House boosts college aid for students in need

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House has passed a broad reorganization of college aid that increases grants for millions of students. Passage moves President Barack Obama closer to winning yet another of his top domestic policies.

The bill, which passed on a vote of 220-211, eliminates a student loan program that relies on private financial institutions and switches to direct government lending. The savings would pay for $36 billion in Pell Grants.

The bill also provides more than $4 billion to historically black colleges, and community colleges also would receive a share of the money.

The legislation was paired with the expedited health care bill, a marriage of convenience that helped the prospects of each measure. The Senate will take up the measure this week.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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