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Arne Duncan

Pell grant expansion a goal of Obama administration

The Obama administration wants to expand the federal Pell grant program to help more students graduate from college — by providing them with money to attend classes year-round and reward them for taking more credits.

Two new proposals, announced Tuesday by the Education Department, would expand the $29 billion program by $2 billion in the new fiscal year. They'll be part of President Barack Obama's budget proposal next month.

One proposal, called the Pell for Accelerated Completion, would help low-income students earn Pell money for a third semester in an academic year — letting them take classes over the summer. Many full-time students exhaust their annual...