More than a dozen education and consumer groups asked Congress on Thursday for a 50 percent increase in the maximum Pell Grant and a 25 percent hike in college work-study as part of an economic stimulus package scheduled for consideration soon, according to the higher education web site Diverse. The coalition called for the new investments over the next two years as part of "a bold and comprehensive response" to the recession. If approved, the maximum Pell would move from $4,731 to $7,000, while another $250 million would go to work-study. "We’re talking a significant bump up in Pell," says Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. The association is one of the organizations signing on to a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that outlined the proposals, citing the need to help struggling families who cannot pay for college. Other education groups signing on to the plan include the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, State Higher Education Executive Officers, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the United States Student Association.

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