Representative Ralph Norman Issues The Pell Performance Act

Jodeana Davis, Pel Grant Bill Issued Affects Many

College students in and around the surrounding state of South Carolina are impacted by a major bill that has been written. College students and financial aid programs will be affected by this alteration. Mr. Francis Rooney of Florida introduced the bill in the House of Representatives on November 15th. The bill states that if a college students does not finish school within a 6-year period, the Pell Grant that they received will then become an unsubsidized loan and low- income students will have to pay back the money that was granted to them beginning with their freshman year.

Some students are devastated at the prospect of this bill passing both houses and becoming law. Many low-income students have the same concern. The concern seems to be what if students happen to have an emergency where they would have to drop out of school for a while. By dropping out, school would not be completed within the 6-year period. A staffer that works for SC Representative Ralph Norman stated that “low poverty students will be excused due to a student being on active military duty, or who experiences illnesses, or injury or death of a relative.”

Therefore, students who were offered the Pell Grant will have to start paying it back as a loan if they do not complete their degree in the allotted time. South Carolina’s Representative Ralph Norman (R), who is also co-sponsor  of the Pell Grant bill, states that “This legislation will ultimately save tax payers dollars by holding Pell Grant recipients accountable for not graduating on time, rather than leaving the taxpayer to the foot of the bill.” Although there are others who have their opposing viewpoints such as Margaret Cahallan, director of research organization, The Pell Institute, believed Norman’s bill to be “very misguided.” She said that low- income students often must work long hours a day in their jobs during college, putting up an obstacle to on-time graduation that other students do not face. Yet, we wait and see if this bill will come into effect into the following school year for college students of 2019-2020.

Information for this story came from Charleston’s Post and Courier.  Link here for more info.