I have a statistic for you: 94% of families think the college process is extremely difficult. Do you buy it? Well, it may actually be close to accurate but like many of the stats out there, it is made up. Clever, right?
The college process is filled with inaccurate information and it is imperative to be able to tell the difference between fact and fiction. When it comes to the Pell Grant, a vehicle utilized by the previous generation in droves to help cover the cost of college, a lot of misinformation is available. Here are two important myths that need to be debunked:
Myth #1. Pell Grants are Readily Available
FALSE, according to the Department of Education less than 50% of American students attended college when the program began in the mid 1970’s. Today, over 70% of American students attend college. With the increase in students, the funding cannot keep up and now families making as little as 20-30K a year are far from guaranteed to receive the Pell.
Myth #2. Pell Grants Cover the Lion’s Share of College Costs
FALSE, tuition plus room and board cost roughly $2,500 per year on average when the program was first administered in 1976. Today tuition plus room and board cost nearly $19,000 per year at a public university and over 42,000 per year at private colleges! Sadly, the maximum amount available through the program per year for a student is a tad above $5,700.
Depressing isn’t it? Well it doesn’t have to be. With proper planning, preparation and hard work, a funding plan can alleviate the loss of a once necessary program for many families.