President’s budget calls for increase to grant program

President Obama’s proposed budget for the 2011 fiscal year, given to Congress today, includes a 6.2 percent overall increase to education spending, part of which will give a significant boost to the Pell Grant program.

Of the $107 billion budgeted for education, training, employment and social services, $2.13 billion will go to higher education and $38.19 billion to student financial assistance, as shown in a New York Times interactive graphic.

The Pell Grant program alone, which annually awards grants for low-income college students, will receive $17 billion, and the maximum Pell Grant would increase from $5,550 to $5,710, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In addition, the funding increase could give approximately 1 million more students access to Pell Grants, according to an earlier Los Angeles Times article.

Obama also reiterated a proposal to make the Pell Grant program an entitlement program, guaranteeing grants to all those whose income falls below a certain level, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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