SAN BERNARDINO>> On Friday, May 12, Rep. Pete Aguilar held a joint press conference with California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) President Tomás Morales and CSUSB student Pell Grant recipients to highlight the significant funding for Pell Grants included in the government spending bill that was signed into law last week.
Most notably, the legislation reinstates funding for the year-round Pell Grant, which has been a top legislative priority for Rep. Aguilar since his first day in office. He continued that advocacy as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, the powerful committee tasked with crafting spending bills that fund the federal government.
Fafsa.gov describes a Pell Grant as being, "money the government provides for students who need it to pay for college. Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. Eligible students receive a specified amount each year under this program.
According to CSUSB.edu, it is estimated that over 60% of students receive Pell Grants or other kinds of financial aid. An increase in monies can mean that the amount of money that students receive for financial aid will increase. This is especially important as the cost of living, as well as textbooks and other necessities, is on the rise.
The government spending bill includes $22.5 billion for Pell Grant funding, increases the maximum Pell Grant award for the 2017-2018 school year and reinstates year-round or summer Pell Grants to students. Year-round Pell Grants were previously available from July 2009 to June 2011, but recently were suspended due to budgetary concerns.