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Tell Congress to fund summer learning for college students

Several higher education programs boost college completion rates with summer study.

In 2020, Congress is expected to prioritize re-authorization of the Higher Education Act, with key elements support summer study for college-aged youth.

Research shows that Year-Round Pell grants help students stay on track, boost their degree attainment, and increase their earnings (all of which contribute to a stronger economy).

The federal TRIO program includes grant funds to higher education institutions for Student Support Services, designed to increase the college retention and graduation rates among disadvantaged students.

  • The Trump Administration has proposed consolidating TRIO and GEAR UP programs into a single state formula grant, and completely eliminating the Student Support Services program.
  • A number of bills would restore the Year-Round Pell program, allowing eligible students to receive a second Pell award during the same year to fund summer study. The President's budget proposal expands the use of Pell funds to include short-term and apprenticeship programs but does not change the maximum award amount, and eliminates the current Pell surplus.
  • In April 2019, the House Laboor-HHS appropriations subcommittee approved its FY20 budget bill, with:
    • $1.1 billion for Federal TRIO programs, an increase of $100 million above the 2019 enacted level and $210 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $395 million for GEAR UP, an increase of $35 million above the 2019 enacted level. The President’s budget proposes to consolidate the program into the TRIO programs.
    • $6,345 for the maximum Pell Grant, an increase of $150 over the 2019 enacted level and the President’s budget request.

You can make a difference: call on Congress to support funding that provides summer learning opportunities for college and college-bound students.

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