GOP Election Gains Might Stall Funds for Higher Education

The results of last week’s midterm elections may make it difficult to add to, or even hold on to, the major gains for higher education funding achieved during the 111th Congress. During the 2009-10 session, allocations were made to provide $36 billion in additional funds for the Pell Grant program for low-income students over the next decade. More than $2.5 billion in added funds were allocated to historically black colleges and universities. More than $750 million in appropriations was aimed at boosting retention and graduation rates and $2 billion was made available to community colleges to develop new academic and career training programs.

With GOP control of the House of Representatives, deficit reduction will be a top priority and funds for higher education, particularly funds earmarked for low-income and minority students, may be hard to come by.