A jump-start for the economy means a helping hand for many new college students entering the 2009-10 school year.
Thanks to the recent passage of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, students from both low- and middle-income households will receive increased financial help this year.
However, the financial breaks won't last forever. One major problem with the stimulus bill is that the changes are temporary, says Lauren Asher, director of the Berkley, Calif.-based student finance think tank The Project on Student Debt.
What will happen in future years remains uncertain, Asher says. But she hopes the bill will provide a springboard for further boosts in federal financial aid.
"Students need access to even more need-based aid," she says. "But hopefully this (bill) will help families continue to invest in education so when the economy does bounce back, they're well-positioned to benefit instead of go deeper in the hole."