Gonzaga University Advocates to #DoublePell

October 20, 2021

In the United States today, nearly 7 million students rely on Pell Grants to help them access and afford higher education—including 702 current students at Gonzaga University. The Pell Grant is a proven program that has been the foundation of federal student aid for decades, opening the doors of college and opportunity to low-income students.

The Pell grant amount has remained stagnant for decades, despite the rising costs of tuition and other expenses students and families incur, which has affected college opportunities and outcomes for our nation's lower income students.  Nearly 50 years ago, the maximum grant covered more than three-quarters of the cost of attending a four-year public college.  Today, Pell Grants cover less than one-third of those costs.

At Gonzaga, we've implemented an initiative known as the Magis Commitment to address this issue and recruit and support Pell-eligible students from Washington State.  Recognizing the large financial gap for our highest need students, the Magis Commitment provides grant and scholarship aid to cover the full cost of tuition for first-year students throughout Washington state who qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.

But we can do more.  We've joined with hundreds of other universities and organizations to #DoublePell.

#DoublePell is a national campaign led by the Double Pell Alliance, a coalition of higher education associations, organizations, and advocacy groups including Gonzaga University, the Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities, and Independent Colleges of Washington, committed to doubling the maximum Pell Grant by the program's 50th anniversary in June 2022.  Doubling the maximum annual Pell Grant award to $13,000 will help more students earn a degree, get a good-paying job, and reduce educational debt to provide opportunities for greater economic mobility and a brighter future.

In Gonzaga’s class of 2020:

  • Approximately 16% of undergraduates received a Pell Grant at some point during their time at Gonzaga.
  • 84% of the Pell Grant students also borrowed from a federal loan program. The average amount borrowed by these students was $27,842.
  • 303 Gonzaga students are receiving the Magis Commitment this year.

Take action to help us advocate!

For more information, please visit the #DoublePell webpage where you can find additional resources including the national fact sheet and social media toolbox.   

  • Academics
  • Student Life
  • Service & Community Impact