Students at Adelphi and across the country are coming together, along with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the American Council on Education, in calling for a doubling of Federal Pell Grants for undergraduate students in need of financial support.
The nationwide #DoublePell campaign is an effort to double the Pell Grant maximum from $6,495 to $13,000. An affiliated website, launched in July at DoublePell.org, was set up to give students and families the resources to get involved in putting the issue on legislators’ agendas before they return to Congress in the fall.
“We hear firsthand of the financial challenges our students face in their daily lives,” Executive Vice President of Finance and Operations Jim Perrino said. “Close to 95 percent of new, full-time, first-year students at Adelphi receive institutional financial aid, and 98.3 percent receive financial aid from various sources.”
According to Finance Office records, 27 percent of Adelphi full-time undergraduate students are recipients of need-based Pell Grants. The average family income for full-time undergraduate students is $94,728, and 28 percent of Adelphi students report an income of less than $25,000.
Federal Pell Grant funds are dispersed through participating institutions to undergraduate students or those enrolled in postbaccalaureate programs that lead to teacher certification or licensure and who can demonstrate financial need. The program was created in 1972 and is named after then Sen. Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, the chief sponsor of the legislation.
“A college degree and the knowledge and skills that come with it can open doors to opportunity and help break the poverty cycle,” Perrino said. “That’s why we think that it is important to expand the Pell Grant program to help navigate one of the major barriers that prevents lower-income students from completing their academic programs.”