On March 9, US President Joe Biden released his budget proposal for the 2024 fiscal year. The plan included provisions for making college more accessible for all Americans by increasing funding for the Pell Grant program, creating a new grant program for community college students, and providing subsidized tuition for low-income students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), tribally controlled colleges and universities (TCCUs), and minority-serving institutions (MSIs).
The Pell Grant program for low-income college students will get a $500 increase in the maximum grant amount to $7,895. The budget proposal includes a new $500 million grant program to make two-year degrees from community colleges free for students in high-quality programs leading to a four-year degree or a well-paying job. The initiative aims to support students’ education goals while easing the financial burden on families through the federal-state partnership.
Moreover, the Office of Federal Student Aid would receive a $620 million increase in funding. This increase aims to support borrowers by restarting payments after a three-year pause. CNN has reported that the Office of Federal Student Aid didn’t receive additional funding this year despite the pandemic, so the proposed increase is crucial.
Furthermore, Biden’s budget proposal would fund two years of subsidized tuition for low-income students from families earning less than $125,000 per year enrolled in a four-year HBCU, TCCU, or MSI. This measure would help address the racial wealth gap and increase access to higher education for underrepresented groups.
The budget proposal still needs to pass through Congress, and House Republicans have already planned to reject the proposal. Nonetheless, the Biden administration is committed to making higher education more accessible and affordable for all Americans.
A news article by Josephine Nesbit of GOBankingRates published on March 10, 2023, contributed to this report.