113th CONGRESS First Session
The American Student Association of Community Colleges is a student-centered national network of student government through whose student leaders, representing the largest constituency of American higher education, learn, serve, speak and act in behalf of that constituency. Its purpose is to educate its members in the dynamics of organizational leadership and development, public service and political action. ASACC members represent nearly 12 million students enrolled in America’s 1,600 community colleges.
ASACC MEMBERS ARE MOST GRATEFUL TO CONGRESS FOR THE STRONG AND CONSISTENT SUPPORT OF PELL GRANTS. The Pell Grant program, the foundation of federal postsecondary financial assistance of low-income students, has not kept pace with the rising costs of college. Moreover, the program has been plagued by funding shortfalls that complicate the federal appropriations process and threaten the efficacy of the program. We urge Congress to make funding of the Pell Grant the number one priority for higher education in the deliberations of the FY2013-14 budget. Furthermore, Congress should restore Title IV eligibility for ability to benefit students and reject the provision that restricts use of Pell funds for distance education students. More than any other investment in higher education the Pell program provides access to students who otherwise could not realize the career potential so vital to U.S. economic competitiveness.
INCREASING THE MAXIMUM PELL GRANT BY $95 FOR FY2013-14 TO $5,645 IS ASACC’s NUMBER ONE PRIORITY BECAUSE PELL IS MORE THAN EVER THE LEADING ENGINE OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT.
THE CARL D. PERKINS CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION ACT (CTEA)
ASACC believes Congress should maintain funding for the Perkins Basic State Grants and give strong consideration to increasing funding as part of the President’s plan to invest more in education. The Basic State Grant helps community colleges improve their career and technical education offerings that lead to high-demand, high-skilled occupations. The Perkins Act has high accountability standards and promotes collaboration between education sectors. These grants are a major source of educational and infrastructure resources in high-cost programs such as first responders, public safety officers, nurses, and aviation tech programs all of which are in demand in the job market.
STUDENT DEBT CRISIS
ASACC respectfully requests that Members of Congress co-sponsor the Student Loan Fairness Act of 2013 to be introduced by Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) and push for hearings on it in the Committee on Education and the Workforce in the House, and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) in the Senate.