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ERIC Number: ED537499
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep-18
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Congress Expands Access to Postsecondary Education and Training for Low-Income Adults
Duke, Amy-Ellen; Strawn, Julie
Center for Law and Social Policy, Inc. (CLASP)
On September 7, 2007, Congress enacted H.R. 2669, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which will raise the maximum Pell Grant to $5,400 over five years and halve interest rates on subsidized student loans. The act is part of the budget reconciliation process, which secured billions of dollars for increasing Pell Grants and for reducing student loan interest rates by cutting nearly $21 billion from subsidies to student lenders. The legislation, which received bipartisan support, now goes to President Bush for signature. While many of the act's benefits are directed toward traditional students, the authors applaud members of the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and the House's Education and Labor Committee for recognizing the importance of also expanding access for nontraditional students. The act substantially helps nontraditional students, such as working adults and older youth, by expanding grant aid and simplifying access to aid. Specifically, the act: (1) increases the maximum Pell Grant; (2) substantially decreases the "work penalty"; (3) eliminates tuition sensitivity; (4) excludes the Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) from financial aid calculations; (5) expands the independent student definition; (6) expands "professional judgment" to include recently unemployed students and family members of dislocated workers; (7) expands eligibility for the simplified needs test (SNT); and (8) increases the automatic zero expected family contribution (EFC) threshold to $30,000 and expands eligibility. The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) has been working since 2003 to expand federal support for nontraditional students and has pushed especially hard for reducing the work penalty for low-income, working adults. Many of its recommendations are reflected in the above changes, as well as in the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act. (Contains 6 endnotes.)
Center for Law and Social Policy. 1015 15th Street NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-906-8000; Fax: 202-842-2885; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Law and Social Policy