Monday, January 11, 2010

Obama's stimulus bill includes huge student aid investments

(ARA) - The Obama administration has set forth an extensive bill designed to get the economy out of the recession and moving again. This $70 billion bill has a large portion directed towards students and investing in their education.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. David Obey (D-Wisc.) said, "Our short-term task is to try to prevent the loss of millions of jobs and get our economy moving. The long-term task is to make the needed investments that restore the ability of average middle income families to increase their income and build a decent future for their children." The financing for continuing education will help people get the skills and knowledge they need to get jobs in the future, thus boosting the economy.

According to the summary of the bill released by the House Appropriations Committee, the bill would provide the following additional funding for student aid.

* Pell Grants: $15.6 billion to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500, from $4,850 to $5,350 for the 2009-2010 academic year.

* Federal Work-Study: $490 million to support undergraduate and graduate students who work.

* Student Loan Limit Increase: Increased limits on unsubsidized Stafford loans by $2,000.

* Student Aid Administration: $50 million to help the Department of Education administer surging student aid programs while navigating the changing student loan environment.

The bill also provides funding that will benefit higher education institutions, including:

* $20 billion for school renovation and modernization, including technology upgrades and energy efficiency improvements: $14 billion for K-12 and $6 billion for higher education.

* $1 billion for 21st century classrooms, including computer and science labs and teacher technology training.

* $79 billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cutbacks to key services, including $39 billion to local school districts and public colleges and universities distributed through existing state and federal formulas, $15 billion to states as bonus grants as a reward for meeting key performance measures, and $25 billion to states for other high-priority needs such as public safety and other critical services, which may include education.

"These kinds of incentives from the government don't come along very often," says Janet Hill, financial aid and education counselor at ClassesAndCareers.com, a free online education service. "If people have been thinking of going back to school, now would be the time to do it. If they are hurting financially, they can easily get the money they need to get a degree." These benefits are set to expire after the 2010-2011 school year and are available for campus and online colleges.

Thanks to a growing number of online education options, degree-seekers can take advantage of President Obama's stimulus bill without leaving their jobs. Sites like ClassesAndCareers.com have helped nearly 500,000 degree-seekers get their stimulus money and enroll in online universities.

"We help people learn how to take advantage of this bill," says Hill. "All they have to do is visit our form and fill it out. We guide them through the rest."

Anyone interested in going back to school can visit www.OnlineSchools247.com to see if they qualify. They simply fill out the form and an education advisor will help them get their share of the stimulus money and find the best degree program for them. Or, call directly at (888) 361-6349.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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