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Pell Grants, NIH Get Boost in Budget Deal

December 17, 2019

The U.S. Congress on Monday released a $1.3 trillion spending deal it is expected to pass before the government shutdown deadline Friday.

The deal includes a $150 increase in the maximum award for federal Pell Grants compared to the 2019 enacted level. The maximum award will be $6,345. A House appropriation document said the increase would help Pell Grants keep pace with inflation.

It also includes a $25 million increase (to a total of $865 million) for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, which President Trump had proposed eliminating. Congress also plans to increase Federal Work-Study funding by $50 million, to $1.2 billion. The White House had proposed cutting the program's budget roughly in half.

The measure would also increase spending on the National Institutes of Health by $2.6 billion, which advocates for biomedical research applauded.

This House document describes other higher education-related funding streams in the congressional budget.

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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