Education Secretary Duncan Highlights Budget Proposals to Increase College Access and Affordability
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February 26, 2009
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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today highlighted provisions of the Department of Education's proposed FY 2010 budget overview that would dramatically expand student financial aid while making it simpler, more reliable and more efficient. "We need to invest in our economic future and enable our kids to compete in today's global environment. America's students and workers need a higher level of education and training," Duncan said.

"President Obama's proposed budget calls for a historic investment to make college more affordable and accessible and to help more students succeed once they get there."

"The new funding announced today represents a significant expansion of our federal student aid programs, providing more dollars to allow more students to attend more schools," he said.

The secretary noted that the proposed budget for the U.S. Department of Education builds on the historic increases in the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) by taking additional steps to advance education reform and restore the nation's economy. The ARRA would provide an additional $17 billion for Pell Grants in Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010; the current year funding is $16.2 billion, with 6.1 million students participating.

The stimulus package is also providing nearly $14 billion in tuition tax credits for middle class families, raising the credit to $2,500 from $1,800.

Details of the FY 2010 budget proposal will be released in late April. The budget overview issued today contains provisions that would:

Secretary Duncan also noted that the budget overview includes a $500 million grant program for a new federal-state-local partnership to improve retention and graduation rates, particularly for low-income college students. Funds would support research into what works to help increase college completion.

"Currently, our young people face too many financial and other hurdles to obtaining a college education," Duncan said. "With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the proposals announced today, we are taking several major steps to clear those hurdles."

"By ensuring that higher education is affordable and accessible for all our young people, we will make certain that our nation is prepared to compete in an information-age economy," he said.

Information on the U.S. Department of Education budget overview is available at:



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Last Modified: 11/20/2009