Stimulus for students

The stimulus bill could have positive ramifications for college students.

There is quite a bit of media spotlight on the proposed economic stimulus package lately. Fierce debate entangles both the left and right sides of the aisle as Washington lawmakers determine what needs money, and how soon that money needs to be received. Though few can agree upon a correct direction to take, there is one item present on both the House and Senate versions of this stimulus package that most students can get into: federal aid for educational institutions across the board and a significant supplementation of the Federal Pell Grant. Starting July 1, an applicant for the Pell Grant could receive as much as $5,300 in financial aid per school year. This covers three-quarters of the average, public four-year schoolâÄôs tuition. Moreover, the Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally tuition tax credit is being expanded from $1,800 to $2,500, while also being made partially refundable. If these actions are accepted with the rest of the stimulus, the Pell Grant shall see the greatest single-year increase since its inception in 1965. However, a long road lies ahead until an agreement on the stimulus package can be reached. Senate and House Republicans are fearful of seeing too much money spent, part of the sentiment that pervades itself in the form of the Senate’s revision of the stimulus package itself. The Senate version does not include an additional $6 billion that would be used for educational construction projects, such as new dormitories, laboratories or libraries. In total, the House version extends $40 billion more in education-related help than the Senate version. It may be noteworthy for students to investigate the particulars in the ways this stimulus package is crafted, and what its ramifications will be on the average college student. This editorial, accessed via UWire, was originally published in the Indiana Statesman at Indiana State University. Please send comments to [email protected]