The U.S. Department of Education recently released a new report on participation in the Pell Grant program. The need-based program provides up to $5,815 annually in federal funds for college students.
The new data shows that 35 percent of all dependent students in families nationwide received federal Pell Grants in the 2011-12 academic year. This is up from 19 percent in the 1999-2000 academic year. An earlier U.S. Department of Education report found that 61.9 percent of all African American undergraduate students received a Pell Grant. The average Pell Grant award for African Americans was $4,000.