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MEMBER ADVISORY

December 17, 2014

Spending Bill increases Title V and offers temporary fix to endowment income issue

On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, President Barack Obama signed HR 83, commonly referred to as “the spending bill,” into law. The measure includes funding for Hispanic-Serving Institutions under Title V, Part A (undergraduate) at $100.231 million for FY 2015. This is an increase of $1.648 million from FY 2014 level of $98.583 million. The Promoting Post-Baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans, Title V, Part B (graduate) is funded at $8.992 million. This is an increase of $147,000 from the FY 2014 discretionary level of $8.845 million, but the mandatory portion (formerly at $11 million) has expired.

The USDA Education Grants program for FY 2015, funded in the agriculture appropriations bill, was level-funded at the FY 2014 level of $9.219 million.

The new law also contains language sought by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) to address concerns about recent regulatory guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on a change in practice in the use of endowment income generated by Higher Education Act (HEA) Title III and V grants. The language in HR 83 makes clear that institutions may use the income from these endowment funds to award scholarships to students.

This new provision will be effective until HEA Titles III and V are again reauthorized by Congress. It extends the authority beyond September 30, 2015 (the end of the current federal fiscal year), if necessary. Additionally, the new language confirms all prior use of endowment income for student aid as an allowable activity. HACU continues to push for a permanent fix during the reauthorization of the HEA, which awaits action by the new Congress.

HR 83 is a $1.1 trillion spending package that will fund the entire government, except the Department of Homeland Security, through the end of fiscal year 2015. The Department of Homeland Security is to be funded through a temporary measure until February 27, 2015, in order to give the new Congress more time to respond to the President’s executive action on immigration.

HACU thanks the leadership and staff of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the members and staff of the House and Senate appropriations committees for their strong support.

For any questions, contact HACU Government Relations staff in Washington, DC, at 202-833-8361 or dcgr@hacu.net.

HACU Member Advisories are a service of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities