Tester praises Senate for passing Higher Education Act

Measure will boost Pell Grants, benefit veterans, addresses nursing shortage

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after voting with Senator Max Baucus to pass the final Higher Education Act:

"The Senate did the right thing by voting for this measure and now President Bush needs to follow suit.  The Higher Education Act will make college more affordable for Montana's working families and veterans—which will pave the way to more jobs, more opportunities and better health care across our state."

The Higher Education Act:

  • Increases Pell Grants to $6,000 for 2009 and to $8,000 for 2014.
  • Allows low-income students to receive Pell Grants year-round
  • Provides in-state tuition for members of the Armed Forces and their dependents who have lived in a state for more than 30 days.
  • Allows service members to defer payments, interest-free, on Federal Direct Loans while on active duty.
  • Creates a new grant program to help nursing schools enroll more students.
  • Authorizes funds for nursing schools to improve their teaching staffs.