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Democrats and Higher Education Groups Call on Congress to Use Pell Surplus to Expand Program

A large group of congressional Democrats last week joined a chorus of higher education associations and consumer advocates who have been pressuring appropriators to preserve funding for the Pell Grant program and restore year-round use of the federal grants.

The Pell Grant is one of the rare higher education programs that receives wide bipartisan support, from Democrats like Virginia Representative Bobby Scott to Republicans like Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander and North Carolina Representative Virginia Foxx.

Yet restoring year-round Pell Grant funding — which would allow students to use the grant funds in the summer — is not a sure thing in the lame-duck session, despite support from members of both parties.