The Pell Institute is focused on bringing clarity to questions of equity.
Through the creation and dissemination of rigorous and timely research, Pell works to encourage policymakers, educators, and the public to address systemic equity issues in postsecondary education, and improve educational opportunities and outcomes of low-income students, first-generation students, and students with disabilities.
The Pell Institute is the research arm of the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE). The Pell Institute shares the mission of the Council to advance and defend the ideal of equal opportunity in postsecondary education. As such, Pell’s research aims to ensure that the least advantaged segments of the American population have a realistic chance to enter and graduate from a postsecondary institution toward fulfilling careers.
To achieve its mission, the Pell Institute strives to:
- serve as an information resource to policymakers and practitioners by presenting high-quality, rigorous research and policy analysis that is user-friendly and accessible.
- work in partnerships at national, regional, state, and institutional levels to maximize the impact of the Pell Institute and to increase its relevance to improving access to higher education.
illustrate the need for increased support of policies, programs, and practices that improve attainment in higher education
The Pell Institute is the first research institute to specifically examine the issues affecting educational opportunities for first-generation, low-income students and students with disabilities. The Pell Institute publishes research and analyses that address equal educational opportunities for that growing population. Additional publications include occasional papers, policy briefs, and an electronic newsletter.
A renowned research organization dedicated to advancing educational equity and promoting access to higher education for underserved populations
The institute is named after The Late Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI), a champion of higher education accessibility and the creator of the Pell Grant program who served in the U.S. Senate from 1961 to 1997. Senator Pell was the principal sponsor of the federal Basic Educational Opportunity Grant, the student aid program that helps low-income students attend college. In 1980, the program was renamed the Pell Grant Program to honor the Senator’s efforts. The Pell Grant program, which provides need-based financial aid to low-income undergraduate students, has been instrumental in supporting millions of individuals in their pursuit of higher education.
The history of the Pell Institute is deeply intertwined with the evolution of educational policies and the ongoing efforts to reduce barriers and increase access to higher education. From its inception, the institute has focused on conducting research, analyzing data, and disseminating findings to inform policymakers, practitioners, and advocates about the challenges and opportunities in higher education. Today, the Pell Institute continues to be a leading voice in the field of educational equity. Its research and expertise continue to shape policies, inform strategies, and empower stakeholders in their collective efforts to expand access, promote success, and create a more equitable higher education system.
The Pell Institute is the first research institute to specifically examine the issues affecting educational opportunity for low-income, first-generation, and disabled college students. Learn more about the Pell Institute, including our mission, purpose, goals, and history.
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