May 16, 2019
Will NASA’s plan to land astronauts on the moon by 2024 fly with Congress? The Artemis program’s implications are still sinking in on Capitol Hill, but there’s already a political problem having to do with where the money’s supposed to come from. Trump administration officials confirmed that the $1.6 billion being sought as a “down payment” for accelerating the push to the moon would be taken from a roughly $8 billion reserve account for the popular Pell Grant program, which funds education for millions of low-income students annually.
May 16, 2019
The Trump administration proposed cutting the Pell Grant surplus to fund new spending at agencies including NASA in a budget amendment this week. The White House fiscal year 2020 budget proposal released in March included a $2 billion cut to the Pell surplus. The budget amendment calls for redirecting another $1.9 billion in Pell funds. The Associated Press first reported the proposal. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Institute for College Access and Success, and the Education Trust issued statements opposing the proposed cut to the Pell surplus.
March 12, 2019
President Trump called for a $7.1 billion cut to funding at the Education Department with a proposed budget that retreads familiar higher education ideas for this White House. The budget proposal released on Monday asks Congress to open Pell Grants to “high-quality” short-term programs, eliminate Public Service Loan Forgiveness and subsidized student loans, and streamline income-driven repayment programs for student borrowers.
March 12, 2019
If the Trump administration's 2020 budget proposal is enacted, employees at the U.S. Department of Education will have to find a way to get work done with fewer resources. The 2020 budget proposal would slash ED's budget by 10 percent at the program level or $8.5 billion, down to $62 billion.
January 2, 2019
Financial aid has traditionally focused on helping lower-income students gain access to higher education, paving paths to college for millions of poor students. Recently, an increasing number of colleges are targeting a portion of their aid to help financially struggling undergraduates cross the finish line to graduation.
November 15, 2018
Four Illinois universities have joined an ambitious national effort to resolve persistent inequities in higher education. About 130 schools and university systems have signed onto a program directed by the Association for Public and Land-grant Universities in Washington, D.C., officials announced this week. Dubbed “Powered by Publics: Scaling Student Success,” the initiative groups together school leaders to brainstorm ways to improve access to higher education, eliminate achievement gaps among students and boost the number of students earning postsecondary degrees.
September 19, 2018
Many graduates who had majored in liberal arts, social science, or education expressed buyer’s remorse. They were more likely than science and engineering majors to say they wished they had chosen a different field of study to prepare for their ideal job, a Pew Research Center study found in 2014. “They’re getting this message from home: ‘The main thing is, you’ve got to get a job,’” Catherine W. Howard, Virginia Commonwealth University’s vice provost for community engagement, said at a recent event held by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. “These parents have experienced the hardships of the downturn.”
August 29, 2018
If students across the country judged the value of college by headlines alone, they would come away with a bleak view of higher education. Rising costs. Diminishing value. Questionable career prospects. It’s a small miracle students enroll in college at all. Yet despite the widespread cynicism about higher education, more people are going to college than ever before. They know investing in their future offers something far more promising than headlines suggest. Students who enroll cite increased earning potential and improved job prospects as their top reasons for pursuing a degree. The value of a college education has never been higher. The close link between college attainment and wages, employment prospects, and job satisfaction is as strong as ever. Even many of the most strident critics of higher education still strongly encourage their own children to pursue a college education. But we need to widen our view beyond individuals to gauge the full value of higher education.
July 27, 2018
The Democrat-crafted bill, a version of the Higher Education Act that is due for reauthorization, has some significant differences from the PROSPER Act, a Republican-sponsored plan passed earlier this year by the House. The HEA would, among other provisions, increase the annual Pell grant maximum; allow two tuition-free years at a community college; preserve the TEACH grant program that provides student aid to those who agree to teach certain subjects in high-needs schools; create competitive grant programs for future teachers and school leaders and preserve the provision in the HEA that allows teachers in some cases to cancel out their college debt. The Aim Higher Act “would make important progress in supporting college access, affordability and completion,” APLU president Peter McPherson said in a statement. “The bill includes a number of provisions that APLU supports and has advocated for over the years,” he said, citing annual inflation adjustments for Pell grants, fixing “flaws of the 90/10 rule” governing federal aid ratios and expanding the collection and reporting of higher-ed outcomes data to count all students.
July 27, 2018
Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a bill summary of the Aim Higher Act, their stance on how to comprehensively reauthorize the Higher Education Act, a critical piece of legislation guiding federal higher education policy, which due to lack of bipartisan agreement has not been renewed since 2008.