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Washington Update: FY2017 Appropriations Update; Year-Round Pell; and Adding Pell Grant Recipient Cohort to IPEDS

FY2017 Appropriations Update
Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2017 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill. This bill would provide $7.510 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF), a $46 million (0.6%) increase over FY2016 enacted levels. Under NSF, Major Research, Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) would receive $246.5 million, a $46.26 million (23%) increase from FY2016. Research and Related Activities (R&RA) is funded at $6.034 billion, the same as FY2016. Education and Human Resources (EHR) is also flat-funded at $880 million.

The Senate CJS bill would also fund National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) at $25 million, the same as FY2016 enacted. Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEP) would also be held flat to FY2016 levels at $130 million.

Finally, the Senate CJS appropriations bill would fund NASA at $19.3 billion, a $21 million (0.1%) increase over FY2016 levels. Science would receive $5.395 billion, a decrease of $194.4 million (-3.5%) from FY2016. Space Technology would be funded at $687 million, the same as FY2016. Space Grant is also level funded at $40 million.

The Senate CJS Committee report also includes language directing the NSF to evaluate how a proposal furthers the national interest as part of their peer review process.

Higher Education Associations Urge Pell Surplus Be Used for Year-Round Pell in FY2017 LHHS-ED
APLU and 18 other higher education associations, including all of the presidential associations, wrote to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging that the Pell surplus be used for “year-round” Pell in the FY2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-ED) bill.

The letter comes as the LHHS-ED subcommittees are attempting to reconcile competing challenges including smaller allocations and interest in increasing funding for the Every Student Succeeds Act, NIH, and other important priorities. While APLU is advocating for increases in various programs funded by the LHHS-ED bill, we do not support those increases coming from the Pell surplus, and urge that the Pell surplus be used exclusively to expand the Pell program as outlined in the letter.

APLU Submits Comments on Proposed Addition of Pell Grant Recipient Cohort to IPEDS Outcome Measures Survey
APLU submitted comments on the Department of Education’s proposed addition of Pell graduation rates to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

APLU’s comments support the addition of data related to a Pell recipient cohort and note the benefits such data would have for students, policymakers, policy researchers, and institutions. The comments also provide specific recommendations on how to maximize the benefits of new data while minimizing reporting burden on institutions.

  • Council on Governmental Affairs

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