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President Biden proposed more money for Pell Grants and minority-serving institutions in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

A fact sheet released by the White House said, “Providing up to more than [sic] $2,000 in additional assistance to low-income students by increasing the Pell Grant award. President Biden will note that broad access to education beyond high school is increasingly important for economic growth and competitiveness in the 21st century, but also remind us that higher education has become unaffordable for too many families. Over 6 million students depend on Pell Grants to finance their education, yet the amount of money in these grants has not kept up with the rising cost of college and DREAMers still do not have access. During his State of the Union Address, President Biden will call on Congress to increase the maximum Pell Grant award by more than $2,000.” (The current maximum Pell Grant is $6,495 per year.)

He will also ask Congress to approve more money for expanding programs in “high-demand” fields at historically Black colleges, tribal colleges and minority-serving institutions. “President Biden will explain that research has found that HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs are vital to helping underrepresented students achieve economic mobility, including in STEM fields. However, he will also stress that these institutions have significantly fewer resources than other top colleges and universities, undermining their ability to grow and support more students. To address this persistent problem, and building on the progress made by the American Rescue Plan providing the largest investment through the Department of Education ever in these institutions, the president will call on Congress to expand existing institutional aid grants to HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs, which can be used by these institutions to strengthen their academic, administrative, and fiscal capabilities, including by creating or expanding educational programs in high-demand fields (e.g., STEM, computer sciences, nursing, and allied health).”

Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, said, “We appreciate that President Biden reportedly will propose an increase of at least $2,000 to the maximum Pell Grant and call for an expansion of existing institutional aid grants to historically Black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and other minority-serving institutions during tonight’s State of the Union address … While these steps are not by themselves sufficient to correct all the existing inequities in higher education, we welcome this dramatic demonstration of the administration’s willingness to invest in the nation’s human capital.”