A substantial increase in federal education spending could make college more affordable for many students in need of financial assistance.
In March, Congress passed a $1.3 trillion dollar spending bill to avoid another government shutdown. The bill will keep the government open for the remainder of the 2018 fiscal year, which began in October.
The bill provides increases to most higher education programs, notably a $107 million increase to the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant after U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos proposed eliminating the program, Inside Higher Ed reported. The FSEOG Program provides need-based grants to help low-income undergraduate students finance the costs of postsecondary education.
The bill also includes a $140 million increase to the Federal Work-Study Program and raises the maximum Pell Grant by $175 to a total of $6,095, Inside Higher Ed reported. A Pell Grant is a federal grant for undergraduate students with financial need.
While many of the spending increases were victories for Democrat-supported programs, the $350 million in funding aimed to address eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is a fraction of the $4 billion Democrats were hoping for, according to Inside Higher Ed.