Bill Increases Funds
May Up Loan, Research Spending
Washington will be sending more money to students and campus researchers next year under a bill reported to the Senate floor yesterday morning.
Funds for Pell grants, which are given to the most needy students, will rise by 17 percent to $4.5 billion under the bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee this week.
Senators also decided to increase the budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)--the federal agency responsible for supporting biomedical research--almost 15 percent to $6.8 billion, a committee aide said yesterday.
The education spending levels are expected to sail through the Senate with little trouble, Congressional aides predicted yesterday. Legislators are expected to provide unqualified support foreducation this year because they believe it willimprove American economic competitiveness, Harvardofficials have said.
The Senate bill would allot $21.2 billion forthe Education Department--a 9 percent boost. Thatlevel of funding is $7.2 billion more thanSecretary of Education William J. Bennett's budgetrequest and $600 million more than a similar Houseplan.
Funds for Guaranteed Student Loans--the largestfederal loan program--would rise by $219 millionto $2.94 billion and College Work-Study wouldreceive an increase of similar proportions underthe Senate bill.
For the more than 3000 Harvard undergraduateswho will receive some form of student aid fromWashington this year, the Senate bill couldprovide a significant financial boost. Accordingto Associate Director for Financial Aid Janet L.Irons, the federal government will send about $2.1million in loans, $5.4 million in grants, and $1.3million in work-study to Harvard students thisyear.
In addition, the bill would dramaticallyincrease research grants to campus researchers,with almost $1 billion going for research,prevention, and education efforts to combat AIDS.Federal research grants are big business atHarvard, funding about 18 percent of theUniversity's operating budget last year.
Congressional aides expect the wholebill--which also covers the Department of Healthand Human Services--to come up against "sometrouble" on the Senate floor because ofcontroversial provisions on low-income housing andabortion