Header Logo


Bipartisan Proposal to Reinstate Year-Round Pell


June 19, 2014


Bipartisan Proposal to Reinstate Year-Round Pell

With higher education affordability and student loan burdens hot topics on Capitol Hill in recent months, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) have introduced a bipartisan bill aimed to make higher education more attainable through reforms to federal student aid.

The main priority of the bipartisan bill is to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by reducing the number of questions from 108 to two. Students must fill out a FAFSA in order to determine aid eligibility for student loans and grants, but the daunting nature of the current form often deters students, especially low-income individuals, who could benefit from Pell grants and other aid.

In an effort to help students speed up their time to completion of a postsecondary credential, the bill would also reinstate year-round Pell grant eligibility to allow students to utilize their aid for summer coursework. Year-round Pell was eliminated in 2012 only three years after its implementation and before institutions and students were able to take full advantage of the benefits.

Additionally, the bill seeks several other reforms to the student aid program. In filling out the FAFSA, students would be allowed to use their parents’ pre-tax income levels from two years earlier to determine household income levels. This shift would allow students to determine their loan eligibility amounts starting in their junior year of high school versus in their second semester of their senior year under the current form requirements. The bill would also simplify loan offerings and repayment options, and would limit student borrowing levels per semester to their enrollment status as full-time or part-time to prevent over-borrowing.

The introduction of this bill is likely to set off a more robust effort to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA) in the coming months. While it’s unlikely that we will see a final bill in this Congress, we could see many recommendations from policymakers on how to reform postsecondary education.

ACTE is currently working with Members of Congress to move forward priorities that would make HEA more inclusive of CTE programs and students and would provide opportunities for preparation of future CTE educators.

My ACTE Login Image



Renew · Learn About Membership


Divisions · Regions · State Associations

CTE Policy Watch Blog

Education Leader George Miller to Retire

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), ranking member on the House Education and the Workforce Committee and winner of ACTE’s Policymaker of the Year Award, announced his retirement on Monday. He will not seek re-election in 2014.

House Passes FY 14 Omnibus Bill With Perkins Increase; Senate to Vote Soon

The FY 2014 omnibus appropriations bill passed overwhelmingly on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 359-67. As we previously reported, the omnibus bill includes a $53 million increase for Perkins! The Senate is expected to vote on the measure before the end of the week. Please take a few minutes to reach out to your Senators and urge them to vote YES on this bill.


ACTE Calendar

Sunday, December 21, 2014

ACTE 2015 Election Closes

Monday, March 02, 2015

2015 National Policy Seminar

View All Events

Introducing the new
Visa® Platinum Rewards card.