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Pell for Performance

by Tod Massa 24. November 2017 22:13

HR 4414 - Pell for Performance Act was introduced in the US House of Representatives on November 15, 2017. If passed, it would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to convert Pell grants awarded to students who do not complete a degree within a defined maximum time of completion into a loan. Further, students who have had their grants converted to loans shall be ineligible for a Pell grant.

This strikes me as particularly bad idea. Punishing students for academic failure is essentially double jeopardy. In most cases, the non-completion represents significant lost of opportunity in earnings. It doesn't make much sense to me add additional punishment - unanticipated debt - to someone who is already likely to experience lower earnings. We also know in Virginia, that if you look at the debt and earnings of students who do not return within two years, their economic status is not robust. Adding additional debt would only make that worse.


Robert Kelchen has outlined a number of the issues with the bill here.



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