Changes to Pell Grant Limit Access for Community College Students
Newswise - AMES, Iowa - The Pell Grant makes it possible for countless students to achieve their goal of earning a college degree. However, changes to the eligibility requirements for the Pell Grant may be limiting, instead of expanding, access to higher education - especially for rural community college students.
Janice Friedel, an associate professor in the School of Education at Iowa State University, helped conduct a survey of financial aid administrators at community colleges in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi. The survey gauged how changes to the Pell Grant - implemented in fall 2012 - impacted enrollment and course-taking patterns.
"The financial aid administrators at the community colleges in those states indicated that the new Pell restrictions had a direct relationship on the drop in their enrollment," Friedel said.
Financial aid administrators - 100 percent of whom completed the survey - pointed to the fact that 5,000 students in the three southern states lost their Pell Grant eligibility for the 2012 fall semester. More than 17,000 students are expected to face a similar fate throughout the next two terms.