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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 27, 2007

Fact Sheet: College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007
President Bush Signs Legislation Expanding Pell Grants To Make College More Affordable For Our Nation's Students

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      President Bush Signs College Cost Reduction and Access Act
      In Focus: Education

Today, President Bush signed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, which will make college more affordable for low-income students by increasing funding for Federal Pell Grants by more than $11 billion. The Pell Grant program helps ensure low-income students have access to higher education by providing need-based grants to help students meet education costs. The bill the President signed today will expand this program by increasing funding for Pell Grants by $11.4 billion over the next five years and allowing the maximum Pell award to increase from $4,310 in 2007 to $5,400 by 2012.

Pell Grants Are Helping Expand Access To Higher Education

To prepare America's youth for the jobs of tomorrow, we must expand access to higher education. According to one study, 80 percent of the fastest-growing jobs in America require some sort of education after high school. To seize the opportunities of this new era, more American citizens need skills they can only get through a post-secondary education.

One of the best ways to expand access to higher education is to increase financial assistance for low-income students through the Pell Grant program. Pell Grants are the most effective way to target Federal aid to those who need it most.

The President Will Continue Working With Congress To Expand Access To Higher Education And Ensure America Remains Competitive In The Global Economy

There is more work to be done. For example, the bill signed today diverts resources that would best be used for Pell Grants to other, poorly targeted policies and new programs - and it fails to fully account for their costs. By making promises beyond what it pays for, the bill leaves to future Congresses and the next Administration the difficult choice of cutting benefits, growing the deficit, or increasing taxes. The bill also fails to resolve implementation issues the Administration raised with some of the bill's changes to the student loan programs.

The President calls on Congress to reauthorize and strengthen the No Child Left Behind Act in order to maintain accountability for results and ensure that our students graduate from high school ready for college and the global economy. This week's release of the latest Nation's Report Card results showed that this good law is working. In math, scores for 4th and 8th graders were the highest they have ever been, and in reading, scores for 4th graders were also the highest on record. The Report Card also showed that some of the achievement gaps among minority students are narrowing.

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