College students were among the winners when a new federal spending bill was signed into law March 23, complete with significantly increased funding for some access programs, work study awards and federal grants. Changes made in the new law include:
- Pell Grant: $175 increase in the maximum grant, from $5,920 to $6,095.
- Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): $107 million increase to $840 million.
- Federal Work Study: $140 million increase to $1.13 billion.
Each of these programs have a sizable impact in Minnesota, with 124,400 students receiving Pell Grant awards, 25,400 receiving SEOG awards and 12,100 receiving Work Study support.
In addition, the new law rejects the administration’s request to eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and increases funding for student loan servicing needs.
One area that had been a possibility for inclusion in the new law was some action to help Dreamers — college students and others who are young, undocumented immigrants — remain legally in the United States. But in the end the law did not address their status. (What’s next for Dreamers in Minnesota was addressed thoroughly in a recent MinnPost article.)
For more about the how federal financial aid will expand under the new law, visit Inside Higher Ed.