Federal policy

House Holds Firm on Tight Budget

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In passing spending measure for student aid and NIH, lawmakers approve permanent end to lender loophole.

Senate Passes Bill to Finance Cultural Endowments

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NEH would receive $143 million and NEA $131 million in 2006, up $5 million each.

Failed Attempt at Easing Study in Cuba

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U.S. House rejects amendment that would have undermined year-old Treasury Department rules.

Possible Breakthrough on Loan Consolidation

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Republican leader proposes giving borrowers a choice of fixed or variable interest rates, but plan offers few details.

Stopping a Lender Subsidy, Permanently

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House GOP leaders and Bush administration agree to end 9.5% rate for some loans -- belatedly, Democrats say.

Training Tomorrow's Doctors, For Now

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Growing up in a moderate income area near San Diego, Arnold Cuenca had an interest in and aptitude for science in high school. But as he contemplated potential careers, he, like most of his peers, was encouraged to enter the military or take a job right out of high school -- paths most of his peers chose. His mom was a nurse, though, and that got him thinking about being a doctor.

"Other than my mom, I had nothing to encourage me to become a health professional -- I didn't know what medicine was," says Cuenca.

House Dives In to the Higher Ed Act

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Debate is intense over for-profit colleges, but decisions on many issues are forestalled.

'Good Day' for For-Profit Colleges

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As they waited Thursday morning for the House of Representatives higher education subcommittee to vote on legislation to extend the Higher Education Act, lobbyists for for-profit and nonprofit colleges had strikingly different answers to the simple question "How are things going?"

Bruce D. Leftwich, vice president for government relations at the Career College Association, responded with an enthusiastic "Great, great." David S. Baime, who plays the same role for the American Association of Community Colleges, offered an uncertain "I have no idea."

Budget Bill Advances in Senate

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Appropriations panel backs plan to raise NIH spending by $1 billion but keep maximum Pell Grant at $4,050.

Competition = Savings in the Loan Programs

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Federal costs would balloon and efficiency would erode if either student loan program vanished, a study finds.

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