Proposed Cuts To Pell Grant Program Sound Alarms

As federal budget writers eye possible cuts to the Pell Grant program for needy college students, Massachusetts higher education advocates are sounding alarms.

In Massachusetts alone, approximately 120,000 students receive Pell Grants worth more than $400 million. President Obama's budget would trim the Pell program, but keeps the maximum grant amount intact.

What has higher education advocates worried is a House proposal to cut 15 percent from the Pell program.

Richard Doherty, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, said schools will not be able to make up the difference.

"Last year the private colleges in Massachusetts awarded over $500 million of their own institutional aid to needy students, and that's just to Massachusetts residents," Doherty said.

The House could take up the proposed cut as early as Tuesday.

This program aired on February 15, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.



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