48,000,000 children across the United States live in low-income or poor families.
One Senator from Michigan is working to open more doors for those children through higher education.
Now, for many of those millions of children, higher education may seem like an impossible dream.
Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat from Michigan, said, "The early Pell Grant is meant to be hope for those young people."
So, Senator Stabenow introduced the Early Pell Promsie Act. It includes legislation that would encourage low-income 8th graders to work hard in school.
The bill would provide two years of maximum Pell Grants to qualifying middle school students who maintain good grades through high school, to help them pay for a college or university.
Senator Stabenow said, "If you're willing to do the right thing, to work hard and make the grades you ought to have a fair shot to go to college."
Senator Stabenow believes that giving these kids assurance that they'll have help to pay for school in 8th grade, means they'll be more motivated to succeed in high school and eventually pursue higher education.
She said, "It's not just good for the young person. It's great for all of us. We need people who are talented and educated, contributing and helping to grow the middle class of our country."
Stabenow's legislation has been endorsed by the National Education Association, the American Association of Community Colleges and the Michigan College Access Network.