Biden Budget Would Increase Maximum Pell Award by $400; Give Pell Access to DACA Students

By The New England Council

DC Shuttle …

Hearings/Markups of Interest.

President Releases Topline Budget Request. President Joe Biden’s fiscal year 2022 topline budget proposes $102.8 billion for the U.S. Department of Education, a 41% increase over current funding. It includes a $20 billion boost for high-poverty schools, a $2.6 billion increase for special education and related services, and a $400 increase to the maximum Pell Grant. It also asks Congress to allow students protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program access to Pell Grants. Later this spring, the Office of Management and Budget will release the president’s full budget proposal. The proposal would also increase funding for the National Science Foundation to $10.2 billion, Inside Higher Ed reports.

Warren Requests Administration Forgive Student Debt.  At a Senate Banking subcommittee hearing on student loans and the racial wealth gap, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called for President Biden to cancel $50,0000 in student loan debt for every borrower, rather than the $10,000 the president has said he supports. Warren said that cancelling student loan debt would narrow the racial wealth gap, as student loan debt disproportionately burdens Black and minority students, who are more likely to borrow money, take on bigger loans and have a harder time paying down debt after graduating, Warren said at the hearing. “Republican and Democratic presidents have a long history of using their statutory authority to cancel student debt,” she said. “This is the single most powerful executive action President Biden could take to advance racial equity and give everyone in America a chance to build a future.” Forbes reports.

Ed Dept Releases More School Reopening Guidance. The Department of Education released Volume 2 of its K-12 COVID-19 Handbook, providing additional strategies for safely reopening all of America’s schools and promoting educational equity by addressing opportunity gaps that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Volume 2 focuses on research-based strategies to tackle the social, emotional, mental health and academic impacts of the pandemic on students, educators and staff, such as how to address anxiety or depression as a result of the pandemic and over a year of remote learning. The strategies described in Volume 2 can be supported by funding under the American Rescue Plan Act.

We publish the DC Shuttle each week Congress is in session featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of April 19, 2021. For more information, please visit:



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