What caught my eye was the measure’s effects on higher education. Take a gander:
The maximum Pell Grant, which helps the lowest-income students attend college, would increase from $4,731 currently to $5,350 starting July 1 and $5,550 in 2010-2011. That would cover three-quarters of the average cost of a four-year college. An extra 800,000 students, or about 7 million, would now get Pell funding.
In my opinion, this is by far the best provision this stimulus could achieve. It’s a refreshing sight to see additional financial aid for students who may not be able to afford to go to college. Obama – and every legislator who supported this – kudos to you! After witnessing disastrous budget cuts at my university, I am incredibly pleased.
The stimulus also increases the tuition tax credit to $2,500 and makes it 40 percent refundable, so families who don’t earn enough to pay income tax could still get up to $1,000 in extra tuition help.
Show me the money, folks.
Computer expenses will now be an allowable expense for 529 college savings plans.
The final package cut $6 billion the House wanted to spend to kick-start building projects on college campuses. But parts of the $54 billion state stabilization fund — with $39 billion set aside for education — can be used for modernizing facilities.
An understandable cut to the bill. I don’t know, I’m tired of the construction on my campus – but if “modernizing facilities” means going green, then more power to it.
There’s also an estimated $15 billion for scientific research, much of which will go to universities. Funding for the National Institutes of Health includes $1.5 billion set aside for university research facilities.
Altogether, the package spends an estimated $32 billion on higher education.
Not meaning to quote an annoying culinary TV personality, but HOW COOL IS THAT?