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New Federal Budget Adds Money to Programs for College-Going Students

The federal budget for fiscal year 2014 passed by Congress and signed by President Obama last week increases funding for career technical education, enhances college-readiness programs for at-risk students, and boosts the maximum amount of Pell Grant awards—all good news for college-going students.

The new $1.1 trillion spending plan funds the Pell Grant program at last year's level of $22.8 billion, but increases the maximum award next year to $5,730, an $85 increase.

After suffering sequestration cuts, the new budget puts $49 million more into the Federal Work Study program, a 5.3 percent increase to the nearly $975 million program, and $37 million more into the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, which is set at $733 million.

While funding for CTE National Programs is flat in next year's budget, money for state CTE grants goes up by 5 percent to $1.2 billion.

There is an additional $121 million for the Labor Department for Workforce Investment Act grants ($2.6 billion total) to states for job training and assistance for low-income workers.

GEAR UP, which provides support for disadvantaged college-going students, has 5 percent more with a funding total of $302 million.

Some high school and higher-education-related programs weren't as lucky in the recent round of negotiations.

Money for adult education state grants is flat in next year's budget at $564 million, as well as the high school graduation initiative funded at $46 million—the same as last year. 

For a complete look at the impact of the spending bill on education, see Alyson Klein's story Federal Spending Plan Aims to Ease 'Sequester' Pain.

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