Thursday, January 01, 2009

Ask Not For Whom the Pell Tolls

OK, sorry for the pun. It's a holiday.
Longtime Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell died today at the age of 90. He was a progressive giant of the senate whose namesake Pell Grant remains the most important source of need-based funding for college, although in the thirty years since the Pell been introduced, its buying power has been severely outstripped by tuition cost increases.

Today the maximum Pell Grant is $4731, compared to average tuition & fees, room& board at a public university of $14333. Keep in mind that very few people are awarded the maximum, as it's based on a complicated formula of family income and the cost of attendance.