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Report: Doubling Pell Would Cut Future Loan Debt in Half

September 14, 2021

Doubling the maximum Pell Grant to $13,000 would result in substantial reductions in future student loan debt, according to a new report from the Gender Equity Policy Institute.

The analysis found that community college students receiving the maximum award would graduate debt-free and bachelor's degree students receiving the maximum award would see a 79 percent reduction in debt. Debt would decrease by 69 percent for students at public two-year institutions who receive an average Pell Grant award and by 56 percent for students at public four-year institutions.

Students of color would receive significant benefits if the Pell Grant is doubled -- Black, Latinx and Native American students would all see their student loan debt decrease by 80 percent or more, according to the report.

The analysis is based on legislative proposals in Congress, like the Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act of 2021, introduced in both chambers, which would increase the maximum award to $13,000 by the 2027-28 award year and index it to inflation for subsequent years.

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Alexis Gravely

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