Student Aid Alliance Calls for Increases to Pell Grants, Other Federal Student Aid Programs
April 15, 2024

​On the heels of Congress approving a long-delayed final FY 2024 spending package last month, the Student Aid Alliance (SAA) is urging the House and Senate appropriations committees to increase funding for student financial aid programs in FY 2025.

The SAA sent its recommendations in a letter to the committees on April 11, noting that “continued bipartisan support for federal student aid ensures students have the opportunity to access and succeed in postsecondary education.” The letter acknowledges current budgetary caps that led to level funding for student aid programs for FY 2024, but also notes that simply maintaining the status quo diminishes the actual value to students due to inflation.

SAA is a coalition of more than 50 higher education organizations that are united in support for federal student aid, co-led by ACE, the American Association of Community Colleges , the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Association of American Universities, the Council for Opportunity in Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Among the SAA-requested funding levels for FY 2025, which begins Oct. 1, are:

  • Making “substantial progress” toward increasing the maximum Pell Grant award to $13,000, from its current level of $7,395.
  • Increasing funding for Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants to $1.15 billion, and for Federal Work-Study to $1.603 billion, allowing them to keep up with inflationary increases and allowing students to benefit from at least the same level of investment in these programs as Congress provided in FY 2010, from their current levels of $910 million and $1.23 billion, respectively.
  • Increasing the federal TRIO programs to $1.26 billion, allowing for strengthening the academic, financial, and cultural supports provided by TRIO and moving the programs closer to their goal of serving 1 million low-income, first-generation students. The current funding level for TRIO is $1.2 billion.

Meanwhile, a House Appropriations Committee subcommittee held a hearing April 11 to consider the Department of Education’s FY 2025 budget request, with testimony from Secretary Miguel Cardona. The secretary’s opening statement detailed the increases in aid the administration is seeking, including an increase for the maximum Pell Grant award (for 2025-26, $750 for students at nonprofit institutions and $100 for students at proprietary institutions) and two years of free community college for certain students.

The conversation then shifted to non-budgetary concerns, with committee members pressing the secretary on the FAFSA rollout, the potential impact of Title IX changes on women athletes, and antisemitism on campuses.

You can watch the appropriations hearing here.

​A Brief Guide to the Federal Budget and Appropriations Process Read