SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Briar Cliff held a round table discussion today about the possibility of doubling the Pell Grant for students.

Six Siouxland colleges were at the discussion making their point about the benefits to three legislative representatives.

The most a student can receive with a Pell Grant is $6,400, which Junior José Perez was able to receive when he started. 

“When I got it, when I saw my reward letter from Briar Cliff that said I’m not owing anything, I actually got refunded that year; it got me emotional, you know, because I wasn’t going to pay anything,” said José Perez, a Junior at Briar Cliff University.

The Pell Grant is a federal aid program where 90% of it is given to students with a family income under $50,000.

With the maximum amount being $6,400, that is not enough for some students to cover things like room and board, transportation, and even tools according to local colleges. 

Across the nation Nearly 7 million students rely on federal Pell Grants to help them. 

“I was lucky to get the $6,000. Other students are lucky to get $3,000 and if you double that up a little bit more, it’ll help at least cover that year. Without paying anything for tuition it helps a lot,” said Perez. 

Representatives say doubling the Pell Grant will also motivate new and non-traditional students into going to college.