Education Trust News

Pell Changes Lives, Strengthens Families

No one in Jerry Gonzalez’s family had ever graduated from high school, but he always excelled at academics. With his mother's encouragement, he completed high school and enrolled in one of the top engineering programs in the country. Paying for school wasn't easy, though, and it took a combination of scholarships, loans, part-time work, and Pell Grants, to make it through.

People who share Jerry’s appreciation for the Pell Grant program are invited to join us on Monday, July 25, for Save Pell Day, an online day of action when we’ll tell Washington America can’t afford to balance its budget on the backs of hard-working college students.

Thanks To Pell, Alabaman Scored a First

Five years ago, Seyram Selase, now 27 and a grants manager for a nonprofit in Anniston, Ala., showed something priceless to his bedridden grandfather. The nonagenarian farmer who had never learned to read lit up at the sight of his grandson’s college diploma, taking in all that it represented. Seyram is the first man in their family to graduate from college. 

Selase earned his bachelor's degree with financial-aid help from the Pell Grants program. People who share Selase's appreciation for Pell, should plan to join us on Monday, July 25, by participating in Save Pell Day, an online day of action when we're telling Washington that Americans can't afford to balance the budget on the backs of hard-working students.

Tuition Up, State Aid Down, Pell at Risk

Federal lawmakers have picked a lousy time to consider cutting the Pell Grant program. Call it the college crunch: The economy is in a slump, at least 19 states have slashed their higher education budgets, and public colleges and universities are raising tuition and cutting institutional financial aid. The ones getting squeezed the most are college students and their families, especially those who rely on financial assistance to afford college.  Which is one of the reasons The Education Trust is spearheading a national campaign to preserve Pell.

Help Make Noise on July 25, Save Pell Day

 A broad coalition of social justice, education, and youth groups will band together Monday, July 25, to send a loud message to Washington decision makers: Don’t cut Pell Grants for low-income and working class students.

On Save Pell Day, student advocates across the country will use e-mail and social media to get the attention of policymakers, and to stand up for the nearly 10 million hard-working students who rely on Pell to afford college. You can help us win the fight to save Pell by joining the community on Facebook and following @SavePell on Twitter. You can also check out the Save Pell Tumblr blog to track the latest news on the campaign.

Pell Still in Jeopardy, but Momentum to Save it Gathers

While no deal was made on the debt ceiling or federal spending on Capitol Hill over the weekend, the Pell Grant program remains in jeopardy. Any cuts to the program could amount to billions of dollars and lost opportunity for millions of low-income and working-class students. We must continue to speak up to Save Pell.

House Committee Approves Flexibility Bill, Duncan ‘Disappointed’

On July 13, the House Education and the Workforce Committee marked up the third in a series of bills intended as part of  reauthorization package for the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA). The latest bill opens the door to dangerous raids on resources intended for — and desperately needed by — some of our nation’s most vulnerable students.

Michigan Takes Big Step Forward on Tenure and Teacher Quality

Last month, Michigan took an important step toward ensuring high-quality teachers for all students.  State legislators passed landmark legislation that revamps the state’s existing system for awarding tenure to teachers. Recommendations from The Education Trust Midwest helped to inform the new legislation.

Republican Flexibility Bill Robs Students

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline has introduced his third in a series of five bills intended as part of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) reauthorization package. The latest bill opens the door to raids on resources intended for — and desperately needed by — some of our nation’s most vulnerable students.

If enacted, The State and Local Funding Flexibility Act could undermine the efforts of educators to boost the achievement of fragile students. It also would upend the traditional and critical role the federal government plays of providing extra funds to support the education of low-income students, English-language learners, migrants, and neglected children.

Walking the Walk on Student Retention

Colleges and universities that are serious about student retention know it isn’t enough to proclaim a commitment to it and then appoint someone to collect and analyze data.  Generating meaningful and sustainable retention results also requires committing the financial and personnel resources necessary to address the problems that the data identify.

A new report from the College Board characterizes the retention efforts of most higher education institutions as "modest" at best.