Press Release

Restoring Pell Eligibility

Publication date: Sep 16, 2015

José Luis Santos, Ed Trust Vice President of Higher Education Policy and Practice, on the Pell Restoration Act of 2015 introduced by Sen. Boxer and Rep. Scott

WASHINGTON (September 16, 2015) — José Luis Santos, vice president for higher education policy and practice at The Education Trust, issued the following statement applauding U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) for introducing the “Pell Restoration Act of 2015,” which reestablishes Pell eligibility for students who attend a school that closes or commits fraud.

“The recent Corinthian Colleges debacle, which left roughly 12,000 Pell recipients unable to restore their Pell Grants when their schools closed earlier this year, highlights the need for this legislation to protect low-income students.

“While the Higher Education Act provides for the discharge of students’ federal loans if a school closes before students finish their programs, it fails to offer similar protections for Pell grant funds spent at one of these schools. This legislation would fix that oversight.

“Using Ed Trust’s College Results Online and IPEDs data, we see that nearly 80 percent of Corinthian’s undergraduate enrollments were Pell students, and 54 percent were underrepresented minorities. These students have lost time and money and should be offered an opportunity to continue their education by restoring their eligibility for Pell grants.

“We’ve pushed for strengthening the Pell Grant program and fought against student eligibility cuts. Given the predatory marketing by Corinthian and other schools that target vulnerable, low-income students, we support the Pell Restoration Act of 2015.”

“We look forward to working with Sen. Boxer, Rep. Scott and other Members of Congress to ensure institutions are held accountable for their outcomes.

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