Stimulus Bill Overview

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law Tuesday, February 17, 2009 by President Barack Obama. The aim of the legislation is to stimulate job creation by cutting taxes and investing billions of dollars in to sectors of the economy vital to economic growth including energy, health care, and education.  The legislation passed with only three Republican votes, all in the US Senate.

The new law will assist millions of Americans pursuing higher education, a large percentage of who attend career colleges.  Important education provisions include:

Pell Grants

  • The new law includes $17.1 billion to close the shortfall in the Pell Grant program and boost maximum grant amounts by $500 to $5,350 for 2009-2010 and to $5,550 for 2010-2011 to serve an estimated 7 million low and moderate-income students.
  •  When combined with other increases enacted during the 110th Congress, the maximum Pell Grant award will have increased by $1,500 – or 37 percent – since the 2006 – 2007 school year. More here.


Higher Education Tax Credit

  • The bill includes $13.8 billion to replace for two years the Hope tuition tax credit of $1800 with a $2,500 credit (limited to families earning up to $160,000) for four years of college. The credit is 40 percent refundable meaning people who do not earn enough money to owe taxes also would be eligible to take $1,000 of the credit.

Workforce and training monies are also increased, which may be available to some who want to attend career colleges.  These provisions include:

Training workers for 21st century jobs

  • $3.95 billion additional funding for Workforce Investment Act Programs to prepare adult, youth and dislocated workers for green jobs, and other emerging industries, including training for retrofitting buildings, green construction and production of renewable energy.
  • $500 million for health profession training programs including $300 million allocated through National Health Service Corps (NHSC) recruitment and field activities and $200 million allocated for all the disciplines trained through the primary care medicine and dentistry program, the public health and preventive medicine program, the scholarship and loan repayment programs authorized in Title VII (Health Professions) and Title VIII (Nurse Training) of the Public Health Services Act, and grants to training programs for equipment.
  • $1.6 billion to expand current Trade Adjustment Assistance Programs to include service workers in addition to those in the manufacturing sector and reauthorizes them through December 31, 1010.It increases training funds available to states by 160 percent to $575 million per fiscal year.

Details of these programs are still being finalized. CCA contact: Jake Kuhns.    (CCA)

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