This week the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill that will increase some federal funding for higher education.
The bill would increase the maximum Pell Grant by $85 in the 2013 fiscal year and give $100 million more in funds to the National Institutes of Health.
The maximum award for the Pell Grant would increase from $5,550 to $5,635 in the 2013-14 academic year. The increase is a result of a mandatory inflation adjustment. Discretionary spending to the program would remain flat.
The bill also would keep spending flat for most other student-aid programs for the 2013 fiscal year, including the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and Federal Work Study.
In addition the bill would:
- Increase funding for international and foreign-language programs (from $74 million to $75.7 million)
- Provide funding for the First in the World program which would allow colleges to test new approaches to education
- Restore eligibility for federal financial aid to students without high-school diplomas or GED’s who have passed an “ability to benefit” test
- Restore $50.72 million in funding for the Math and Science Partnership program
- Reduce funds to Race to the Top for elementary and secondary education to office the restoration to the Math and Science Partnership program
The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote. The U.S. House Appropriations Panel is expectd to draft its own version of the bill next week.