On 5/16/17, Sen. Hirono, Mazie K. [D-HI] introduced the Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act in the Senate. The following is reproduced from the bill's Findings section.
Congress finds the following:
(1) The United States needs individuals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities that enable them to thrive as educated citizens in society and successfully participate in an interconnected economy.
(2) Investments in higher education through student aid such as the Federal Pell Grant program under section 401 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a) help students and families reach, afford, and complete education and training opportunities beyond high school.
(3) The Federal Pell Grant program is the largest source of federally funded grant aid for postsecondary education.
(4) The Federal Pell Grant program allows millions of people of the United States to attend college and is especially vital to students of color. Three in 5 African American undergraduate students, and one-half of all Latino undergraduate students, rely on the Federal Pell Grant program.
(5) The Federal Pell Grant program should continue to be a reliable source of funding for aspiring students, their families, and future generations that they can count on to be there for them when they seek higher education.
(6) To stabilize Federal Pell Grant funding and ensure the grant will continue to serve millions of students now and in the future, the program should become a fully mandatory program that grows with inflation.
(7) Protecting surplus funds, restoring prior eligibility cuts, and expanding access to underserved students will give millions of students and families the critical student aid support they need and deserve.