STATE – College students will see a significant reduction in a federal grant program intended to help low and middle income families if a Republican budget plan passes, according to an analysis released today by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Pell Grants are awarded based on need, college tuition costs and a student’s current academic status, up to $5,550 per year. President Barack Obama’s budget would maintain the current maximum, but the GOP proposal would reduce the grant by $845 and continue to lower it over the next ten years.
“Republicans deserve a failing grade for cutting what is a lifeline for thousands of aspiring students,” Menendez said. “By limiting the resources available for higher education, they are putting a break on New Jersey’s future competitiveness.”
According to Menendez, the average in-state tuition and fees for NJ public colleges has increased by 66 percent over the past decade. During the same time, average tuition in private schools in NJ increased by almost 75 percent to more than $27,000 for this school year. Nearly half of all college-ready students in families with incomes under $50,000 cannot go to a four-year college because cost is too much of a barrier
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