Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 235 to 189 to approve a stop-gap spending bill (H.R. 1). H.R. 1 would fund the federal government for the rest of FY2011 after the current continuing resolution expires on March 4.
H.R. 1 cuts discretionary-funded maximum awards for the Pell Grant from $4,860 to $4,105. When the mandatory funds ($690) are considered the 2011-12 maximum Pell Grant award would be $4,705. This is a 15% decrease from 2010-11.
In addition, the bill makes proportionate reductions to awards below the maximum, reduces Pell eligibility for some of the highest eligible Expected Family Contribution groups, and prohibits the U.S. Department of Education from using FY11 appropriations to implement, administer, or enforce gainful employment regulations.
The bill also provides no funding for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP). Both programs provide financial grants to students who qualify for financial aid. Finally, the bill reduces President Obama’s proposed FY11 budget request by $100 billion.
H.R. 1 now goes to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.