A Study of Pell Grants in Alabama

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Education Policy Center

Participation in the most basic national program to provide access to college, the federal Pell Grant program, has increased by 50% since 2008, from 6 million to 9 million students. The timing of these Pell increases could not have been better for Alabama students and families, coming at the precise time as the nation entered a lengthy period of high unemployment.The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) is the non-partisan federal agency that determines when recessions officially start and end. The NBER affixed June 2007 as the recession’s start. In July 2007, as Table 1 shows, the unemployment rate was above 5% in 12 states. By July of 2009 it was below 5% in just 1 state; and had jumped to above 5% in 49 states. It has remained above 5% nationally and in Alabama since then.

This study was published November 26, 2012, by the Education Policy Center at The University of Alabama. Commissioned by Alabama Commission on Higher Education.