Government Affairs

Appropriations Bill Supports Greater Pell and Research Funding

March 22, 2018

Congress today passed the FY18 Omnibus Appropriations Bill which included increased support to the Pell Grant program, which is projected to help over 7 million low-income families afford college. It does this by raising the maximum award by $175 (to $6,095), maintaining the recent Year Round Pell expansion that UPCEA has advocated for over the past few years, and keeping existing program funding within Pell Grants.

The omnibus recognizes the many benefits of medical research to our society and our economy by including a $3 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Considering the funding made available through the 21st Century Cures Act and previous appropriations, this increase will allow for more life-changing research to be performed, enabling major scientific breakthroughs and improving the quality of life for all Americans.

Beyond these signature proposals, there are meaningful investments across the bill in the areas of student aid, career and workforce training, institutional support and scientific research. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work Study, TRIO and GEAR UP programs all receive meaningful increases to support the preparation, access and success of low- and middle-income students. We were similarly pleased that the bill include important funding for provisions to enhance the Public Service Loan Forgiveness provision and increase its reach. The bill adds $50 million in new funding for Apprenticeship Opportunities and new funding for key workforce-related programs, including WIOA, the Carl Perkins Act, as well as adult education.

To see a letter which UPCEA co-signed with ACE and 38 other higher education associations supporting the passage, click here.

UPCEA is a proud founding member of advocacy groups such as the Today's Students Coalition as well as the National Adult Learner Coalition.

UPCEA Policy Committee

Ricky LaFosse, University of Michigan, Chair
Kristen Brown, University of Louisville
Allison Friederichs, University of Denver
Mary Niemec, University of Nebraska
Reed Scull, University of Wyoming
Dick Senese, Capella University


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