Statement Regarding FCC Open Commission Meeting & Emergency Broadband Benefit

WASHINGTON — Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held an Open Commission Meeting to discuss the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program, which Congress created in December 2020. The EBB provides a $50 per month benefit for students receiving Pell Grants to pay for broadband services. Today, Executive Director Julie Peller made the following statement regarding the benefit and news surrounding its implementation:

“Higher Learning Advocates is glad to see that the FCC will allow self-certification to verify college students’ eligibility for the Emergency Broadband Benefit, which is aligned with one of our policy recommendations. Self-certification will allow students to use existing documentation—like official financial aid award letters, a paid invoice showing a Pell Grant, a letter from their institution, or a copy of their Student Aid Report—to quickly verify that they received a Pell Grant and are therefore eligible for the broadband benefit. 

While self-certification will certainly be helpful to today’s students in this moment, it’s critical that colleges and other stakeholders work hand-in-hand with students so they are aware that this benefit exists, that they are eligible to receive it, and that they know how and where to apply to receive it. We look forward to hearing more from the FCC as the rollout of this important benefit continues.”



Higher Learning Advocates is a bipartisan non-profit organization that advocates for solutions to break down systemic barriers and support the success of today’s students in their pursuit of education and skills development beyond high school. We advance federal policies that create transparent pathways to success, incentivize innovation, protect students and taxpayers, and improve student outcomes.