NAICU Washington Update

Congress Sends Higher Ed Funding Increases to President

December 18, 2009

Congress worked overtime this past weekend, sending President Obama the FY 2010 omnibus appropriations act on Sunday, December 13, for his approval.  This combination of six funding bills includes major increases for education programs as Congress continues trying to complete its work for the year this week.

For student aid, the bill includes $17.5 billion for the Pell Grant program to fund an appropriated base grant of $4,860.  When the $690 from mandatory funds is added to that, it takes the total student maximum grant to $5,550 for 2010-11.  This is a $207 million increase in funding over last year, and a $200 increase in the maximum grant.

Other major increases in the bill include a $117 million increase for Student Aid Administration, to help fund the Department of Education's conversion to direct lending; a $5 million increase for TRIO programs; a $10 million increase for GEAR UP; and increases for all Title III and V Strengthening Institutions Grants.  International Education programs were also increased by $7 million.

While no new funding was provided for the Perkins Loan program, the other campus-based programs were level funded at last year's amounts of $757.4 million for Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants; $980.4 million for Federal Work Study; and $63.8 million for LEAP state grants.  Graduate programs were also level funding, with Javits at $9.6 million, and GAAN at $31 million.

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