Billions in Pell Grants Don’t Lead to Graduations: Analysis

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Billions of taxpayer dollars go to college students who never end up with a diploma in their hands, a new report found.

Pell grants — which are given to low-income families and, unlike student loans, do not need to be paid back — are the costliest education initiative in the nation, NBC News reports. But little official data exists on whether they are a good investment, according to the education watchdog Hechinger Report.

Education Department Undersecretary Ted Mitchell last month lauded Pell grants as "one of the key levers that we have" to increase college completion rates. But an analysis published Monday by Hechinger revealed that Pell recipient graduation rates are often considerably lower than the overall graduation rate — even six years after a student starts college.

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