03.20.18

SCHUMER PUSHES BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION THAT WILL HELP CHILDREN OF FALLEN COPS, FIREFIGHTERS, AND EMTS PAY FOR COLLEGE; SENATOR SAYS BILL SHOULD PASS IMMEDIATELY

Schumer: Congress Should Help Children of Fallen First Responders Go to College

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today launched an effort to urge his colleagues in the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead by passing Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act. Schumer said this bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) would make it easier for children of fallen first responders like firefighters, cops, and emergency medical technicians to afford college by increasing the amount of Pell grant funding made available to them.

“We owe it to our brave first responders – who risk their lives every day to protect our communities - the comfort of knowing that if they fall in the line of duty their family will be taken care of,” said Senator Schumer. “This must-pass legislation does exactly that by changing federal law to allow children of fallen first responders to automatically qualify for the highest amount of Pell Grant assistance possible. Many parents work every day to help send our children off to college. So, if God forbid, tragedy strikes the home of a first responder, we should do everything possible to help his or her children afford to pay for college. Throughout my entire career, I have been a loud and staunch advocate for our first responders. Whether it is securing more federal resources for our first responders or pushing legislation to create a national firefighter cancer registry–I’ll  be working double-time to convince my colleagues to pass this legislation as soon as possible.”

According to Senator Casey’s office, the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act would automatically provide qualifying students who are the children of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical service workers, and police the maximum Pell Grant authorized by federal law.  Currently, Pell Grants are distributed based on students’ financial need using a formula that determines how much each student and/or family is able to pay towards that student’s education, known as their expected family contribution (EFC). Schumer said if the child of a fallen first responder qualifies for Pell Grant aid, this bill would allow that student to be treated as if his/her “EFC” was zero, making the student eligible for the maximum Pell Grant award authorized by law, currently $5,730 per year for a full-time student. To qualify for a Pell Grant, students must demonstrate significant financial need.

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