Bush Supports Increase in Pell Grants

The President deserves praise for doing the right thing and supporting an increase in Pell Grants for low-income students. From the Seattle Times:

WASHINGTON — President Bush’s 2008 budget will include a proposal for the biggest increase in Pell grants for low-income college students in 30 years.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said Thursday that the budget will contain a proposed increase of $550, to a maximum award of $4,600 a year. That would exceed the $260 increase passed Wednesday by the House.

Democrats have introduced a proposal in the Senate, now before committee, that calls for an immediate increase to $5,100.

All told, low-income students seem likely to get their first increase in maximum Pell awards in five years. But education advocates warned they’re unsure how the increase would be paid for.

The grants — which students don’t have to pay back — are the federal government’s main direct financial-aid program for low-income families.