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Obama Grants for Colleges

Obama Grants for Colleges

The Obama grants have been a part of the recovery act initiated by the government to help the economic turn around. Read the following article that discusses the same for colleges.
Indrajit Deshmukh
One of the things that the US government is concentrating on is education, which supports gainful employment. Obama grants are aimed at helping colleges to come up with innovative programs that will better equip their students to succeed in the global workplace. Some of the money is geared towards helping educational institutions to retain good teachers. They also assist the education of deserving students from the low-income group. The US government has announced USD 787 billion to help revive the ailing economy. A part of this money will be given to educational institutions and students in the form of college grants.
The money will almost double the budget of existing education grants such as the Pell Grants, which help students from low-income backgrounds get higher education. Obama grants will help them to deal with layoffs and upgrade facilities. They will also raise teachers' salaries to retain the services of qualified educators.
Realizing the need of intervention in stabilizing the economy, the government came up with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The rationale behind this act is that increased government spending will help cushion the economy from the downward spiral. The Obama government also felt the need for better equipping the education system to prepare students to compete globally. Reforms have been made to the student loan structure to enable more Americans to get better education.
The US Congress also signed the health care and education reconciliation act of 2010, which made reforms in the funding of community colleges and schools. The new act also made changes to the student loan structure. This act is aimed at helping poor and minority schools; the funding made available under this act is also popularly known as Obama grants for graduate school. Here are some of the measures taken to strengthen the education system:
Pell Grants
The government has invested over 40 billion dollars in the Federal Pell Grant program. The budget has doubled under the new administration, allowing more deserving students to afford college tuition. Pell grants allow them to get higher education from over 5,000 participating institutes.
Community Colleges
Over USD 2 billion has been promised by the government over the next four years to help community colleges. The amount will help them to develop training programs according to industry requirements. It also helps cash-strapped colleges to provide career training programs, enabling their students to get gainful employment upon successful completion of the program. The funds will also provide them with an opportunity to partner with business leaders to develop new programs that meet industry requirements.
Support for MSIs and HBCUs
A sum of USD 2.5 billion, mandatory funding was made available for Minority Serving Institutes (MSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Most of these educational institutions are dealing with deteriorating facilities and decreasing endowments. The new funds will allow them to develop existing facilities and expand teaching programs. The financial aid will enable these institutes to impart skills that will equip their students for better job prospects.
Student Loans
Under the health care and education reconciliation act of 2010, the Obama administration is trying to ensure that people can afford their student loan payments. The act expands the income-based student loan repayment program. The student loans will be directly administered by the department of education; earlier, they were given by banks. This will ensure that more funds are available to help the increased number of eligible students. The act also makes it easier for parents to get federal PLUS loans for students.
Thus, such grants help students get quality education and assist them to propel their careers in the competitive world arena. They also provide an opportunity to educational institutes to revamp their facilities and training programs.