President Joe Biden campaigned on free college, larger Pell Grants and expanded aid for schools that serve Black and other minority students — and now, he’s acting to turn those promises into reality.
Biden formally announced his American Families Plan on April 28. While the plan includes several policies intended to aid those in the workplace, including paid family leave and universal preschool, it also includes provisions that could reshape the American higher education system.
Here are the highlights:
- Free community college: Community college tuition and fees would be covered for all Americans, including DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, program recipients. You could use the benefit over three years and up to four years, if circumstances warrant.
- Larger Pell Grants: The maximum Pell Grant award would rise by $1,400, to $7,895. The plan also would make DACA recipients eligible for Pell Grants.
- Aid for HBCUs, TCUs, MSIs and their students: The plan would subsidize two years of tuition at historically Black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities, and other minority-serving institutions for students from families earning less than $125,000 a year. It also would provide $5 billion to strengthen programs in high-demand fields at these schools.
The expected impact? Biden’s college plan could decrease the amount of debt and the number of students who have to take out student loans to complete college. But there are a number of factors to consider when determining how this will affect family’s higher education savings strategies.