Pell Grants Face Cuts, Possible Overhaul

Even supporters now talk of unsustainable cost

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As Congress grapples with a $10.7-billion shortfall in the Pell Grant program, some lawmakers are beginning to ask whether the program, which has been the cornerstone of the federal system of student financial aid for almost 40 years, has become unsustainable.

The cost of Pell Grants has doubled over the past three years, largely because of increases in the number of recipients and growth in the maximum award. This year some 9.4 million students are expected to receive the grants, up