Additional Glimpses Into Obama Budget Request

Despite President Obama’s plan to call for a three year freeze of domestic discretionary spending, K-12 and certain higher education student aid/support services grant programs stand to receive significant increases in the FY11 budget process -according to administration officials. As mentioned in yesterday’s (1/26) post, certain federal programs may be cut, consolidated, or eliminated to achieve… Read More


Secretary of Educations Pens Op-Ed on Student Loan Overhaul

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal, published an op-ed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. In the piece, Secretary Duncan makes the case that banks don’t belong in the federal student loan business and that the subsidies they currently receive through Federal Family Education Loan program would be better spent on student aid. The Senate… Read More


House Passes Jobs Bill with Higher Ed. Provisions

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a jobs package (H.R. 2847 -Jobs for Mainstreet Act of 2010) that provides $75 billion of unspent funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) for assistance to states and local governments in avoiding government layoffs and supporting infrastructure repair and modernization.  Of note to the higher education community… Read More


Future of Tax Extenders Legislation Remains Unclear

Despite House passage of the Tax Extenders Act of 2009 (H.R. 4213), it appears possible that tax provisions important to the higher education community may expire at the end of the month. The provisions include the education tuition deduction, the IRA charitable rollover, and the research and development tax credit. Disagreements in the Senate over… Read More


Timeline Slipping for Major Legislation

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) announced this week that a climate bill will not likely emerge before the spring of 2010. The announcement confirms that at least 1 of 3 (and likely all 3) of President Obama’s top legislative initiatives for 2009 will slip into 2010 -the other two being health care and… Read More


Health Reform Legislation Passes Finance and Delays Student Aid Reform

Yesterday, 10/13/09, the Senate Finance Committee approved a health reform package on a largely party-line vote of 14-9, with only Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) crossing the partisan divide. The vote in Senate Finance was the last of the five House/Senate committee (3 House committees, 2 Senate Committees) votes before consideration by the chambers.  Leadership and… Read More


Full House Passes Landmark Student Aid Bill

Today, the full House of Representatives passed the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 (HR 3221) by a 253-171 vote. The bill utilizes savings from the elimination of the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) in favor of 100% college/university participation in the Direct Loan program. The legislation would index future Pell increases… Read More


Student Aid Legislation on the Table in Senate

As Congress returned from August recess earlier this week, student aid advocates immediately focused their efforts on the Senate. In the coming weeks, the Senate will likely consider a companion bill to the House Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (HR 3221) -which passed easily in the House Education and Labor Committee on July 21st…. Read More


Post-9/11 GI Bill to Take Effect

Tomorrow, Saturday August 1st, the Post-9/11 GI Bill goes into effect. It has been dubbed the most extensive educational assistance program for veterans since the original GI Bill was signed into law in 1944.  The new bill provides education benefits for servicemembers who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001. These benefits… Read More


Graduate and Professional Loan Subsidy Restored by House

Yesterday, the House Education and Labor Committee passed HR 3221, Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, which was introduced last week. The legislation eliminates the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program and utilizes the $87 billion saved to fund increased Pell grant levels for students (indexed to inflation plus 1%, but subject to… Read More