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VIDEO: Loebsack Continues Fight for Access to Pell Grants, Affordable College Opportunities

Highlights Importance of Year-Round Pell Program

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Washington, December 3, 2013 | Joe Hand (202-225-6576) | comments
Congressman Dave Loebsack today continued his fight to expand access to higher education by strengthening the Pell Grant program, which supports low income students, in a thoughtful, strategic way. As a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Loebsack has championed numerous pieces of legislation to increase access to higher education and specifically Pell Grants. He authored a provision that created the year-round Pell program in the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which was signed into law in 2008.

“As someone who was raised in poverty by a single mother, I would not have had the opportunity to attend college without aid similar to the Pell Grant. In today’s economy, many jobs require additional education beyond a high school diploma. The Pell Grant Program serves as a vital link for low-income students who want to go to college to better themselves and position themselves to achieve the American Dream. I am committed to fighting for a balanced approach to protect the long-term solvency of the Pell Grant program that ensures student’s benefits are not cut.”

Video of the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training hearing on Pell Grant is available here.

Other Loebsack higher education initiatives include:

•    College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) Loebsack helped craft and pass this legislation, which makes college more affordable and accessible for all Iowans by increasing the maximum Pell Grant scholarship and expanding eligibility;
•    Year Round Pell Grants Loebsack authored a provision that created year-round Pell grants in the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which was signed into law in 2008.  However, the year-round Pell grant was unfortunately eliminated in 2011.  In response to the ongoing need for more flexibility, Loebsack partnered with Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17) to introduce legislation which would reinstate the flexibility that was provided by Loebsack’s provision in 2008.   
    Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act Loebsack was a cosponsor of this bill, which will save American taxpayers $61 billion by making the student loan process more efficient.  The bill further expanded the maximum Pell Grant available from $5,550 in 2010 to $5,975 in 2017, granting Iowa students more than $291 million for higher education. This bill was the largest single investment in student aid in America’s history, and will make college more accessible, transform the way student loan programs operate and strengthens community colleges.
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Tags: Education

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