn a postsecondary credential.