Budget cuts threaten Tennessee and Georgia Pell grants

photo U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., discusses papers and memorabilia on display in an exhibit about his political career in this file photo.

BY THE NUMBERSStudents receiving Pell grants last year in the tri-state area:• Tennessee: 155,576• Alabama: 150,284• Georgia: 275,455Source: Education Trust

Half a million students across the country and thousands in Tennessee and Georgia could lose their federal Pell grants for college if a proposal in Congress passes during the next few weeks of Washington budget talks.

Many more students in Tennessee and Georgia and beyond could see their awards trimmed, officials said.

Brenda Anderson, a 19-year-old sophomore at UTC, said she doesn't know how she will continue school if she loses some of her Pell grant.