The Daily Cougar Online
Today's Weather

Sunny weather

Hi 88 / Lo 71

University of Houston HomepageUniversity of Houston Department of Student PublicationsUH Houstonian YearbookWestern Association of University Publications ManagersThe Daily Cougar Online StaffThe Daily Cougar Copyright & Web Use NoticeThe Daily Cougar AwardsAbout The Daily Cougar OnlineThe Daily Cougar Campus Spotlight Online FormThe Daily Cougar Online ArchivesThe Daily Cougar Ad Rates & InformationWelcome to The Daily Cougar OnlineThe Daily Cougar Online Campus SpotlightThe Daily Cougar Online ComicsThe Daily Cougar Online Life & ArtsThe Daily Cougar Online SportsThe Daily Cougar Online OpinionThe Dailly Cougar Online News

Student Publications
University of Houston
151C Communications Bldg
Houston, TX 77204-4015

Student Publications,
All rights reserved.

Last modified:


Volume 70, Issue 23, Thursday, September 23, 2004


Bush proposes year-round Pell Grant

By Tina Marie Macias
The Daily Cougar

At the Republican National Convention earlier this month, President George W. Bush proposed an increase in the amount of federal student aid awarded to college students each year.

One of his proposals is the creation of year-round Pell Grants, which would offer financial aid for college students interested in attending summer school. Pell Grants are currently offered only for the spring and fall semesters at a maximum of $4,050 annually.

That amount covers 39 percent of tuition at an average public institution. In 1975, when Pell Grants began, they covered 84 percent of tuition, according to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

At UH, 8,710 undergraduate students were awarded more than $23 million in Pell Grants for the 2003-04 academic year, said Executive Director of Financial Aid Robert Sheridan.

During the same year, 412,148 students in Texas received more than $977 million in Pell Grants, the U.S. Department of Education said.

"I think it's a great proposal to have 12-month Pell Grants," Sheridan said. "The problem is that's not going to happen, because the Pell Grant program right now has a $4 billion shortfall."

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which will give the Pell Grant program $12.8 billion in funding for fiscal year 2005, an $823.3 million increase over the 2004 fiscal year.

The bill calls for the maximum grant amount to remain at $4,050; extra funding will be used to aid more students and pay back the program's deficit.

Sheridan said that if Pell Grants were extended to cover summer semesters, the maximum grant would probably become $6,025.

"It's highly unlikely that we'll see a 12-month program, only because that would increase the Pell Grant program by a third," he said.

Bush promised in 2000 to increase the maximum Pell Grant award to $5,100, but so far, that hasn't happened.

"There have been all kinds of education programs that have been passed in the law, but have never found the funding," Sheridan said.

The Department of Education would not discuss Bush's proposal with The Daily Cougar because of the "political nature of (the) question."

"The president has proposed (year-round Pell Grants), and that is where it stands," a spokesman said.

Send comments to

The Daily Cougar Online

Tell us how we're doing.

To contact the 
News Section Editor, click the e-mail link at the end of this article.

To contact other members of 
The Daily Cougar Online staff,
click here .

House Ad

Visit The Daily Cougar