Federal Spending Bill Increases Pell Grant, Research Dollars

The year 2015 ended on a positive note for UCLA advocates at the federal level with the passage of the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus Bill — a victory in a number of areas that directly impact students.

Approximately one-third of UCLA students receive federal Pell Grants annually, which are awarded to students from low-income families — mostly households earning $30,000 or less.

It was feared that the federal government might make cuts on Pell Grant funding, but instead the FY 2016 Omnibus Bill provides $22.48 billion for the program, increasing the maximum payout per student from $4,860 to $5,915.

UCLA has one of the highest Pell Grant-recipient percentages in comparison to its fellow top-ranked AAU and U.S. News & World Report peers, and it is an important part of the university’s mission to provide education to diverse economic backgrounds.

The FY 2016 Omnibus Bill also set aside $32 billion — $2 billion more than FY 2015 — for the National Institutes of Health, which is one of the largest contributors of federal research dollars (more than 60 percent in FY 2014) to the university, funding hundreds of current research projects and thousands historically.

Increases were also made to the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science — two additional important research partners for UCLA.


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