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Senators Hassan, Shaheen Introduce Bill to Double Pell Grant, Make College More Affordable

Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act Permanently Indexes Pell Grants to Inflation, Increasing their Purchasing Power

WASHINGTON —U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen joined their colleagues in introducing a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would double the Pell Grant award, index the award to inflation, and make additional changes to expand the award for working students and families. Pell grants are typically awarded to college students from low-income households who otherwise may not be able to afford the cost of higher education.


“Over time, the Pell Grant’s value has diminished, making it more difficult for hardworking Granite Staters to afford a degree that can help them succeed in our modern economy,” Senator Hassan said. “I have long called for doubling the Pell Grant award, and this legislation would do just that so that more students can pursue higher education.”  


“Pell Grants are a lifeline to education and economic mobility for millions of Americans. I’m proud to support a bill that doubles the value of Pell Grants and extends eligibility, helping students across the country afford quality education,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’ll continue to fight in the Senate to level the playing field and ensure every Granite Stater – regardless of income or zip code – has access to higher education.”


Senators Hassan and Shaheen are working to make higher education more affordable in New Hampshire and across the country. The recent COVID-19 relief and government funding bill that the Senators worked to pass into law increased the Pell Grant award. The Senate also recently passed a bipartisan measure based on legislation that Senator Hassan introduced that will help lower the cost of higher education by helping more high school students earn college credits.


Senators Hassan and Shaheen are also working to strengthen the Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Senators Hassan and Marco Rubio (R-FL) recently introduced the bipartisan Recognizing Military Service in Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Act, which would allow service members who pause their student loan payments while deployed or on extended active duty orders to count that period of time toward their student loan forgiveness – which is currently not allowed. Senators Hassan and Shaheen also introduced bipartisan legislation to help expand access to more job training programs for students and workers who need additional training by making high-quality, shorter-term education and training programs eligible for federal Pell Grants.