NAICU Statement on President Biden's American Families Plan

April 29, 2021

President Joe Biden's ten-year, $1.8 trillion American Families Plan proposes major investments in higher education among an expansion of federally-funded social programs. In all, the American Families Plan includes $1.8 trillion in investments and tax credits for American families and children over ten years. 

The following is a statement on the plan from NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M.

"We appreciate the significant investment in students President Biden has proposed in his American Families Plan.  We are particularly appreciative of two significant aspects for private, nonprofit colleges: the proposed down payment of $1,400 toward doubling the Pell Grant maximum and the support shown for under-resourced institutions."

"We encourage the president and Congress to double the Pell Grant by the program’s 50th Anniversary on June 23, 2022.  Pell Grants have proven to be both successful in opening the doors of college and opportunity, and a highly effective and equitable investment in college affordability. Increasing the Pell Grant is the single most important step Congress can take to make college possible for low-income and first-generation college students. The time has come to double the Pell Grant. And with low-income students struggling in the wake of the COVID pandemic, the urgency of doubling Pell is clear. Pell Grants are the fairest and most efficient way to get education funding to those who need it most."

"Approximately 38 percent of students attending private, nonprofit colleges and universities are Pell eligible (roughly the same percentage as public four-year colleges). Expanding the Pell Grant is essential to our nation’s most vulnerable students having equal access to the same array of postsecondary educational opportunities as others do and to sustaining the viability of the communities served by private, nonprofit colleges. Expanding the grant could also ensure that more working class families are served through the program, although providing the greatest amount of federal grant aid to those with the greatest unmet need should remain the top priority."

"Private, nonprofit colleges and universities are an important sector of the American higher education landscape and serve students from all income, geographic, ethnic and racial backgrounds.  Nearly 340 private, nonprofit colleges are currently eligible for the federal HBCU and MSI programs, and private, nonprofit colleges and universities are the fastest growing segment of the HSI community. The investment for HBCUs and MSIs proposed in the America’s Families Plan is a step in the right direction for the equitable treatment of private, nonprofit colleges in federal programs and also for the students they serve."

"We look forward to working with President Biden and Congress on college affordability solutions and to double the Pell Grant to ensure students of all backgrounds will be able to attend the college of their choice."

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