Recommendations in new financial aid report could benefit students at Christian colleges
Thousands of students attending Christian colleges and universities rely on Federal Pell Grants to help them with the cost of tuition. Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for this funding, and as a result, some students are unable to pursue a degree due to financial strains. However, according to a new report published by the New America Foundation (NAF), expansion of the Pell Grant program is vital to improving the federal financial aid system.
In its report, titled “Rebalancing Resources and Incentives in Federal Student Aid,” the NAF made several policy recommendations to ensure that more students can access federal financial aid. Making Federal Pell Grants an entitlement, increasing the maximum award, restoring year-round Pell Grant funding and redirecting campus-based financial aid to the Pell Grant system were among the main suggestions outlined in the report.
Should the NAF’s recommendations to become legislation, the impact could be substantial for individuals studying at Christian colleges and secular universities. Limiting “moral hazards” and taking action to address rising student loan debt were also part of the report. The NAF also suggested that borrowers should be able to discharge private student loans as part of bankruptcy proceedings.
The NAF sees protecting Federal Pell Grants as a crucial measure to increase access to higher education for all individuals. Amy Laitinen, an author of the report, told The Chronicle of Higher Education that such an approach “costs absolutely nothing, and it also provides security for the Pell program.”