The U.S. House of Representatives passed a spending bill on Wednesday that would close a $5.7-billion gap in the Pell Grant program and avert a cut to the maximum award.

The spending measure, known as a continuing resolution, would finance the government through the end of the current fiscal year, September 30. While it would freeze discretionary spending at the 2010 fiscal year’s levels, it would move money among programs, freeing up more money for Pell Grants.