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Congresswoman Clarke Works to Increase Access to College

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on H.R. 4902 the Middle Class ‘Creating Higher Education Affordability Necessary to Compete Economically’ (CHANCE) Act, which would increase access to Pell Grants and the amount of the award.

The bill, introduced by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, would increase the amount of Pell Grant awards to $8,900 from $5,730, restore full-year Pell Grants, and allow recipients to apply for fifteen semesters of college, rather the twelve semesters.

“Pell Grants have since 1965 allowed millions of Americans to pursue higher education who could not otherwise have afforded the tuition. Pell Grants have supported these students in the effort to enter the middle class and pursue the American Dream, ” said Congresswoman Clarke, who has also worked to reduce the cost of student loans and to allow graduates with student loan debt to refinance at a lower interest rate. “Unfortunately, the amount of awards under the program have not increased as much as the cost of tuition, preventing many qualified students who want to learn from completing college or requiring students to assume a higher amount of student loans. In addition, the CHANCE Act  recognizes that many students today study part-time, and therefore need more semesters to finish. As a result, millions of students, and our society as a whole, will benefit.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.