Multiple Sources

Biden's American Families Plan Would Boost Pell Grant, Fund Free Community College

April 29, 2021

In a speech before a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden proposed a $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, a sweeping package of social programs which includes a boost in the Pell Grant maximum award and new programs offering free community college, completion and retention initiatives, and tuition subsidies for attending minority serving institutions.
The American Families Plan includes: 
  • $109 billion for two years of free community college
  • $80 billion for Pell Grants to increase the maximum grant by $1,400
  • $62 billion for a grant program "to invest in completion and retention activities at colleges and universities that serve high numbers of low-income students, particularly community colleges
  • $39 billion to provide two years of subsidized tuition for students from families earning less than $125,000 enrolled in a four-year" historically Black college, tribally controlled university or minority-serving institution
  • Double scholarships for future teachers from $4,000 to $8,000 per year. The Biden plan also targets $400 million for teacher preparation at minority-serving institutions and $900 million for the development of special education teachers 
NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M., issued a statement on the president's plan.

Below are a sample of media coverage of the speech and reaction to the proposals.
Biden’s Plan Would Make Community College Free. It Could Also Have Unintended Downsides.
The Chronicle of Higher Education (April 29, 2021)
Biden Proposes Free Community College, Pell Expansion
Inside Higher Ed (April 29, 2021)
A Big Plan, but Will Biden Get the Votes?
Inside Higher Ed (April 29, 2021)
Biden Directs Education Funding to Community Colleges, a Key Lifeline
The New York Times (April 29, 2021)
What’s in Biden’s Spending Plan: Free Preschool and National Paid Leave
The New York Times (April 29, 2021)
Higher Education Leaders Praise Biden’s Tuition-Free College Plan: ‘A Revolutionary Proposal’
The Washington Post (April 29, 2021)
What Does Biden’s Plan for Families Mean for Community College, Pre-K?
The Wall Street Journal (April 29, 2021)
Biden’s Tax Plan Expands Federal Grants, but Doesn’t Include Student Loan Forgiveness
The Wall Street Journal (April 29, 2021)
Jill Biden Leading the Way on Community College Tuition Coverage, Biden Says (April 29, 2021)
Biden Takes Aim at American Inequality by Investing $1.8 Trillion in Families (April 29, 2021)
The Pros — and Cons — of President Biden’s Historic Expansion of Government - Editorial
The Washington Post (April 29, 2021)
Biden Touts Free College Plan in Speech, But Advocates Want Him to “Keep His Promises” on Student Loan Forgiveness - Opinion (April 29, 2021)

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