Behind the Headline: Billions in Pell Dollars go to Students Who Never Graduate

On Top of the News
Billions in Pell dollars go to students who never graduate
The Hechinger Report | 8/17/15

Behind the Headline
Should Pell Grants Target the College-Ready?
Education Next | Spring 2014

While the federal government does not collect data on the graduation rates of students who receive Pell grants, an investigation by the Hechinger Institute suggests that billions of taxpayer dollars are going to students who never earn degrees.

Data collected from 32 of the largest private and 50 of the largest public universities reveal that that more than a third of Pell grant recipients at those schools had not earned degrees even after six years, Sarah Butrymowicz reports.

A recent forum in Education Next looks at whether Pell grants should only be awarded to students who have demonstrated that they are ready for college-level work.

In “Target Aid to Students Most Likely to Succeed,” Isabel Sawhill calls for conditioning Pell Grants on both financial need and the likelihood of college completion. Sara Goldrick-Rab argues in response that “Conditional Pell Dollars Miss Students Who Need Them Most.”

—Education Next

Last Updated


Notify Me When Education Next

Posts a Big Story

Business + Editorial Office

Program on Education Policy and Governance
Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone (617) 496-5488
Fax (617) 496-4428

For subscription service to the printed journal
Phone (617) 496-5488

Copyright © 2024 President & Fellows of Harvard College