Nearly 40 percent of all community college students receive a Pell grant. By making Pell available year-round, more students would stay in school and make progress toward completion.
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has launched a campaign to bring attention to the need for year-round Pell (YRP), which was eliminated after only one year in 2011. This June, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bipartisan Labor, HHS and Education appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017 that included a provision to reinstate YRP. The provision was crafted to ensure that part-time students, and not just those that complete 24 credits in the first two semesters, would be eligible.
However, the House Appropriations Committee’s version of the bill did not reinstate YRP. Top Republicans on the committee did express support for the concept, though, and a willingness to keep the issue on the table in final negotiations on the funding bill.
Congressional leaders are in their home districts until after the election. AACC encourages community college leaders to meet with their representatives at home and advocate for YRP and other key priorities. When Congress comes back to Washington, D.C., for the post-election “lame duck” session, it will be finalizing the details of funding legislation.
As part of the campaign, AACC has created a letter template, talking points, and social media templates for colleges and their students to use to advocate for YRP.
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