To make the case for U.S. aid, higher ed groups tally cost of colleges' Katrina cleanup: over $2 billion.
Lobbyists object to Congressional proposal to use Pell Grant surplus for non-college programs.
Compromise spending bill would keep maximum Pell Grant at $4,050 and freeze most other student aid programs.
22 Republicans vote with Democrats on measure that college groups staunchly opposed, but alternatives are unpleasant.
Federal obligations for research appear to flatten in 2005, NSF study finds.
Letter to lawmakers says reductions in student loan programs would hurt students and lenders alike, limiting access to college.
Bills contain mostly bad tidings for colleges and students, especially on loans, but funds may surface for science grants and Katrina-damaged colleges.
A tumultuous day may only delay passage of budget and other bills that college groups generally dislike.
At presidents' summit, Bush administration officials propose Fulbright expansion and ask colleges for help.
Momentum to enact key legislation may be undercut by budget measure and political climate on Capitol Hill.
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