It’s Time to Double Pell: The Alliance and a Coalition of 1,200 Organizations Urge Congress to #DoublePell

By September 1, 2021 No Comments

TUALATIN – The Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities is proud to join nearly 900 individual colleges and universities and more than 300 organizations to urge Congress to bring an affordable, high-quality college education within reach for all students by doubling the maximum Pell Grant.

The Pell Grant is the nation’s foundational investment in higher education and helps nearly seven million students attend and complete college annually. Doubling the maximum Pell Grant will help more students earn a degree, get a good-paying job, and ensure them greater economic mobility. Pell Grants are especially critical for students of color, with nearly 60 percent of Black students, and roughly half of American Indian or Alaska Native students and Hispanic students receiving a Pell Grant each year.

Students from all 50 states and all corners of the country—from rural areas to cities to everywhere in between—rely on the Pell Grant program to pursue their college aspirations and achieve a brighter future. Nearly 70 percent of Pell Grant dollars go to students with a family income below $30,000 and nearly 90 percent to students with a family income below $50,000. Within The Alliance’s member institutions during the 2019-2020 academic year, 26% of undergraduates received Pell Grants for a total of $20,696,030 in financial aid.

Of being a Pell Grant recipient, Madilynn, a recent graduate of University of Portland, says that the financial aid “helped in my decision to attend because I was able to better afford my education. It would have been extremely helpful if I was eligible for more, so it is definitely important that this change is made. The Pell Grant helps students to get ahead and can contribute to lessening the education gap for students of diverse economic backgrounds. It works to provide equity in a system that often leaves behind the most in need.”

The urgency of increasing the Pell Grant is clear as the program has proven effective in providing education funding to those who need it most. Doubling the Pell Grant will:

  • increase access to higher education for more low- and moderate-income students and families.
  • help make higher education more affordable and reduce student debt.
  • help meet students’ basic needs — like food, housing, health care and child care — because it covers cost of attendance, not just tuition.
  • increase completion rates.
  • spur post-COVID economic recovery.

Learn more about the bipartisan push to double the Pell Grant at We encourage you to get involved by contacting your congressperson and sharing on social media. It’s time to #doublepell to strengthen a proven program that has been the foundation of federal student aid for decades, opening the doors of college and opportunity to more students.

The Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities (“The Alliance”) is comprised of 13 private, nonprofit, independent colleges and universities. These institutions deliver high-quality experiential learning with high-impact teaching strategies. The Alliance is the collective voice of private education in public policy advocacy. For more information, visit