Motlow says Pell Grants go further at community colleges

Motlow State financial aid officials encourage Moore County students to combine Pell Grants with TN Promise and TN Reconnect to make community college scholarship money go further. (PHOTO PROVIDED)

LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — The Pell Grant covered approximately 80 percent of the costs of attending a public four-year institution when established in 1973. Unfortunately, the Pell Grant has not kept up with continued tuition increases at most institutions. Motlow State Community College helps students make the intelligent choice of bundling TN Promise and TN Reconnect with Pell. Motlow ensures students have more tuition payment power. Using Pell with Promise or Reconnect at the associate degree level ensures students are more likely to have Pell funding to continue their education toward a bachelor’s degree. 

“It’s smarter to use Pell at the community college level where tuition is less expensive. When you combine Pell with Promise or Reconnect Scholarships, money can go a long way at the community college level. That’s why community colleges were created, so they could offer the same college credits at a greater value,” said Lisa Myers, assistant vice president for Business and Finance at Motlow.

Recently, President Biden signed a spending bill to increase Pell Grants by $400, bringing it to $6,895. Still, the power of Pell has decreased over time because it doesn’t pay for as much college as it used to, and there is a maximum lifetime Pell award amount. With this increase, the purchasing power of Pell is only just over 30 percent of the cost.

Students have become more reliant on loans to finance their education because Pell covers less of the necessary costs. The wisest use of Financial Aid is not always self-evident.

Low tuition rates, scholarships, and many unique tranfer opportunities allow students to save thousands of dollars on their education. Students may qualify for free tuition, scholarships, or grants. 

“People often assume they can’t afford to go to college or that navigating the financial aid process is too hard. That’s why we’re here,” said Myers. “Motlow wants to open the doors to college for everyone. We help students navigate the pathway to free or low-cost education every day.”

Learn more about paying for college at Motlow’s new, dedicated How to Pay for College website by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only locally-owned newspaper in Lynchburg and also the only woman-owned newspaper in Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}