Detroit Mercy assists with launch of national campaign to #DoublePell

July 26, 2021

New website provides students and families with tools to communicate with Congress

University of Detroit Mercy is proud to be part of a national campaign to double the maximum Pell Grant to $13,000 and help more students earn a degree, get a good-paying job and achieve a brighter future.

The campaign features a new website,, that provides students and families with the tools to communicate with Congress, engage on social media and share personal stories about how the Pell Grant has helped them — and express their support for doubling Pell.

#DoublePell is a national campaign led by the Double Pell Alliance, a coalition of higher education associations, organizations and advocacy groups committed to doubling the maximum Pell Grant by the 50th anniversary of the creation of the program in June 2022. The Pell Grant is a proven program and the foundation of federal student aid for decades. It helps nearly 7 million low- and moderate-income students attend and complete college annually.

Detroit Mercy President Antoine M. Garibaldi, who served as co-chair of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities’ (AJCU) Double Pell initiative, believes institutions across the U.S. can do a better job at encouraging Pell-eligible students to apply to universities such as Detroit Mercy.

“With more than 29% of our 2020 undergraduate students receiving financial support from Pell, we know there are many more who may wish to apply but are unsure of whether they can find the means to attend college,” he said. “The #DoublePell initiative brings much needed awareness to the issues underrepresented students and students face when considering higher education and offers a solution to help them realize their dream of a college education.”  

#Doublepell is described in the Take Action page, which includes a customizable letter that students, families, alumni, and other stakeholders can send to their members of Congress, and shareable social media graphics to amplify the #DoublePell campaign messages.

For millions of students, Pell Grants make the difference between being able to attend college or not. Pell Grants are well-targeted to students with clear financial need. For example, nearly 90 percent of all Pell dollars are awarded to students with a family income below $50,000, and are especially critical for students of color. Congress is currently considering proposals to increase the maximum Pell Grant by a total of $1,875. While that represents an improvement, it does not go nearly far enough.

Double Pell already has the support of the Biden administration and widespread, bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. The #DoublePell website will be an important and accessible way for students and families to tell lawmakers why it’s important to double the maximum Pell Grant now. Detroit Mercy and other members of the Double Pell Alliance hope that colleges and universities and an array of organizations will share the #DoublePell website widely with students, families and other stakeholders.