Draft Senate Spending Bill Boosts Maximum Pell Grant

The Senate appropriations committee today will consider a bipartisan spending package that would increase funds for the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion and boost the maximum Pell Grant by 1.7 percent, Inside Higher Ed reported.

Students attending college and university would see the amount for the maximum Pell Grant increase to $6,020 from the current level of $5,920. However, the proposed bill does not include a provision to continue indexing Pell Grants to inflation, which has been done since 2012. Lawmakers noted that the issue should be addressed through Higher Education Act reauthorization. Additionally, the spending package would strip $2.6 billion from the Pell Grant surplus. The Pell Grant program had a surplus of $8.5 billion in June, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate.

The draft Labor-HHS-Education budget bill would maintain current funding for the Federal Work-Study program and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. It would also mandate that the Education Department continue to have multiple companies service student loans, a measure added after the agency announced and then rolled back plans to award handling of federal student loans to a single servicer.


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