November 2, 2017

Pell Grants play a crucial role each year in helping millions of low-income students pursue and achieve their postsecondary ambitions.

That’s why the National College Access Network (NCAN) will soon re-launch its annual campaign to help tell the story behind those numbers.

The fourth annual #Thankful4Pell campaign will take place Nov. 13-19, and NCAN is asking its members and partner organizations to show Congress their appreciation for the Pell Grant program.

Research shows that need-based aid, including Pell Grants, increases enrollment and decreases drop-out rates for low-income students. Additionally, more than 60 percent of African-American and 50 percent of Hispanic undergraduates rely on Pell to attend school.

The maximum current award available is $5,920, and Congress recently expanded use of the program to allow eligible students to use grants during the summer term. During the 2015-16 school year, Pell Grants provided almost 8 million students with crucial aid for higher education.

Once the campaign kicks off Nov. 13, NCAN is asking participants to visit its Action Center — which offered letter templates, sample social media messages, and other resources last year — to share their stories. NCAN member-served students who write to lawmakers and mention their college access/success program will be entered to win one of five $25 Amazon gift cards.

Here are three ways to get involved in #Thankful4Pell:

Write to Congress
Write to your elected officials and make clear how important the Pell Grant is to your students. Last year, NCAN created letter templates for professionals working for a college access program and for students who have received a Pell Grant while in school. You and your students are encouraged to customize these letters as much as possible.

Express Thanks on Twitter, Facebook and Other Social Media Platforms
During the week of November 13-19, swap out your Twitter profile photo with the Thankful4Pell logo. You can also follow and share posts directly from NCAN on Twitter and Facebook.

Help us in helping NCAN to spread the word!
Share this campaign far and wide with your local partners, funders and students.

In the meantime, visit NCAN’s website for sample social media posts, along with sample letter text to students and college access professionals.

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