Federal Relations

College Costs


June 10, 2016

Labor-HHS-Ed Passes Senate Appropriations

This week the Senate Committee on Appropriations took action on the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations measure.  Most notably, the measure provides a $2 billion bump for the National Institutes of Health and restores year-round Pell Grants.  National Institutes of Health is funded at $34 billion in the proposal, a 6.3% increase above FY2016. This includes: $300 million for the Precision Medicine Initiative,…


June 7, 2016

Senate Subcommittee Passes FY 2017 Labor-H

Today, the Senate appropriations subcommittee approved the first bipartisan Labor-H funding bill since Obamacare became law more than six years ago. The Senate’s FY 2017 bill includes a $2 billion increase for NIH (the same as the FY 2016 increase), a near doubling of funding to fight the opioid epidemic to $261 million, and $7.1 billion for…


June 6, 2016

Congress Gets Back to Work for the Long Slog

The House and Senate return to work this week in what will be the largest number of consecutive legislative days prior to the August Recess.  Both legislative bodies will push pause and briefly come together for a joint session to receive Indian Prime Minister Modi. The Senate returns today to resume consideration on its FY 2017 National…


May 16, 2016

ED Unveils Pell Dual Enrollment Pilot Program

The Department of Education unveiled its plan to allow dual enrollments in the Pell grant program today. The plan, which would take place in the 2016-2017 school year, would allow high school students, who are Pell-eligible, to pay for and enroll in college classes using Pell Grant funds. At a cost of $20 million, this…


March 14, 2016

Senate Confirms King

The Senate confirmed John King as Secretary of Education by a vote of 49-40.


January 27, 2016

Endowments Fall 2.4%

Colleges saw significantly lower returns on their endowments in the 2015 fiscal year. The annual NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments found that 812 colleges returned an average of just 2.4 percent after fees, down from 15.5 percent in 2014 and the lowest return since the -0.3 percent reported for 2012. The long-term return was well below…


January 19, 2016

Obama Proposes Pell Grant Expansion in FY 2017 Budget

The Obama administration is proposing that Congress approve a $2 billion-a-year expansion of Pell Grants to finance year-round awards and a bonus for students who stay on track to graduation. The two new Pell proposals are intended to help students to accelerate progress towards their degrees, increasing their likelihood of on-time completion. The first program, “Pell for…


December 18, 2015

Congress Passes $1.8 Trillion FY 2016 Spending and Tax Extension Bill

This morning the House & Senate approved a $1.8 trillion fiscal year 2016 omnibus spending bill, averting a government shutdown and funding the federal establishment through September 2016. The measure passed with a 316-113 vote in the House followed by a 65-33 vote in the Senate. President Obama is said to sign the measure into…


December 16, 2015

Tax Extenders Bill Released

House Republicans unveiled a $650 billion permanent tax package early Wednesday morning.  Key elements of the package were the permanent extensions of the research and experimentation tax credit and several charitable donation tax breaks. Sections of note include: Section 102. Enhanced American opportunity tax credit is made permanent. The Hope Scholarship Credit is a credit of…


November 6, 2015

Ed Takes Aim at Accreditors

Today, Dept. of Education officials announced a series of actions centering on transparency in an effort to force accreditors to focus more on student outcomes and hold failing colleges accountable. For the most part, the accrediting agencies will not be required to change their practices. Instead, ED hopes to drive change by publishing and disseminating…



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