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AAU SUPPORTS SENATE LABOR-HHS-EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE RESTORATION OF YEAR-ROUND PELL GRANT AND NIH FUNDING INCREASE

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Following is a statement by Association of American Universities (AAU) President Mary Sue Coleman on the FY17 appropriations bill approved today by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education.
 


We strongly support the restoration of the year-round Pell Grant for low-income families and additional funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) contained in the Senate FY17 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. These investments reflect a bipartisan commitment to college access and the nation’s investment in finding cures and extending lives through biomedical research.

Funding shortfalls in recent years have caused the loss of the year-round Pell Grant, affecting the ability of approximately one million full-time low-income students to attend college throughout the year. This benefit was especially important for helping students reduce time-to-degree. We are glad that Congress is taking concrete steps to restore this important measure.

With respect to NIH, Congress is still in the process of rebuilding the nation’s critical biomedical research investment after years of flat funding. A steady upward funding path is the best way for researchers to take advantage of ever-growing scientific opportunities for finding cures and other treatments.

We recognize that there is a considerable distance between here and the final disposition of FY17 appropriations. We urge Congress to follow through on these funding increases.

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The Association of American Universities (AAU) is an association of 60 U.S. and two Canadian public and private research universities . It focuses on issues such as funding for research, research policy issues, and graduate and undergraduate education. AAU member universities are on the leading edge of innovation, scholarship, and solutions that contribute to the nation's economy, security, and wellbeing. AAU’s 60 U.S. universities award nearly one-half of all U.S. doctoral degrees and 55 percent of those in STEM fields.

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