The average amount of aid per student has increased, too. The average Pell grant recipient at Michigan State received about $3,400 in 2008. Projections for 2009 showed the average student received $4,300 from the Pell grant program, Meyers said.
The budget proposal also outlines debt relief measures for student aid borrowers. In its Income-Based Repayment program, the administration proposes that maximum monthly student loan payments drop from 15 percent of monthly income to 10 percent.
The budget would forgive outstanding student debt after 20 years instead of the current 25 years. Taxpayers in public service jobs would have their debt forgiven after 10 years of payments, according to the budget.
Federal statistics show that the average graduate of a four-year college owes $17,000 in federal loan money.
“Many of these students would be eligible for lower payments under the Income-Based Repayment plan,” according to the fiscal 2011 budget plan.
The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)—a program that awards grants to standout reform projects in higher education—would see a $95 million reduction in fiscal 2011, if Congress approves the budget. The program’s budget rose from $133 million in 2009 to $159 million last year, but the “elimination of funding for earmarks” and programs similar to FIPSE resulted in a proposed 2011 budget of $64 million.
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