Congress Alters Student Lending, Hikes Pell Grants

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress has sent President Barack Obama a vast rewrite of federal college aid programs.

The legislation will give more needy students access to bigger college Pell Grants and make it easier for many future borrowers to repay their government-backed loans. The House passed the measure 220-207 as part of an expedited bill that also fixes provisions in the new health care law. Earlier Thursday, the Senate passed the measure 56-43.

The bill, an Obama domestic priority, strips banks of their role as middlemen in federal student loans and puts the government in charge.

With the savings, the government would increase Pell Grants to needy students. It would also increase money to historically black colleges and community colleges.


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