FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Newport, RI—To mark the 40th anniversary of the Pell Grant, Dr. Jim Ludes, executive director of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University, issued the following statement:
Forty years ago, in the middle of the Nixon Administration, the United States Congress created Basic Educational Opportunity Grants, later renamed Pell Grants. This bipartisan investment in America’s young has provided a remarkable return on its investment.
The Pell Grant opened the door to college for millions of Americans who otherwise would not have been able to afford an education. It has helped to grow the ranks of the middle class, to strengthen our society and to provide greater economic opportunity to millions. Pell Grants stand as a reminder of the opportunity that can be created when Democrats and Republicans work together, and they are an enduring testament to the vision and leadership of Senator Claiborne Pell.
A Pell Grant today covers only a fraction of the cost of a four-year public education. It is frequently under assault from those who see it as an example of big government. But those who were able to afford college because of a Pell Grant know the truth: the Pell Grant is a national resource. Its recipients have made America stronger, and that is why we celebrate it today.
# # #