Pell Grants on a Downward Slope

March 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Pell Grants, which help nearly 10 million low- and moderate-income students afford college, are an important weapon against growing inequality in higher education.  But, as Paul Krugman recently highlighted, they have shrunk considerably over time as a share of college costs.

In December, we explained why Congress’s cuts to the program in fiscal year 2012 were both unnecessary and unwise.  Here’s a revised version of our chart showing the grants’ long-term erosion.

Pell Grants Have Lost Purchasing Power

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More About Kelsey Merrick

Kelsey Merrick

Kelsey Merrick is a research assistant with the Federal Budget and Tax team.

Full bio | Blog Archive | Research archive at

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