Summary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, (the $787 billion federal stimulus bill) signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009

In brief, the bill includes the following items of interest to higher education:

• $17.1 billion to increase the maximum Pell Grant award and to eliminate an existing shortfall.  The bill will increase the Pell Grant maximum award by $500, to $5,350 in 2009-2010 and $5,550 in 2010-2011. 

• $200 million increase in funding for Work-Study.  It appears this money will be used for a new supplemental program focusing on community service.

• $250 million to be competitively awarded to states to implement student unit record data systems.

• $13 billion for a $2,500 tax credit (40% refundable); credit would phase out at income levels of $80,000 (single filers) or $160,000 (joint filers).

• More than $16 billion to various federal agencies for research and facilities.

• $4 billion for job training.

• $200 million for AmeriCorps.

• $100 million for teacher quality partnership grants.

• $500 million for preparing health care workers.

• $50 million for the arts.

• $39 billion for education aid to the states, which may be used for facility modernization (restricted to public institutions).

• $8.8 billion for state stabilization needs, which may be used for public safety, critical services, and higher education modernization.  The bill provides that “a governor shall not consider the type of mission of an institution of higher education and shall consider any institution for funding within the state.”