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… Read More


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… Read More


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… Read More


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… Read More


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… Read More


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… Read More


Washington Post Article on Obama Student Aid Reforms

Today’s Washington Post has a very informative article on President Obama’s proposals to increase student aid for college students. The article focuses on an increase in the Pell Grant program through elimination of the Federal Family Education Loan Program, and expansion of the Perkins Loan program. May 4th Washington Post: Proposals Would Transform College Aid


VA Announces Post-9/11 GI Bill Application Availability

United States Department of Veterans Affairs Starting May 1, 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs will begin accepting applications for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.  The application form is available online. The form requires that individuals currently eligible for another education benefit make an irrevocable election from their existing program to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Typically… Read More


UW and National Education Associations Seek Pell Grant Entitlement

As the 111th Congress returns to regular session this week, the University of Washington and several higher education associations have sent letters to lawmakers in a show of support for the President’s proposal to make the Pell Grant program an entitlement. Such a move would provide annual increases equivalent to inflation (plus an additional 1%),… Read More