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These States Give More Grant Aid to College Students In Need Than the Feds

California, Wyoming and New Jersey provide more aid to low-income college students than the largest federal grant program does, new research shows, but most states give far less.

The study from the University of California at Berkeley documents major differences among states in how much they aid students in financial need.

More than 30 states spend less than 25 percent of what the federal government spends per student through the Pell grant program. But California and the other two all spend more than $4,000 a year per Pell recipient, exceeding the average federal grant in each of those states.

The Pell program, typically helping families that earn less than $60,000 a year, is crucial for students from modest backgrounds. But the money states provide those students can also be significant factor in their ability to pay for college.