In year-end rush, Congress weighs budget that would close Pell shortfall; House passes DREAM Act; 36 days after election, a higher ed champion formally retains House seat.
In State of the Union, President Obama vows to protect many programs important to colleges from 5-year freeze on federal spending.
As deficit crunch threatens to squeeze bedrock student aid program, even some supporters say time has come to examine its efficiency.
Senior Education Department official urges House panel to keep the key student aid program (mostly) whole.
In the last-minute 2011 budget compromise, lawmakers sustain maximum Pell of $5,550, but cut summer grants. Attention now turns to 2012.
If Congress must cut college grant program, higher ed economists urge, it should do so in ways that protect needy students and encourage academic progress.
Education Trust analysis asserts that only five colleges succeed at making quality higher education affordable for low-income students -- a finding challenged as overstated.
Education Department releases data showing characteristics and persistence of those receiving the aid.
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