Federal Relations

September 17, 2009

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

September 10, 2009

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.

July 31, 2009

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

July 22, 2009

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

July 15, 2009

House Budget Reconciliation Package Taking Shape

Today, the House of Representatives will introduce a budget reconciliation package designed to achieve components of the President’s agenda. Budget reconciliation is a special procedure, not subject to a fillibuster in the Senate, that was intended to serve as a deficit reduction tool by forcing spending cuts or tax increases to meet the targets set

June 26, 2009

Department of Education Revamps Student Aid Application Process

**The following press release was made available by the Department of Education on June 24th** The Obama Administration today announced a shorter, simpler, and more user friendly Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that will make it easier to apply for college financial aid. The changes—some of which are already in place while others

June 17, 2009

CBO Analysis Dims Prospects of a Pell Entitlement

This week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis of the fiscal impact of President Obama’s FY10 Budget Request. The analysis looks at the budget request broadly, as well as focuses in on some of President Obama’s major proposals on health care and student aid. Of particular note, CBO revised down — from $94

Rep. McMorris Rodgers Possible Ranking Member on Education and Labor

**UPDATE** The new Ranking Member on Education and Labor is John Kline (R-MN). Earlier this week, it was announced that Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon (R-CA), the Ranking Member on the House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee, is leaving the panel to take the same position on the House Armed Services Committee. McKeon’s departure

June 11, 2009

Health Care Providers to Receive Help with Student Debt

[The following is a press release from the Department of Health and Human Services] Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the availability of nearly $200 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to support student loan repayments for primary care medical, dental and mental health clinicians who want to work at

May 29, 2009

Department of Education to Hold Public Hearings on Higher Education Issues

On May 26, 2009, the Department of Education announced that it will hold three public hearings and related forums around the country to gather public suggestions on several higher education issues. The Department will also be conducting forums after each of the three hearings to discuss: (1) how changes to the Department’s financial aid communications

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