By Kim Glovas

By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A decline in enrollment at community college may be linked to new guidelines for Pell grants.

Doctor Stephen Curtis, president of Community College of Philadelphia, says many students who are eligible are not even aware of Pell grants.

“For our students,” Curtis says, “so many of whom are low income and would see financing higher education an obstacle, Pell has made all the difference.”

To get the maximum Pell grant, the student’s family would have to make less than $23,000 annually. It used to be $32,000.

The key is knowing the guidelines.

“Pell was really the catalyst that made everything possible for me in terms of returning to school, says 31-year-old Vincent Ancona, who’s in his second year at CCP. “Because as an older adult, returning to school can sometimes be intimidating, and the biggest concern for me was how am I going to afford this.”

Ancona has a work-study job in the financial aid office, and says there are grants and scholarships, adding students need to do the research and take advantage of what’s available.

“I was almost shocked out of my skin when I saw the amount that I could get for Pell,” Ancona says, “which at a community college, covers a good chunk.”

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