Women Receive the Lion’s Share of Federal Pell Grants

doed_logoThe U.S. Department of Education has released a new report on Pell Grant recipients in the United States. Pell Grants are federal financial aid for students from lower-income families. The grants, which can be as much as $5,775 annually, do not have to be repaid.

The Pell Grant program, founded in 1965 and named after Democratic U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, has expanded significantly since the turn of the century. In 1999, 3,763,710 undergraduate students received Pell Grants. Total program expenditures that year were about $7.2 billion. By the 2011-12 academic year, nearly 9.5 million students received Pell Grants totaling more  than $33.5 billion.

While men and women receive on average the same dollar amount of grant aid, women are more likely than men to receive Pell Grants and this has been the case for many years. In 1999, 25.4 percent of all women undergraduates received Pell Grants compared to 18.9 percent of all undergraduate men. By the 2011-12 academic year, 44.8 percent of women and 36.5 percent of men received Pell Grants.

In the 2011-12 academic year, women were about 57 percent of all enrollments in higher education. But women received 61.9 percent of all Pell Grants awarded that year. This gender gap in Pell Grant awards has declined in recent years. In the 2007-08 academic year, women received 66.2 percent of all Pell Grant awards.

The full report, Trends in Pell Grant Receipt and the Characteristics of Pell Grant Recipients: Selected Years, 1999–2000 to 2011–12, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Research/Study

RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply