Double Pell Alliance Urges Congress to Preserve Pell Grant Surplus
June 30, 2023

​Members of the Double Pell Alliance sent a letter June 29 to the leadership of the House and Senate appropriations committees urging them to preserve the surplus of funding in the Pell Grant program.

As the committees work within the discretionary spending caps imposed by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the letter, which includes nearly 100 signatories, encourages the committees to ensure that funding dedicated to the Pell Grant program is not used to fill budget gaps in other programs.

"If some of the Pell reserve must be spent on other programs, we hope it will remain with federal student aid to help more students from low-income households be able to afford college and receive the economic benefit a postsecondary degree provides,” the letter reads.

According to the May baseline from the Congressional Budget Office, the Pell Grant program has over a $12 billion surplus that is used to supplement funding for the program. Given the increases in the cost of the program from the $900 increase in the Pell Grant over the past two fiscal years and the changes to the program in the FAFSA Simplification Act of 2020, there are concerns that the surplus will be needed to ensure that the program remains on a sustainable path moving forward.

“Protecting Pell funding against rescissions is a critical step towards ensuring that the program benefits students, as Congress intended,” the letter reads.

Since its establishment in 1972, the Pell Grant program has been the nation’s foundational investment in higher education. Over 6 million students rely on the Pell Grants to help them attain a higher education, and about 90 percent of Pell Grant dollars go to students with a family income below $50,000.

Read the letter here​, and learn more about the effort to double Pell Grants at