U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued the following statement on the release of the National Center for Education Statistics report A Profile of Successful Pell Grant Recipients: Time to Bachelor's Degree and Early Graduate School Enrollment.
Today's report shows that nearly 40 percent of students who completed a bachelor's degree in 2000 got some financial help through this program. In our current economy, the need for financial aid is greater than ever. The Pell Grants program and other federal financial aid programs are an economic lifeline for students at colleges and universities. Without that aid, students will struggle to get the education they need to compete in the international economy.
President Obama's budget makes a historic investment in Pell Grants and student aid. The budget will provide $129 billion in new grants, loans and work-study assistance. Through the fiscal 2009 budget and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the maximum Pell Grant will increase to $5,550a $819 increase over two years ago. In future years, the size of the grant will increase at the same rate as the consumer price index plus one percent.
I'm grateful for the support that the House Appropriations Committee has given to our proposal to increase the Pell Grant and other financial aid programs for fiscal 2010. We look forward to working with Congress to make college more affordable and accessible.