Summer school students lose Pell Grant option

A graduation cap with money symbolizes student loans

Jeremy Hobson: There are some changes coming today to the Federal Pell Grant Program which helps low-income students pay for college. Students going to college year-round will no longer be able to get a second Pell grant to pay for summer classes.

From the Marketplace Education Desk at WYPR in Baltimore, Amy Scott reports.


Amy Scott: The year-round Pell program was just a few years old. It was meant to help low-income students finish their degrees faster by taking summer classes.

Brian Moran is interim president of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities.

Brian Moran: Students right now are demanding year-round education. They're not looking to take time off during the summer. So we find this very unfortunate for our students.

The alternative, though, was to reduce the maximum Pell Grant for all students. It's around $5,500 a year.

Lauren Asher is president of the Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit advocacy group.

Lauren Asher: Preserving the maximum Pell will help protect college affordability for those who need it most.

Asher says even with significant increases over the years, the maximum grant still only covers about a third of the cost of attending a public four-year college full-time.

I'm Amy Scott for Marketplace.

About the author

Amy Scott is Marketplace’s education correspondent covering the K-12 and higher education beats, as well as general business and economic stories.

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