President Obama: Tell GOP Pell Grants aren’t “Welfare”
  • Petitioned White House Office of Management and Budget

This petition was delivered to:

White House Office of Management and Budget
White House Domestic Policy Council
President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

President Obama: Tell GOP Pell Grants aren’t “Welfare”

    1. Sponsored by

      Education Trust

August 2011


In summer 2011, Congress considered cutting Pell Grants - awards used by lower-income students to pay for higher education - in an attempt to cut costs. Advocacy group Education Trust mobilized nearly 30,000 members to send messages to Congress and the White House, stressing that protecting Pell Grant funding was non-negotiable. Their voices, and the voices of countless other higher education advocates, meant Pell Grants were saved. It was a bittersweet victory, however: Many other vital education benefits were cut instead. Education Trust and supporting groups continue to urge Congress to preserve education opportunities for all Americans.

Students struggling to afford higher education are at risk of being among the first victims of Washington’s current budget battle. 

One GOP leader recently called Pell Grants “the welfare of the 21st century.” Another top Republican called this critical financial-aid program “unsustainable” and blamed it for the skyrocketing cost of college — despite both empirical evidence and common sense.

Poor and working-class students have already contributed to deficit reduction. With the elimination of the summer Pell program earlier this year, they “contributed” $4 billion per year to debt reduction. Enough is enough!

We need to make it clear to President Obama that protecting Pell Grant funding is non-negotiable. He needs to know that we must not sacrifice even a single dollar of support for hard-working, poor and working-class students.

Now more than ever, the pressure is on the president. Republican leaders stormed out of debt-ceiling negotiations, refusing to even discuss closing tax loopholes and scaling back subsidies, deductions and tax credits for corporate jets, big oil and the super rich. 

They’ve made it clear that they’ll only support one debt-reduction strategy: cut, cut, cut. They’re placing enormous political pressure on the president to slash funding for Pell, even though putting money into education is precisely the kind of investment we need to fuel the long-term growth of our economy. 

The president must not cave in to this pressure by throwing college students under the bus. 

Say “no” to decreasing the maximum Pell award of $5,550 per year. Say “no” to changing Pell’s eligibility requirements to disqualify hard-working students from the support they need. Say “no” to sacrificing even one more student’s future.

Take action and write to President Obama today. Tell him to stand up for students and save Pell.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 25,000 signatures
    2. Save Pell Day is July 25

      Join us on July 25 as we lead an online day of action to Save Pell.

      Stay connected and learn more through social media:


    3. SF Chronicle: Diminished Pell Grants will hurt the neediest

      The editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle recently voiced support for Pell. The board wrote: Education - and, in the 21st century, broader access to a college education - is essential to our democracy and our future.

    4. The Washington Post: Don’t gut Pell Grants

      In an editorial published this weekend, The Washington Post strongly came out against cuts to Pell.

    5. Reached 15,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Andrew Potts ARDMORE, AL
      • about 3 years ago

      ATTENTION! If you are tired of outrageous textbook prices at schools I strongly encourage you to sign the following petitions

      and subscribe here:

      I NEED YOUR HELP.Together we can help the litany of problems in Academia today!

    • Nisrin Dweik WEST PALM BEACH, FL
      • about 3 years ago

      How can you take our pell grants! most people would be out of school without them! Isn't education supposed to be a priority in this country!? Why don't you stop giving these large corporations tax cuts and bailouts! Why don't you cut some of the CEO's salaries!? No..lets make the children who are trying to educate themselves suffer..and keep feeding the sharks, who caused this problem in the first place!..If this country is to move forward, we must have educated, well-versed leaders. How are we to do this, when our own government threatens to remove our only way of attending school from us!? The beauty of America, is that it is a place of opportunity. By removing the pell grants, you are removing opportunity for success to flourish, therefore, destroying the very essence of what America stands for.

      -A struggling and concerned college student

    • Beverly Gonzales COMPTON, CA
      • about 3 years ago

      I go to California State University Dominguez Hills. My GPA is 3.9 and I will be a junior.

      If it were not for the Grants that I receive, I would not be able to reach my goal of being a teacher.

      Grants are important for us, students, in order to advance in this world.

    • Ashley Schwartz JAMAICA, NY
      • about 3 years ago

      The youth ARE the future. An investment in us isn't just investing in the future of the child, but rather the future of America. It will be a scary day when America is filled with ignorant, unaware people just because it's government couldn't provide the means for every child to be educated. A country is as strong as it's weakest person. Keep us strong, KEEP US EDUCATED!

    • Catalina Palacios SAN DIEGO, CA
      • about 3 years ago

      I urge you to consider the future of our children and keep Pell Grants. I’m a single mom. As soon as my daughter turns 18 we will no longer receive child support. Her father will not pay for her college because he thinks it is not important. I do have a degree but I make 45K because I’m in social service, I’m still payment for my student loans. My salary will not suffice to pay for my daughter’s education.


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