Senate Pell Approps Letter for FY 2017

Thank you for your advocacy. We encourage you to personalize your email with information about your college. If you need assistance in identifying contact information for your Senators' education staffers, please email us at publicpolicy@acct.org

Current cosigners:  Boxer, Hirono, Casey, Leahy, Murphy, Schatz, Manchin, Kaine, Shaheen, Cantwell, Baldwin, Gillibrand, Schumer, Menendez, Coons, Brown, Booker, Klobuchar, Whitehouse, Peters, Franken, Reed, Merkley, Bennet, Cardin, Durbin

Sample Email to Senate Education Staffers:

Thank you again for meeting with our college in February. We appreciate your time and interest in our priorities for the upcoming year. I wanted to follow up on one of those priorities and request your boss’ support for the Pell Grant program for FY 2017. Senators Boxer and Hirono are currently circulating an appropriations letter supporting the Pell Grant program in the Senate, and I hoping your boss will be able to sign onto this effort.

 For community college students, the Federal Pell Grant program remains by far the most important student aid program. Pell Grants assist more than seven million postsecondary students each year, and approximately one-third of these students attend community colleges. Pell Grants represent the federal government’s commitment to ensuring that qualified students from all income levels are able to afford college.

 For fiscal year (FY) 2017 the Pell Grant program is slated for a significant surplus. The cost of the Pell Grant program has decreased over the past five years.  Reduced costs can be attributed to a several factors, including a decline in postsecondary enrollment, as well as cuts made to the Pell Grant program by appropriators in FY 2011 and 2012. These cuts had a measurable impact on students; resulting in many students experiencing a reduction in award or elimination from the program. Now that the program is in a stronger fiscal state it is imperative that Congress invest in needy students.

In 2011, Congress eliminated eligibility for the year-round Pell Grant. Reinstatement of year-round Pell Grants would potentially increase persistence and graduation rates by forestalling summer learning loss and giving students the opportunity to complete their degrees more rapidly. I encourage your support for reversing this cut, and utilizing the Pell Grant surplus to facilitate this reinstatement. Your support is essential to ensuring that Pell Grant surplus funds available to the millions of moderate- and low-income students served by the Pell Grant program both now and into the future.

The deadline to sign is March 16, 2016. Please contact Julia Sferlazzo in Senator Boxer's office at Julia_Sferlazzo@boxer.senate.gov or 4-2738 with any questions.

Thank you,