Proposed Pell Grant Changes would Hurt the Neediest Students

The neediest students and those enrolled at community colleges would be the most profoundly affected by proposed changes in eligibility for Pell Grant funding, a federal aid program serving tens of thousands of Mississippians.

While the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee proposal leaves the Pell Grant practically untouched for the 2012-13 academic year, the House Appropriations Committee drafted a bill that would render 500,000 to 600,000 students nationwide ineligible, said David Baime, vice president for government relations for the American Association of Community Colleges.

"It would have a slightly more negative impact on community college students," Baime said, "because some of the proposals would impact disproportionately the categories of students that community colleges serve."

For example, the House’s proposal deems students who are studying less than half time or who do not have a high school diploma or GED ineligible, and those types of students are more often studying at community colleges than four-year institutions.

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