Pell Grant changes could impact how students pay for college

Congress is considering cutting back or putting a cap on Pell Grants for the next 10 years.

Congress is considering cutting back or putting a cap on Pell Grants for the next 10 years. (5/8/15)

FARMINGDALE - Congress is considering cutting back or putting a cap on Pell Grants for the next 10 years.

The federal Pell Grant is not a loan and does not need to be paid back. It's usually only given to undergraduate students. Many students use the money to cover expenses likes books and supplies, not just tuition.

Congress is considering not allowing the Pell grant maximum to increase every year, as it does now to keep up with the cost of living and rising tuition rates.

Molloy College financial aid counselor Gene Rogers was among several Long Island college officials who met today at Farmingdale State to talk about the need for Pell Grants.

“The Pell Grant is really the life-blood of financial aid, currently,” said Rogers.

Suffolk County Legislator William Spencer says he does not agree with the reasoning behind Congress' budget proposal.

“"The reasoning is that we're in an economy where we're very much concerned about debt,” says Spencer. “And I get it. We want to make the right decisions. I believe that when we invest in education, that is good debt."

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