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Lower-income students today are met with more challenges than those before them due in part to the decreased buying power of the Pell Grant, a major federal financial aid program, awarded to nearly 7 million students each year, 90 percent of whose family income is below $50k.

President of Notre Dame College, Michael J. Pressimone, Ed.D., is not only a first-generation college student, as are 50 percent of all Pell Grant recipients, but has seen firsthand how federal financial aid has changed the course of many lives.

“Studies have shown that graduating with a bachelor’s degree from a four-year, private college can earn you three times more than just with a high school degree,” Pressimone said.

Roughly 98 percent of Notre Dame College students currently receive financial aid despite the cost of tuition being average among four-year nonprofit colleges.

In June 2021, the Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act was reintroduced to Congress. The bill builds on bipartisan action to expand Pell Grants, including doubling award amounts to keep up with college tuition inflation, making grants available for DREAMers, and mandating funding in the future. The new legislation will affect all college hopefuls, giving them greater freedom of choice when it comes to continuing education and career development. Currently, only 16 percent of Pell Grant recipients choose to use their award at a private non-profit college, while 40 percent chose a public four-year college.

Notre Dame stands with the #DoublePell campaign and encourages Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who has already backed the bill, and Rob Portman (R-OH) to endorse it as well. Notre Dame College joins more than 100 higher education organizations in vocalizing their support. The #DoublePell Campaign has access to ways to help create awareness in your community.

August 2021

About Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college in South Euclid, Ohio committed to teaching students how to make a good living and live a good life. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs, and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. For more information, visit NotreDameCollege.edu.