Reps. Linda Sánchez and Lucille Roybal-Allard Introduce Summer Pell Grant Legislation Restoring Full Year Access

February 1, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Representative Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, along with Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) and 62 House Democrats, today introduced H.R. 813, ACCESS Act, to restore the year-round eligibility for Pell Grants:

Rep. Linda Sánchez: “I know firsthand the struggle students from working families like mine face achieving their dream of going to college. Through a combination of financial aid and working part-time jobs, I was able to graduate from the University of California, Berkeley in four years. The ACCESS Act will restore year-round Pell Grants for more than 8 million students who are working hard to earn their college degree. This bill is a common sense investment in our nation’s future that will yield enormous returns.”

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard: “I am proud to help introduce the ACCESS Act so that we can reauthorize Year Round Pell Grants. Education can help many of our student constituents reach the middle class, but right now just 21 percent of America’s low-income students get their bachelor’s degrees by age 24.  Reauthorizing year-round Pell Grants will help more of these students complete their higher education and graduate faster and with less debt.”

National Association for College Admission Counseling statement: “The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) thanks Congresswoman Sanchez for introducing this legislation.  The ACCESS Act will help make college more affordable for thousands of students and allow them to complete their degree in a timely manner.  NACAC urges Congress to pass this legislation in a timely manner.”  


The ACCESS Act would restore the year-round Pell Grant eligibility which was eliminated in 2011.

Currently, the Pell Grant only covers tuition from the fall to the spring semesters. However, students receiving Pell Grants often have to take more classes during summer or intersession semesters to graduate on time as many have to balance work and school. The lack of Pell Grants in the summer or intersession semesters means these students have to take out additional student loans — or simply skip the semester entirely.

Studies show that students who take a “gap semester” are more likely to put their studies on hold, default on student loans or drop out altogether. The ACCESS Act would bridge the gap for these students by restoring year-round Pell Grants and allow both part-time and full-time students to receive the grant. Restoring year-round Pell grants would help an estimated one million students graduate sooner and with less debt.

62 Original Co-Sponsors



Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC)

Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA)

Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA)

Rep. Donald Beyer (D-VA)

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA)

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA)

Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL)

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI)

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA)

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT)

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

Rep. John Delaney (D-MD)

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA)

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)

Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)

Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX)

Rep. Al Green (D-TX)

Rep. Gene Green (D-TX)

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)

Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT)

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-MA)

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI)

Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)

Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH)

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA)

Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL)

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM)

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY)

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA)

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY)

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI)

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY)

Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA)

Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN)

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)

Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA)

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME)

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO)

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL)

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY)

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)

Rep. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ)

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA)

Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL)

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA)

Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA)

Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA)

Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA)

Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX)

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY)