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Pell Grants have increased opportunities for students for 50 years


Every year, nearly one in three undergraduate students receive a Pell Grant to study at an Indiana University campus. These students ultimately become successful teachers, nurses, writers, computer scientists, artists, physicians and entrepreneurs.

Pell Grants, which are based on financial need, have increased college accessibility since 1972. IU is proud to join educational institutions across the nation in celebrating 50 years of the federal Pell Grant program as it continues to make a college education possible for millions of U.S. students. This is especially true at IU, where nearly 21,000 of our undergraduates across all IU campuses were Pell Grant recipients in the 2020-21 academic year.

We've built on this federal financial support by offering additional IU-based aid to those who qualify for Pell Grants, using our own funds to make college even more accessible for those students. For instance, at IU Bloomington, the Office of Scholarships and the Office of Student Financial Assistance work together to promote and confer the Pell Promise Award. Emily Arth, director of the Office of Scholarships, says the Pell Promise is instrumental in helping students achieve an IU degree. Similarly, Ginny Washington, associate director of the IUPUI Office of Student Financial Services, has connected students with financial resources for nearly 50 years. She's personally seen the impact of the Pell Grant and the IUPUI Pledge Grant, which provides students with more funding to support their college journey.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has consistently found that earning a college degree leads to greater employment opportunities and higher wages. The excellent education offered at IU can have a profound influence on the lives of our students and their families for generations. By bringing this opportunity within reach through the federal Pell Grant and IU-based aid, we open doors for all to achieve their aspirations and make their mark on the world.

Pamela Whitten

Indiana University

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