This Week: Tell Our Lawmakers Why You’re #Thankful4Pell

November 12, 2017

By Allie Ciaramella, Communications Manager

Because of the Pell Grant program's profound impact on higher education and college access specifically, the National College Access Network, NCAN members, and student advocates are all joining together this Thanksgiving season to express our thanks. We know how much Pell Grants mean to you and our students. So this week, please take just a few minutes to advocate for the crucial federal aid program by telling your elected representatives and being part of our fourth annual #Thankful4Pell campaign.

From Nov. 13-19, visit our website to seamlessly share your story with members of Congress via a letter, Twitter, or Facebook. We’ve provided sample text and tweets for students and professionals, but suggest personalizing these communications as much as possible, and when sending them through our online campaign platform, including both your home and work addresses to be sure you reach the relevant lawmakers. NCAN member-served students who write to lawmakers and mention their college access/success program will be entered to win one of five $25 gift cards.

In addition to tweeting and Facebooking lawmakers directly through our online platform, you can download a social media filter to overlay the Thankful4Pell logo onto your profile pictures. Supporters should tweet throughout the week about why they appreciate Pell Grants using the #Thankful4Pell hashtag. And on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. ET, @collegeaccess will host a Twitter chat about the importance of Pell Grants. Follow along and chime in using #Thankful4Pell!

Almost one year into a new presidential administration and Congress, we’ve already seen lawmakers remove $1.3 billion from the Pell Grant reserve and put another $3 billion in cuts on the table. At the same time, a possible increase to the maximum award in 2018-19 is in jeopardy. With the looming possibility of both a possible increase to the maximum award and a cut to the reserve fund, November is the perfect time to highlight the importance of the Pell Grant program to help more Americans gain postsecondary credentials and contribute to our country’s prosperity. 

Last academic year, more than 7.6 million students - including 33 percent of all undergraduates - benefited from receiving a federal Pell Grant. Without this support from the federal government, many low-income students would not be able to pursue education beyond high school – education that is increasingly important for entry into the competitive workforce. Yet the value of the Pell Grant continues to fall as college costs rise.

Questions? Contact NCAN Communications Manager Allie Ciaramella.

Sample social media posts:

  1.  Go here to easily write, tweet or Facebook your elected officials about why you're #Thankful4Pell: 
  2. Pell Grants helped tens of millions of low-income Americans get a college education, & they matter now more than ever. I'm #Thankful4Pell!
  3. In 2015-16 Pell Grants provided more than 7.6 million students with critical aid for higher education. I'm #Thankful4Pell!
  4. Has receiving a Pell Grant changed your educational or personal trajectory? This Thanksgiving season, share why you're #Thankful4Pell.
  5. Did you know? Pell Grants were originally - and aptly - named the Basic Education Opportunity Grant Program. #Thankful4Pell
  6. As college costs rise, the Pell Grant's value falls. Let's tie Pell to the cost of inflation so more students can succeed. #Thankful4Pell
  7. Umesh is #Thankful4Pell because it's helping a generation of future leaders get to and through college.
  8. Research shows that need-based aid like Pell Grants increases enrollment of low-income students. #Thankful4Pell
  9. Over 60% of African American & 50% of Hispanic undergrads rely on Pell to attend school. #Thankful4Pell
  10. Pell Grants supply crucial funding for the 92% of low-income students who receive free money for school. That's why I'm #Thankful4Pell
  11. Finish this sentence to share your story: I'm #Thankful4Pell because...
  12. Pell Grants help prevent low-income students from dropping out of school. I'm #Thankful4Pell.
  13. Do you have a Pell Grant? This week we're sharing why we're thankful for the program. Join the conversation using #Thankful4Pell.
  14. Darius is #Thankful4Pell because it minimizes his student loan burden. Read his story:  
  15. I'm #Thankful4Pell because it's been making higher education more accessible for 45 years. Why do Pell Grants matter to you?
  16. Pell Grants already make community college tuition-free or mostly free for millions of low-income students. That's why I'm #Thankful4Pell.

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