June 23, 2022


HACU Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Pell Grant

SAN ANTONIO – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities has issued the following statement on the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 by President Richard Nixon. These amendments created the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant, later named the Pell Grant in honor of its sponsor Sen. Claiborne Pell. 

“As we celebrate 50 years of the Federal Pell Grant program, it is clear how pivotal this investment has been for millions of students in achieving their educational aspirations. The Pell Grant provides over seven million low-income students the opportunity to affordably participate in the higher education experience each year, but there is increasing need for additional financial aid and support, especially in the wake of COVID-19,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores.

The share of college costs covered by the Pell Grant is at an all-time low. Nearly 50 years ago, the maximum grant covered more than three-quarters of the cost of attending a four-year public college. After decades of state budget cuts that drove up tuition, combined with flat household incomes over the same period, Pell Grants now cover less than one-third of those costs. 

“In an effort to narrow the wealth gap and turn dreams into reality, we need to continue our efforts to support doubling the maximum Pell Grant funding so that millions of students across the country will not be denied the fundamental promise of receiving an affordable education,” added Flores.

About HACU
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, D.C, Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain, and school districts throughout the U.S. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The Association’s headquarters are in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, California.


HACU Media Contact:
Norma Jean Revilla-Garcia
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing