The next time a politician in your area starts pointing fingers and saying that urban minorities are the only recipients of federal student aid, show them this report that says the majority of Pell grant recipients actually go to rural students.
According to the study entitled “Pell Grants and the Lifting of Rural America’s Future,” the majority of Pell grant recipients, a hefty 39%, come from rural areas all over the country. Add to that the fact that six (6) out of ten (10) American community colleges serve rural communities and it is easy to realize that the Pell grant is indeed a very important source of educational funding for students all over the country.
Stephen Katsinas, one of the researchers who completed the study, says that “Pell [Grants] are the single most important human resource development programs for adults in America.”
That could change, however, if a Republican proposal cutting maximum Pell Grant funding to just $3,150 passes through the House. The researchers of the study surveyed various state community college directors and found out that 8 of 10 directors believe this will negatively impact enrollment in their states. The study also showed that 50% of rural students incur debt just to enter their local community college, which means that cutting of Pell grants to low-income students will severely compromise their financial capabilities to finish their education.
Race and community status aside, it is important that we as a nation fight to make education a universal right for hard-working Americans. We are already lagging behind in the educational sector, and other developing countries are quickly catching up to our lead. The last thing we need is to cut off our own people from an education that could lift themselves, their children and our entire country up from this recession.
Now if only we can find some way to deal with the potential crisis of student loan debt.