March 29, 2022
President Biden proposed a $2,175 increase in the maximum Pell Grant Monday in his budget proposal to Congress for fiscal 2023. That would bring the maximum annual Pell award to $8,670.
There is no guarantee the president will get what he’s asking for. And Republicans in Congress are already taking aim at the overall budget proposal. Although the Pell increase is expected to be popular (even with some Republicans), it likely will get caught up in the larger debates about federal spending. The Democrats have an advantage in pushing appropriations bills: they do not need Republican support to do so. However, that is only true if they capture every Democratic vote in the Senate, which has proved difficult to do.
And it will be hard for Biden to achieve another big goal—cutting the federal deficit by $1 trillion over a decade—and also to find money for his spending priorities.
Nonetheless, Pell Grants remain high on his list.
“Pell Grants have been the foundation of low- and moderate-income students’ financial aid for decades,” the Education Department briefing book on the budget proposal said. “However, the value has diminished as college costs continue to rise … This historic increase is a significant down payment on the president’s commitment to doubling the grant.”
The budget proposal would permit 6,657,000 low-income students to receive Pell Grants, in 2022-23, up from 6,133,000 this year.