WASHINGTON (April 9, 2021) — Today, President Biden released his proposed FY2022 budget request, which we are thrilled to see includes several wins for today’s students. Executive Director Julie Peller made the following statement:
“Higher Learning Advocates applauds President Biden for prioritizing today’s students in his FY2022 budget request.
We are pleased to see the proposed increase to the maximum Pell Grant by $400, a good first step toward ensuring that millions of low-income students are able to afford college, as tuition and related costs continue to rise. Additionally, expanding Pell eligibility to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients is an important step toward increased equity in higher education.
The proposed $600 million for historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), community colleges, and other low-resourced institutions would allow institutions to increase capacity and student supports to bolster student completion. The request also includes important increased resources for workforce development programs at MSIs to fund critical pathways to careers in STEM.
When the pandemic began and most college courses shifted online, broadband access became more critical than ever for college students to succeed in higher education, but many struggled to access affordable, high-quality internet without access to their campus. The $65 million requested for the Reconnect program is a vital infrastructure investment that will allow students in rural parts of the country to have better and more reliable access to their education during a time when about half of postsecondary learning is still online.
The proposed six percent increase in funding for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act will ensure that training and employment services are available to all of today’s students, including dislocated workers and low-income adults. We are also pleased to see the proposed investment of $285 million to expand registered apprenticeship opportunities with a focus on historically underrepresented groups such as women and people of color.
Finally, the proposed budget includes $7.4 billion to fund the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), an increase of $1.5 billion. Higher Learning Advocates is thrilled to see an increase in funding for CCDBG, as it provides child care services for low-income parents who work or attend school. This is an essential service for the 22 percent of college students who are parents and rely on child care services as they balance the demands of work and school.”
Higher Learning Advocates is a bipartisan non-profit organization that advocates for solutions to break down systemic barriers and support the success of today’s students in their pursuit of education and skills development beyond high school. We advance federal policies that create transparent pathways to success, incentivize innovation, protect students and taxpayers, and improve student outcomes.