Pres. Bush’s plan to increase Pell Grants will not directly affect Yale students

President Bush announced an increase in Pell Grant funding on Friday, speaking before a group of students and educators at Florida Community College.

Bush said he would raise the maximum Pell Grant award to $4,550, increasing the maximum grant amount $100 annually over the next five years from the current amount of $4,050. He said he would also fix a shortfall in the grant program.

But Yale University President Richard Levin said the change would have “no effect” on Yale students, as the University makes up for decreased federal grants while providing less aid when federal grants increase.

“Yale students’ parental contribution is calculated on the family’s ability to pay,” Levin said. “We make up the difference between what the family can afford and what [tuition] will cost. All that will affect is not what the family pays, but who will pay for it.”

Yale Dean of Admissions Richard Shaw said he welcomed the increase in funding, although he questioned whether the increase would keep up with inflation.

“I think anything we can do to increase kids’ access to higher education is a good thing and increasing the Pell Grant amount is certainly positive,” Shaw said.

Bush’s proposed increase falls short of his proposal to increase the maximum amount to $5,100 during the 2000 Presidential campaign, but the proposed increase is the first of its kind in three years.

The increase is a part of the president’s fiscal year 2006 budget, which will be released in early February.

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