Students who use the Pell Grant to help pay for school may soon have access to additional funds.

The Obama administration has proposed that an extra $2 billion be allocated to the program in fiscal year 2017. The expansion would create incentives that encourage on-time college completion.

Specifically:
• Under the “Pell for Accelerated Completion” Proposal, full-time students would have access to three semesters of Pell Grant funding each year. The amendment would allow students to take summer courses, helping them to finish their degree in a shorter time period.

• Under the “On-Track Pell Bonus” proposal, students who take at least 15 credits per term would see their maximum award amount increase by $300.

“Far too many students never complete their degree — only 60 percent of those enrolled in a bachelor’s program complete their education,” according to a fact sheet released by the US Department of Education. “…The two new Pell proposals will help students accelerate progress towards their degrees by attending school year-round and encourage students to take more credits per term, increasing their likelihood of on-time completion.”

The proposals will be included in the president’s budget. Both measures require congressional approval, according to a recent Bulletin article.

-NACAC, 2/8/16