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Kelci Lynn Lucier

What the Stimulus Package Means for College Students

By February 15, 2009

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Even if you had tons of time to listen to the news and read the newspaper every day, chances are you still wouldn't totally understand all the details and logistics of how the stimulus package is going to affect your life as a college student. I myself have an undergraduate and graduate degree, and I'm still working to figure out the specifics!

On February 13, insidehighered.com published a great article that reviews how the stimulus package will affect higher education. A few important highlights:

  • Pell Grants should be increasing.
  • Tax credits for higher education costs should be increasing.
  • Computers will now count as a legitimate expense under 529 college savings/expense plans.
  • Money has been included (estimated at $200 million) for computer centers at community colleges.
  • Money is being given to governors/states for "high priority" needs that, depending on individual states' situations, may mean money for education.
  • Unfortunately, it looks like extra money for lenders (to lend to students, not to buy private jets) won't be included in the final compromise package.

Even if you don't have a lot of time (or patience), the insidehighered.com article has a great chart (that can be quickly skimmed) that describes what they think will be coming down the pipes for colleges, universities -- and students. And, if you still want more information or are having problems financially staying in school, make sure to talk with your financial aid office about your financial aid package ASAP.

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