The full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved legislation that would reinstate year-round Pell Grants for low-income students and provide a $2 billion boost for the National Institutes of Health. The 2017 appropriations bill for the Departments of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services would increase the maximum Pell Grant to $5,935 and once again allow students to receive the grants in the summer, a benefit that was eliminated in 2011 amid a spike in the program's costs.
Despite the increases, advocates for students criticized the Senate measure for using $1.2 billion in surplus Pell Grant funds for other programs. They started a petition asking Congress to stop the "raid" on Pell funding.
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