Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Humans Services, Education, and Related Agencies approved a $169.6 billion FY11 appropriations bill.
The bill would seek to maintain a level appropriated base for the Federal Pell Grant program of $4,860. That amount, combined with a mandatory add-on from the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA), would provide a maximum Pell Grant of $5,550 in the 2011-12 year. However, the Senate appropriation markup did not include $5.7 billion to plug an estimated Pell Grant shortfall in the 2011-12 year. The House version did include the $5.7 billion.
In addition to Pell appropriations, the spending bill would maintain level funding for the majority of the other student aid programs. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) program, the Federal Work-Study (FWS), program, and the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnerships (LEAP) program in fiscal year (FY) 2011 would all be level funded under the appropriations bill. TRIO would be increased by $15 million under the bill and Perkins cancellations would receive no funding.
The full appropriations committee is expected to take up the bill this Thursday.