Pell grant austerity

The House Appropriations Committee recently offered up a bill that would cut students’ Pell Grants – the cornerstone of the student aid system – by $44 billion over 10 years. The bill, if passed, would slash millions of students’ Pell Grants: completely eliminating grants for more than 550,000 students next year and for more than 1 million students in 2017, and reducing grants for millions more.

The statistics can’t be ignored: though the unemployment rate for recent college graduates was 9.1 percent in 2010, that’s still less than half the unemployment rate for young adults with only a high school diploma. A recent bipartisan poll showed that young adults of all backgrounds and across the political spectrum oppose cutting access to Pell Grants.