Remembering the founder of the Pell Grant

JRF | Jan 02 2009 |

With the backing of Claiborne Pell, a U.S. Senator from 1960 to 1997, Congress created the Basic Educational Opportunity Grants, later named the Pell Grants, in 1972. In 2008, Pell Grants provided more than $16 billion to help low and middle-income students attend college.

Pell once said, “The strength of the United States is not the gold at Fort Knox or the weapons of mass destruction that we have, but the sum total of the education and the character of our people.”

Pell was also the main sponsor of the bill that created the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He passed away on Thursday at age 90.


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