October 26, 2023
Nearly 220,000 students will gain eligibility for the Pell Grant, a key tool for helping low-income students access college, when the federal government finalizes revisions to the system for applying for financial aid later this year, according to a new report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.
The increase in Pell-eligible students could mean more than $617 million in additional federal aid going to students and colleges. About $29.8 billion was available for students in Pell Grant funding in 2023–24, according to federal budget documents.
The report precedes the highly anticipated overhaul of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the underlying formula that determines how aid is disbursed, which are both scheduled to be released by the U.S. Department of Education in December. The report examines the impact the revamp will have not only on Pell Grant eligibility but also on anticipated out-of-pocket costs for students in specific states, higher ed sectors and demographic groups.