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Smith proposes Pell Grant increases

The Senate Budget Committee passed an amendment presented by Senator Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), which would allow an increase in the Pell Grant.

The Pell Grant is a federal financial award given to undergraduate students who are in financial need. The maximum amount that is given to an individual student is $4,000 and it does not have to be paid back.

In a press release, Smith stated, “The Pell Grant supplements the efforts of families and individuals who are making an effort to pay their tuition bills but need a little help. Through the Pell Grant program, young men and women get the education they need to succeed and can start their post-college lives with a little less debt”

Director of financial aid, Sam Collie says, “Currently 4,652 students are getting financial aid from the Pell grant and on average are awarded at least $2,343.”

However, due to inflation, students are receiving less money than before. The Pell Grant is only worth 70 percent of its 1975 value.

In other words, the value of money has changed, but the Pell Grant has not. Comparatively, students are receiving less than in past years.

Taneisha Phillips, sophomore, sociology major, “I get a little angry. We live in the highest state of unemployment and we might be the least educated because people can’t afford to go to school.”

Phillips has worked with the PSU financial aid office for two years and has actually seen an increase in the amount students are receiving, however it is not keeping up with the rate of inflation and students are having a problem paying for school and living expenses.