Biden Signs FY 2024 Spending Bill, Higher Education Funding Holds Steady
March 25, 2024

​After months of delays, over the weekend Congress passed and President Biden signed a $1.2 trillion spending bill for the remainder of FY 2024 that includes funding for the Department of Education (ED) and some research agencies.

While the legislation largely does not include additional funds for higher education programs, it avoids drastic cuts proposed by House Republicans. The package includes $79.1 billion in funding for ED, a $500 million decrease from FY 2023. It sustains funding for the Pell Grant program that keeps the maximum award at $7,395, and does not cut funding to the Federal Work-Study and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant programs, as proposed by the House.

Emmanual Guillory, ACE senior director of government relations, told Inside Higher Ed that while not ideal, the funding levels are pretty much what the higher education community expected.

 “We're happy we didn't see any more cuts, but we're advocating for the necessary increases, especially in areas where there's no accounting for inflation," he said. “Still, we're seeing basically all level funding here. In a regulatory environment like this one, that's a win."

Additional highlights in the package include (compared to FY 2023):

  • Funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority Serving Institutions was increased collectively by $7.5 million;

  • The Strengthening Institutions Program was decreased by $10 million;

  • Funding for international education and foreign language programs is sustained;

  • The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education saw an overall decrease of $13 million;

  • Federal TRIO programs are sustained at $1.19 billion;

  • Programs such as Child Care Access Means Parents In School ($75 million), Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need ($23.55 million), and Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness in Undergraduate Programs ($388 million) were funded at the FY 2023 levels; and

  • The National Institutes of Health receives $48.6 billion (an increase of $300 million over FY 2023) and there is $1.5 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, level with FY 2023 funding.

Earlier this month, President Biden released his FY 2025 budget request, which would increase spending for many higher education programs. Congress has until Sept. 30 to approve FY 2025 funding.

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