Monday, November 28, 2005

Purchasing power of Pell Grant maximum award

I have just updated our previously reported analysis of the loss of purchasing power of the Pell Grant maximum award. Following the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), this is the foundation of needy students' financial aid packages to pay college attendance costs. Where the EFC is zero the student receives the maximum Pell Grant which is currently $4050. But if the Pell Grant maximum award bought as much higher education in 2005-06 that it bought in 1979-80 then the Pell Grant maximum award would have to be:
$ 9720 in public universities
$ 9523 in other public 4-year colleges
$ 6796 in community colleges
$ 11,223 in private universities
$ 9953 in private 4-year colleges
$ 10,506 in private 2-year colleges
Sadly, the difference between $4050 and these needed amounts has been left to Pell Grant recipients and their families to work out. Usually this means more work, or more borrowing, or too often moving down the price ladder of higher education to a community college where Pell Grant recipients are increasingly concentrated.


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