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Congress restores year-round Pell Grants, protects federal research funding

The $1 trillion federal spending bill signed into law last week held some good news for UC: Congress has restored year-round Pell Grants, a move that could help thousands of UC students get through college more quickly and at lower cost.

Another bright spot in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 omnibus appropriations bill was support for federal research. The National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy and other agencies that fund university research saw their budgets increase or remain flat — a big relief following months of speculation that deep cuts were in store.

President Napolitano said she was heartened to see bipartisan support for federal research and student financial aid, two of UC’s top federal budget priorities.

“UC advocates sent more than 10,000 letters to Congress since mid-April highlighting the value of federal research,” Napolitano said. “I am deeply appreciative that people were willing to take the time to get involved. We all benefit from the advances in science, technology and medicine that come from investing in research.”

Napolitano said UC would remain vigilant in its federal advocacy efforts — budget discussions for FY 2018 are already underway — and she encouraged students, faculty, staff, alumni and others to stay involved in the national dialogue.

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