Montana Kaiman: Students in danger of losing Pell Grant money

If the U.S. Senate passes a spending bill that would slash funds for the Pell Grant program, 626 students at The University of Montana will lose eligibility for the grant.

The proposed cuts, which are part of the much larger federal spending cut bill HR 1, would reduce the maximum amount of money granted from $5,500 to $4,704. Rep. Denny Rehberg voted in favor of the Pell Grant cut, and Sens. Jon Tester and Max Baucus will vote on the matter Tuesday. Rich Williams, a higher education advocate for student PIRGs said that there is no clear indication of how the two democratic senators will vote.

Andrew Pielaet, a junior majoring in philosophy and the classics, receives the maximum amount in Pell Grant money. Losing almost $800 would mean more loans and more worries.

“It might mean leaving school for a semester and working,” he said.

Business major Tyler Espinosa said he would also be forced to take out more student loans if Pell Grant funding is reduced.

“I can’t afford to pay any more out-of-pocket than I already am,” he said.

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