Diverse Coalition of Trade Groups Urges Senate Leadership to Include All Students in Pell Grant Increase
Arlington, VA – A coalition of 19 trade and professional organizations sent a letter to Senate Democratic leadership, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and the Chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), today supporting inclusion of all low-income students in the Build Back Better proposal to increase the Pell Grant. The current version of the bill prohibits approximately 900,000 students who attend for-profit colleges from accessing the expanded Pell Grant. As written, this provision would disproportionately hurt low-income, minority, veterans, and single parent students, and will adversely impact workforce development for essential workers in high-demand fields.
“We urge Senate Democratic leadership to remove the distinction created in the Pell Grant expansion to ensure all students, and especially minority and nontraditional students, can benefit from the increased award," said CECU’s President and CEO, Dr. Jason Altmire. “We stand ready to work with leadership to improve these provisions so they support and provide equity to all students.”
What these organizations are saying:
“Attracting the next generation of talent to meet future demand is critical to trucking,” said American Trucking Associations President & CEO Chris Spear. “Our industry is 80,000 drivers short today, and that gap will grow to over 160,000 by 2030. To meet demand we will need to hire nearly a million new drivers over the next decade. Expanding Pell Grant eligibility and access to driver schools and training programs for Americans beginning their working careers, transitioning to trucking from other industries, or reentering the workforce is an important step in ensuring the long-term resilience of the American economy.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the important roles nurses play in ensuring access to quality care and keeping communities safe,” said Dr. Deborah Trautman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. “The healthcare sector will need nearly 200,000 new nurses per year to meet the increasing demand for care and replace retiring nurses. For-profit colleges are essential to addressing the nursing shortage and meeting the nation’s healthcare needs.”
“Veterans seeking to retrain and reskill at a for-profit institution will be at a disadvantage because of the House-passed bill prohibiting those veterans from being eligible to receive the $550 Pell Grant increase,” said the Association of the United States Navy Executive Director, Jason Beardsley. “This would be a travesty for these veterans who have sacrificed so much, only to leave them in the lurch because of the type of school they choose to attend from their educational pursuits.”
“For-profit career schools play an important role in training students to succeed as essential workers,” said American Medical Technologists Executive Director Kathy Cilia. “Over 40 percent of for-profit college associate degree graduates work in health professions. At a time of such high demand for these workers, why would Congress pursue a policy that limits opportunities for students who want to pursue careers in these high-demand fields?”
Signatories of the letter include:
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Medical Technologists
American Traffic Safety Services Association
American Trucking Associations
Associated Skin, Nail, Hair, Bodywork and Massage Professionals
Association of the United States Navy
Aviation Technician Education Council
Beauty Changes Lives
Career Education Colleges and Universities
Choose Aerospace, Inc.
Commercial Vehicle Training Association
Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States
International SPA Association
National Black Nurses Association
National League of Nursing
Non-Commissioned Officers Association
Professional Beauty Association
Special Operations Association of America
Veterans Education Project
You can read the full letter here.
About Career Education Colleges and Universities
Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) is the national association serving the proprietary higher education sector.
Please direct media inquiries to Devin Miller, Director of Communications at Devin.Miller@career.org.