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National Survey Shows Strong, Bipartisan Support for the Federal Pell Grant Program

National Survey Shows Strong, Bipartisan Support for the Federal Pe...

December 08, 2021

In a climate where political parties, candidates, and even neighbors have a hard time finding common ground, a national survey of registered voters shows bipartisan agreement on support for the Pell Grant program.

According to the survey, 65% of registered voters say they support the Pell Grant program while just 5% oppose it.  The survey also found strong bipartisan support for increasing or doubling the program.  In a split sample test – where half of respondents heard one version of the question and the other heard another – 82% support “expanding” Pell and 75% support “doubling” the Pell Grant.  This widespread support crosses political lines as well:
 
  Support
"Expanding”
Support
“Doubling”
All Voters 82% 75%
Republicans 77% 66%
Democrats 91% 88%
 
 
“This survey reinforces what we’ve seen on campuses nationwide for decades and that is the transformative impact the Pell Grant can have for millions of students and families,” said NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.  “The Pell Grant provides opportunities for students of all backgrounds to access their higher education goals, whether those goals are to attend a four-year private or public college or university, a community college, or a job training program.”
 
The findings show evidence of the public’s support for the eligibility and access the Pell Grant provides, which would increase if the program, approaching its 50th year next June, was expanded.  In a series of messages tested, the most convincing all touched on these themes, including: that Pell Grants “help low-income students, no matter their race, ethnicity, gender or age”; they help with tuition at any kind of two- or four-year institution or training program; expanding the Pell Grant would result in more working-class families becoming eligible for tuition help; and that the program is “proven” and “has bipartisan support.”

Double Pell messages
 
Support for Pell transcends educational attainment.  Near identical percentages of White and Non-White college graduates and those without four-year degrees support Pell.  Sixty-eight percent (68%) of White college graduates and 69% of graduates of color support Pell, while 62% of White non-college graduates and 66% of non-college graduates of color support the program.
 
“At a time when the country is so divided politically, it’s rare to see this degree of agreement on anything,” said Margie Omero, principal at GBAO, which conducted the online survey of 1,000 registered voters from November 11-15, 2021.  “The Pell Grant is a well-known and well-liked federal program.  Voters are signaling a desire for policy makers to maintain their support for the Pell Grant and to expand its reach to even more Americans.”
 
Additional findings include:
  •  While 65% of voters support Pell, the number increases to 87% when respondents were provided a small amount of information about the program.  Support jumped 22 percentage points, while the opposition remained virtually the same (5% to 7%).
  • 59% are either very familiar (24%) or somewhat familiar (35%) with the Pell Grant program.
    • 72% of voters of color are familiar with the Pell program.
  • 42% of voters have either received a Pell Grant themselves or have a member of their immediate family member who received a Pell Grant.
“Now is the time to increase our investment in Pell and expand the program’s reach,” said Mistick.  “The most direct way for the federal government to improve college affordability is to provide increased grant aid directly to students from low- and middle-income families for them to choose the educational path that best suits their needs.  This survey shows Americans are supportive of doubling the Pell Grant and expanding its reach.”
 
In a climate where political parties, candidates, and even neighbors have a hard time finding common ground, a national survey of registered voters shows bipartisan agreement on support for the Pell Grant program.

According to the survey, 65% of registered voters say they support the Pell Grant program while just 5% oppose it.  The survey also found strong bipartisan support for increasing or doubling the program.  In a split sample test – where half of respondents heard one version of the question and the other heard another – 82% support “expanding” Pell and 75% support “doubling” the Pell Grant.  This widespread support crosses political lines as well:
 
  Support
"Expanding”
Support
“Doubling”
All Voters 82% 75%
Republicans 77% 66%
Democrats 91% 88%
 
 
“This survey reinforces what we’ve seen on campuses nationwide for decades and that is the transformative impact the Pell Grant can have for millions of students and families,” said NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.  “The Pell Grant provides opportunities for students of all backgrounds to access their higher education goals, whether those goals are to attend a four-year private or public college or university, a community college, or a job training program.”
 
The findings show evidence of the public’s support for the eligibility and access the Pell Grant provides, which would increase if the program, approaching its 50th year next June, was expanded.  In a series of messages tested, the most convincing all touched on these themes, including: that Pell Grants “help low-income students, no matter their race, ethnicity, gender or age”; they help with tuition at any kind of two- or four-year institution or training program; expanding the Pell Grant would result in more working-class families becoming eligible for tuition help; and that the program is “proven” and “has bipartisan support.”

Double Pell messages
 
Support for Pell transcends educational attainment.  Near identical percentages of White and Non-White college graduates and those without four-year degrees support Pell.  Sixty-eight percent (68%) of White college graduates and 69% of graduates of color support Pell, while 62% of White non-college graduates and 66% of non-college graduates of color support the program.
 
“At a time when the country is so divided politically, it’s rare to see this degree of agreement on anything,” said Margie Omero, principal at GBAO, which conducted the online survey of 1,000 registered voters from November 11-15, 2021.  “The Pell Grant is a well-known and well-liked federal program.  Voters are signaling a desire for policy makers to maintain their support for the Pell Grant and to expand its reach to even more Americans.”
 
Additional findings include:
  •  While 65% of voters support Pell, the number increases to 87% when respondents were provided a small amount of information about the program.  Support jumped 22 percentage points, while the opposition remained virtually the same (5% to 7%).
  • 59% are either very familiar (24%) or somewhat familiar (35%) with the Pell Grant program.
    • 72% of voters of color are familiar with the Pell program.
  • 42% of voters have either received a Pell Grant themselves or have a member of their immediate family member who received a Pell Grant.
“Now is the time to increase our investment in Pell and expand the program’s reach,” said Mistick.  “The most direct way for the federal government to improve college affordability is to provide increased grant aid directly to students from low- and middle-income families for them to choose the educational path that best suits their needs.  This survey shows Americans are supportive of doubling the Pell Grant and expanding its reach.”
 

December 08, 2021

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NAICU News

NAICU President Issues Statement on House Passage of $1.7 Trillion “Build Back Better” Plan

NAICU President Issues Statement on House Passage of $1.7 Trillion ...

November 19, 2021

This morning the U.S. House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden’s $1.7 trillion “Build Back Better” plan, a package of tax changes and spending on education, healthcare and the climate that is the centerpiece of his domestic agenda.  Included in the legislation is a $550 increase in the Pell Grant maximum award, the foundation of the federal student aid programs. The legislation is now headed to the Senate for consideration after Thanksgiving. 
 
NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M. issued a statement following the vote:
 
“This morning’s action by the House of Representatives to increase the Pell Grant maximum award by $550 is welcome news.  While the amount falls far short of the $1,475 Pell increase the Biden administration originally sought—and does not come close to doubling the Pell Grant to $13,000 sought by the Double Pell Alliance, we are heartened by this first important step and that Congress may add an additional $400 this year as part of the federal appropriations process.
 
“Over the course of nearly 50 years, the Pell Grant has been proven to be an effective tool in helping students from low- and middle-income families achieve their higher education goals.  We remain steadfast in our advocacy for doubling the Pell Grant maximum award to $13,000, which would increase the number of eligible students, reduce student debt, and restore the purchasing power of this important federal financial aid program.”
 
- Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.
  President, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
 
#   #   #
 
The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) serves as the unified voice for the 1,700 private, nonprofit colleges and universities in our nation. Founded in 1976, NAICU is the only national membership organization solely focused on representing private, nonprofit higher education on public policy issues in Washington, DC. NAICU’s membership reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the U.S. Our member institutions include major research universities, faith-based colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority-Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities, art and design colleges, traditional liberal arts and science institutions, women’s colleges, work colleges, two-year colleges and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business and other professions. Each year, private, nonprofit colleges and universities graduate more than 1.1 million students.
This morning the U.S. House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden’s $1.7 trillion “Build Back Better” plan, a package of tax changes and spending on education, healthcare and the climate that is the centerpiece of his domestic agenda.  Included in the legislation is a $550 increase in the Pell Grant maximum award, the foundation of the federal student aid programs. The legislation is now headed to the Senate for consideration after Thanksgiving. 
 
NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M. issued a statement following the vote:
 
“This morning’s action by the House of Representatives to increase the Pell Grant maximum award by $550 is welcome news.  While the amount falls far short of the $1,475 Pell increase the Biden administration originally sought—and does not come close to doubling the Pell Grant to $13,000 sought by the Double Pell Alliance, we are heartened by this first important step and that Congress may add an additional $400 this year as part of the federal appropriations process.
 
“Over the course of nearly 50 years, the Pell Grant has been proven to be an effective tool in helping students from low- and middle-income families achieve their higher education goals.  We remain steadfast in our advocacy for doubling the Pell Grant maximum award to $13,000, which would increase the number of eligible students, reduce student debt, and restore the purchasing power of this important federal financial aid program.”
 
- Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.
  President, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
 
#   #   #
 
The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) serves as the unified voice for the 1,700 private, nonprofit colleges and universities in our nation. Founded in 1976, NAICU is the only national membership organization solely focused on representing private, nonprofit higher education on public policy issues in Washington, DC. NAICU’s membership reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the U.S. Our member institutions include major research universities, faith-based colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority-Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities, art and design colleges, traditional liberal arts and science institutions, women’s colleges, work colleges, two-year colleges and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business and other professions. Each year, private, nonprofit colleges and universities graduate more than 1.1 million students.

November 19, 2021

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NAICU News

U.S. Higher Education Community Calls for a National Strategy of Federal Actions and Policies to Increase International Student Enrollment.

U.S. Higher Education Community Calls for a National Strategy of Fe...

November 15, 2021

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, along with the American Association of Community Colleges, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, Association of American Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Institute of International Education, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators, today issued the following statement urging the U.S. government to partner with the higher education community to develop and implement a national strategy to return international student enrollment and exchanges to pre-COVID 19 numbers.  
 
“The higher education community is deeply committed to, and places a high priority on, increasing the overall access, diversity, and success of the students it serves. International students play an important role in these efforts by enriching the learning environment for all students and bringing a global perspective that adds to the diversity of the campus and community.
 
“International Education Week celebrates the extraordinary contributions international students and scholars make to college and university campuses across the country. It is essential that the federal government support higher education’s efforts to develop a national strategy to increase the number of international students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities, ensuring that the nation returns to its pre-pandemic, high water mark level set in 2015 of more than 1 million international students.  
 
“We are encouraged by the recent Joint Statement by the Departments of State and Education expressing ‘A Renewed U.S. Commitment to International Education.’  The higher education community looks forward to engaging closely with the federal government to enact policies and take coordinated action to support greater international student enrollment.
 
“International students not only add to the diversity of our institutions, but they also contribute to the American economy by supporting jobs and businesses and by fueling innovation. As the U.S. recovers from the pandemic-induced economic downturn, international students can help support a lasting recovery. International students continue to bolster the U.S. economy even after they complete their studies; many go on to help American companies stay on the leading edge or even start their own businesses and create jobs.
 
“International Education Week provides an opportunity to celebrate the contributions international students and scholars make to our institutions of higher education. We appreciate the Biden administration’s efforts to date that support international students and offer flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. The higher education community and country at large must continue to make clear that international students are an essential part of our communities and continue to be welcomed to the United States.”

 
The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, along with the American Association of Community Colleges, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, Association of American Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Institute of International Education, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators, today issued the following statement urging the U.S. government to partner with the higher education community to develop and implement a national strategy to return international student enrollment and exchanges to pre-COVID 19 numbers.  
 
“The higher education community is deeply committed to, and places a high priority on, increasing the overall access, diversity, and success of the students it serves. International students play an important role in these efforts by enriching the learning environment for all students and bringing a global perspective that adds to the diversity of the campus and community.
 
“International Education Week celebrates the extraordinary contributions international students and scholars make to college and university campuses across the country. It is essential that the federal government support higher education’s efforts to develop a national strategy to increase the number of international students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities, ensuring that the nation returns to its pre-pandemic, high water mark level set in 2015 of more than 1 million international students.  
 
“We are encouraged by the recent Joint Statement by the Departments of State and Education expressing ‘A Renewed U.S. Commitment to International Education.’  The higher education community looks forward to engaging closely with the federal government to enact policies and take coordinated action to support greater international student enrollment.
 
“International students not only add to the diversity of our institutions, but they also contribute to the American economy by supporting jobs and businesses and by fueling innovation. As the U.S. recovers from the pandemic-induced economic downturn, international students can help support a lasting recovery. International students continue to bolster the U.S. economy even after they complete their studies; many go on to help American companies stay on the leading edge or even start their own businesses and create jobs.
 
“International Education Week provides an opportunity to celebrate the contributions international students and scholars make to our institutions of higher education. We appreciate the Biden administration’s efforts to date that support international students and offer flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. The higher education community and country at large must continue to make clear that international students are an essential part of our communities and continue to be welcomed to the United States.”

 

November 15, 2021

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NAICU News

NAICU Statement on New Biden $1.85 Trillion “Build Back Better” Plan Boosting Pell Grant

NAICU Statement on New Biden $1.85 Trillion “Build Back Better” Pla...

October 28, 2021

This morning the Biden Administration released a new framework for a $1.85 trillion Build Back Better social-spending and climate package, which includes a $550 increase in the Pell Grant maximum award. Barbara K. Mistick, D.M., president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), which is a member of the #DoublePell Alliance, released the following statement:
 
“Today is a significant day for low- and moderate-income students and families who wish to attend the college or university of their choice and earn a post-secondary degree. The Build Back Better framework released earlier by the White House includes a $550 increase in the Pell Grant maximum award. In a negotiating environment where proposals were being cut or eliminated, this increase signifies the support this proven federal student aid program continues to have among policymakers.
 
“For nearly 50 years, the Pell Grant has helped students access and afford a higher education, today helping nearly seven million students. President Biden has stated his commitment to doubling the Pell Grant maximum and today’s announcement is a positive step in that direction.  Doubling Pell as part of the post-pandemic recovery will ensure this generation of Americans get the education and training they need to both move up the economic ladder and get the economy working again, while helping America compete in a global economy that demands high skills.
 
“I am also pleased to see the increased support included in the package for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority-Serving Institutions as well as the language making DACA students eligible to receive Pell Grants. These are critically important components of the package that will help vital student populations.
 
“The steps taken today are important and acknowledge the tremendous grassroots support for programs that help millions of students every year. We look forward to continuing to work with the White House and Congress to see these increases realized. We also stand committed to finishing the journey and furthering our collective efforts toward doubling the Pell Grant maximum award to $13,000.”
 
- Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.
  President, NAICU
 
This morning the Biden Administration released a new framework for a $1.85 trillion Build Back Better social-spending and climate package, which includes a $550 increase in the Pell Grant maximum award. Barbara K. Mistick, D.M., president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), which is a member of the #DoublePell Alliance, released the following statement:
 
“Today is a significant day for low- and moderate-income students and families who wish to attend the college or university of their choice and earn a post-secondary degree. The Build Back Better framework released earlier by the White House includes a $550 increase in the Pell Grant maximum award. In a negotiating environment where proposals were being cut or eliminated, this increase signifies the support this proven federal student aid program continues to have among policymakers.
 
“For nearly 50 years, the Pell Grant has helped students access and afford a higher education, today helping nearly seven million students. President Biden has stated his commitment to doubling the Pell Grant maximum and today’s announcement is a positive step in that direction.  Doubling Pell as part of the post-pandemic recovery will ensure this generation of Americans get the education and training they need to both move up the economic ladder and get the economy working again, while helping America compete in a global economy that demands high skills.
 
“I am also pleased to see the increased support included in the package for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority-Serving Institutions as well as the language making DACA students eligible to receive Pell Grants. These are critically important components of the package that will help vital student populations.
 
“The steps taken today are important and acknowledge the tremendous grassroots support for programs that help millions of students every year. We look forward to continuing to work with the White House and Congress to see these increases realized. We also stand committed to finishing the journey and furthering our collective efforts toward doubling the Pell Grant maximum award to $13,000.”
 
- Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.
  President, NAICU
 

October 28, 2021

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NAICU News

NAICU Names Elizabeth Gemoets Vice President and COO

NAICU Names Elizabeth Gemoets Vice President and COO

September 21, 2021

NAICU today announced the appointment of Elizabeth Gemoets as vice president and chief operating officer.  Gemoets, who is currently the chief operating officer at the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) in Washington, DC, will begin her tenure on November 15. 
 
At AAHC, whose membership is comprised of universities providing health professions education, biomedical research and healthcare delivery, Gemoets is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day management of the organization, which works with its members on issues related to academic health thought leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, meetings, publications, and research analytics.  Gemoets, who has 25 years of association management experience, also serves as Secretary/Treasurer for AAHC with fiduciary and corporate governance oversight and over the past decade has helped AAHC become a global organization.
 
Prior to her work at AAHC, Gemoets served for ten years at the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), most recently as the vice president for operations, and worked on Capitol Hill as the director of meetings and communications at the National Council of State Housing Agencies.
 
“Elizabeth brings a deep understanding of nonprofit association management and leadership to NAICU,” said NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M.  “Additionally, her tenure at CIC provided important exposure to both the issues facing private, nonprofit higher education and, more importantly, the diversity of NAICU’s mission-based membership.  We are excited to welcome Elizabeth to our team.  I know she will play a pivotal role in ensuring that we continue to effectively and efficiently serve our members and their students.”
 
Gemoets, in this newly-created position of VP/COO, will oversee NAICU’s research, human resources and finance, meetings and events, membership, and IT functions.
 
“The opportunity to engage in more focused work with private colleges and universities at such an important time in our country is deeply appealing,” said Gemoets.  “Private, nonprofit higher education represents not only my personal background, but also a significant portion of my professional career.  I am looking forward to bringing my higher education experience and association management expertise to NAICU to help the association best serve its membership.”
 
Gemoets obtained a bachelor’s degree in Music and Business from Skidmore College and did graduate work in nonprofit management at American University.
 
NAICU was assisted in its search to identify a diverse mix of qualified candidates for the VP/COO position by Academic Search.
#   #   #
 
The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) serves as the unified voice for the 1,700 private, nonprofit colleges and universities in our nation. Founded in 1976, NAICU is the only national membership organization solely focused on representing private, nonprofit higher education on public policy issues in Washington, DC. NAICU’s membership reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the U.S. Our member institutions include major research universities, faith-based colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority-Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities, art and design colleges, traditional liberal arts and science institutions, women’s colleges, work colleges, two-year colleges and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business and other professions. Each year, private, nonprofit colleges and universities graduate more than 1.1 million students.
NAICU today announced the appointment of Elizabeth Gemoets as vice president and chief operating officer.  Gemoets, who is currently the chief operating officer at the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) in Washington, DC, will begin her tenure on November 15. 
 
At AAHC, whose membership is comprised of universities providing health professions education, biomedical research and healthcare delivery, Gemoets is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day management of the organization, which works with its members on issues related to academic health thought leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, meetings, publications, and research analytics.  Gemoets, who has 25 years of association management experience, also serves as Secretary/Treasurer for AAHC with fiduciary and corporate governance oversight and over the past decade has helped AAHC become a global organization.
 
Prior to her work at AAHC, Gemoets served for ten years at the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), most recently as the vice president for operations, and worked on Capitol Hill as the director of meetings and communications at the National Council of State Housing Agencies.
 
“Elizabeth brings a deep understanding of nonprofit association management and leadership to NAICU,” said NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M.  “Additionally, her tenure at CIC provided important exposure to both the issues facing private, nonprofit higher education and, more importantly, the diversity of NAICU’s mission-based membership.  We are excited to welcome Elizabeth to our team.  I know she will play a pivotal role in ensuring that we continue to effectively and efficiently serve our members and their students.”
 
Gemoets, in this newly-created position of VP/COO, will oversee NAICU’s research, human resources and finance, meetings and events, membership, and IT functions.
 
“The opportunity to engage in more focused work with private colleges and universities at such an important time in our country is deeply appealing,” said Gemoets.  “Private, nonprofit higher education represents not only my personal background, but also a significant portion of my professional career.  I am looking forward to bringing my higher education experience and association management expertise to NAICU to help the association best serve its membership.”
 
Gemoets obtained a bachelor’s degree in Music and Business from Skidmore College and did graduate work in nonprofit management at American University.
 
NAICU was assisted in its search to identify a diverse mix of qualified candidates for the VP/COO position by Academic Search.
#   #   #
 
The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) serves as the unified voice for the 1,700 private, nonprofit colleges and universities in our nation. Founded in 1976, NAICU is the only national membership organization solely focused on representing private, nonprofit higher education on public policy issues in Washington, DC. NAICU’s membership reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the U.S. Our member institutions include major research universities, faith-based colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority-Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities, art and design colleges, traditional liberal arts and science institutions, women’s colleges, work colleges, two-year colleges and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business and other professions. Each year, private, nonprofit colleges and universities graduate more than 1.1 million students.

September 21, 2021

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About the items posted on the NAICU site: News items, features, and opinion pieces posted on this site from sources outside NAICU do not necessarily reflect the position of the association or its members. Rather, this content reflects the diversity of issues and views that are shaping American higher education.

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