Senate Proposes Increase in Pell Grant Maximum

September 14, 2017

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $100 increase in the Pell Grant maximum for the 2018-19 award year, taking it to $6,020.  The bill makes student aid funding a priority overall, keeping Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), Federal Work Study (FWS), and GEAR UP level funded, and increasing TRIO by $3 million.  The bill also increases National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding by $2 billion.

At the same time, the House began floor consideration of its education funding bill, which it wrote in July.  This bill would keep the Pell Grant maximum of $5,920, level fund SEOG and FWS, and increase TRIO by $60 million, GEAR UP by $10 million, and NIH by $1.1 billion.  

Further action on these bills will be determined by what develops as a result of the December 8 Continuing Resolution deadline.  Both House and Senate Appropriations bills in the aggregate have higher spending that the FY 2018 statutory cap, so some budget agreement will be needed to avoid sequestration cuts under current rules.  Expect this debate to bump up against the December holidays.  

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