Claiborne Pell, a Rhode Island senator whose achievements brought about lasting change both at home and abroad, died on January 1st, 2009, at the age of 90.
In a statement, Vice President-elect Joe Biden honored Sen. Pell's many accomplishments, noting that, "few Senators have done more to expand opportunity in America."
Pell's domestic efforts led to the establishment of the Pell Grant, a federal higher education subsidy that has defrayed the cost of college tuition for thousands of American students since their establishment in 1973.
In 2000, nearly 30% of public university students were Pell Grant recipients.
Still, many students and their families worry that the worsening economy will increase the burden of tuition and other college costs.
Carolyn from California shared some of her concerns:
"With the state of our current economy my parents are worried with how they are going to be able to support me and my younger brother as he goes off to college. We are considered upper-middle class (I think) and if we are having a hard time, I can only imagine what other families are facing. Please continue to support federal funding for higher education including the Pell Grant Program. Your proposed changes to the Financial Aid application would be very helpful, but at the same time increased funding of federal programs is necessary."
Making higher education more affordable is a priority for the Obama-Biden administration. Use the discussion forum below to tell us some of your concerns about education costs: