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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

President Obama came to Denver to sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)into law on February 17, 2009. The ARRA is intended to save existing jobs and create new jobs, spur spending by business and consumers, and lay a foundation for renewed economic growth and prosperity. It recognizes that post-secondary education will play an important part in both the immediate and the long-term economic health of the country.

The Act provides over $100 billion over two years to support and improve education in the United States. For Colorado’s public colleges and universities, it includes funding to avert cuts we would otherwise see during the economic recession, and it will directly help more students go to college.

The ARRA includes the following provisions for higher education:

  • $48.6 billion in ‘state fiscal stabilization funds’ (SFSF), of which about 80 percent will go to help avert cuts to primary, secondary and post-secondary education, with about $620 million of that 80% share coming to Colorado.  Both our K-12 school systems and Colorado colleges and universities will receive funding to maintain operations as close as possible to fiscal year 2008-09 levels in fiscal years 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11, averting cuts otherwise necessitated due to reduced state funding. If, as expected, SFSF funds are insufficient to restore both K-12 and higher education to fiscal year 2008-09 funding levels, each system is to receive a proportionate share of the state’s SFSF allocation. Read more about the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund.
    • Read Colorado’s application to the U.S. Department of Education for $760 million from the SFSF here.
  • 17 billion to close the shortfall in the Pell Grant program and boost grant amounts by $500 to $5350 in the first year and more in the second year, serving an estimated 7 million low and moderate-income young people and adults. All Colorado students eligible for Pell grants will benefit from this increase.
  • $13.8 billion to boost the tuition tax credit from $1800 to $2500 for families earning up to $180,000. All Colorado families who qualify for this tax credit will benefit from this increase.

Colorado’s colleges and universities also may benefit from increased funding for research and competitive funding opportunities for campus energy efficiency projects and technology infrastructure improvements.

The Colorado Department of Higher Education will post additional details on this web site as more information becomes available.

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