Mount Saint Mary’s is participating in a nationwide initiative to urge Congress to double the maximum value of the federal Pell Grant, awarded to undergraduate students whose families earn in income below $50,000 annually to help make college more accessible and affordable.
Through a series of email and social media campaigns, the University is inviting students, faculty, staff and alumnae to join the Double the Pell campaign and show their support by signing their name to doublepell.org/take-action.
The Pell Grant program was established 50 years ago, and it helps over 7 million students across the nation to attend and complete college annually. Mount Saint Mary’s has one of the highest percentages of Pell Grant recipients in the nation – 62% of Mount undergraduates are Pell eligible.
“The Pell Grant allows many students to pursue their dream of a college education, and yet today it covers less than one third of the cost of college attendance nationwide. We need Congress to double the Pell Grant and make college more affordable to more students,” says President Ann McElaney-Johnson, PhD.
Double the Pell (#DoublePell) is a national campaign led by the Double Pell Alliance, a coalition of higher-education associations, organizations and advocacy groups committed to doubling the maximum Pell Grant by this June, the 50th anniversary of the program.
Doubling the maximum annual Pell Grant award to $13,000 will help more students earn a degree and obtain a good-paying job, thus ensuring their greater economic mobility and a brighter future. In addition, it will enlarge the pool of eligible students, providing more students access to aid.
“If I didn’t receive the Pell Grant, I would have had to dedicate more hours to work rather than my studies,” says Bemnet Rondeau ’25, who is majoring in political science. “I think that Congress needs to double the Pell Grant so it can lessen the financial burden of college costs.”
Mount faculty and staff also have benefited from this program in the past. “I was fortunate to receive a Pell Grant for my first year of college. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to attend my first choice of college,” says Paul Green, PhD, professor of philosophy. “The need continues to be great for many of our students who may be facing the same choices I did. We urge all of our elected representatives to Double the Pell.”
Pell Grants are especially critical for students of color, with nearly 60 percent of Black students, and nearly half of Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native students receiving a Pell Grant each year.
If you’d like to support this initiative and ask Congress to reinvest in this important program, please sign this form.