Pell Grant increase benefits low-income students

For the first time in four years, the Pell Grant value will be increased for low-income college students. The rise in funding for the grant is an advantageous situation for college students who finance their way through college.The Pell Grant is a federally funded form of financial aid given to college students that does not need to be paid back unlike the federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans and Stafford loans.

The recent congressional bill passed by the House would increase the maximum Pell Grant value by $260 per year, a 6.4 percent increase from the previous maxima of $4,050 dollars.

Although $260 may be a small dent in the available aid, that much funding can be used to offset small expenses that may curb one’s college expenses. An extra $260 dollars can cover a rise in book fees or even adjustments in the meal plan.

Since the increase applies to the Pell Grant maximum value, students who do not receive the total government aid will not be reaping the benefits as much, but there is still hope for the future. President Bush is asking that the funds for the grant be raised from the current maximum of $4,310 to $4,600 for next year. Over the next five years, the goal is to have a $5,400 maximum Pell Grant. This proposed $800 dollars may seem like lunacy, but there are financial advisers who are finding a way to provide this type of aid for students looking to maximize their college experiences.

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings recently said the proposed plan would be the largest increase to the Pell Grant in over 30 years. History is in the making as the government gives students a chance to enjoy college without the impending dread of paying back their four years of education.

Sports editor Marcus Murphree for the editorial board.