On March 9, President Joe Biden released the administration's FY24 budget proposal.
The Administration’s FY24 proposed budget (President’s Recommended Budget, or PBR) to Congress sets overall spending at $6.9 trillion dollars, the budget allocates $1.73 trillion for discretionary spending at federal agencies in FY2024, including $841 billion for nondefense programs (8 percent above FY2023 levels) and $886.4 billion for defense spending (3.3 percent above FY2023). The Department of Defense would receive $842 billion. The total request for Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation (RDT&E) was $144.9 billion (a $4.9 billion increase over FY2023), which includes a reduction in funding for basic research at $2.8 billion, with the biggest exception being the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which would receive an eight percent increase over FY2022. The administration estimates that the proposed budget would reduce deficit spending by $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
STUDENT AID AND HIGHER EDUCATION
Department of Education (ED): The FY23 President’s budget includes $90 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education, a $10.8 billion (13.6 percent) increase over the 2023 net enacted level.
Pell Grant: The President’s budget proposes to increase the maximum Pell Grant award to $8,215 for the 2024-2025 academic year through a mix of both mandatory and discretionary spending, an increase of $820 over the 2023- 2024 academic year. On the discretionary spending side, the PBR proposes a $500 increase over FY2023 levels. The PBR also includes a $320 increase to the mandatory add-on award for Pell. The budget notes that this would build on the bipartisan increases to the maximum Pell Grant award over the past two years, which have totaled $900, and would provide a path to double the maximum award to $13,000 by 2029.
Federal Work Study (FWS): The budget proposes $1.23 billion. The request uses FY2023 appropriations as a basis for flat funding.
Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG): The budget proposes $910 million. The request uses FY2023 appropriations as a basis for flat funding.
Federal TRIO Programs: The budget proposes $1.298 billion, an additional $107 million over FY2023 appropriations, representing an increase of 8.96 percent. The increase is specifically directed toward one of the seven TRIO programs, the Student Support Services program.
Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN): The budget proposes $23.5 million, the same as the FY22 and FY21 and FY23 enacted levels.
Institute of Education Sciences (IES): The proposed budget calls for $870.9 million, which includes a $63.3 million increase over FY2023
Title VI International Education Programs: The budget proposes $85.7 million, The request uses FY2023 appropriations as a basis for flat funding.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
National Institutes of Health (NIH): The President’s FY24 budget includes $48.26 billion for NIH, an increase of $811 million or 1.7 percent above FY 2023 enacted. The NIH budget proposal specifically highlights $1 billion for the administration’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative, which aims to reduce the cancer death rate by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years. The budget also highlights investments in pandemic preparedness ($2.69 billion), nutrition research ($121 million), the All of Us and Brain initiatives ($462 million), combating opioid and other additions ($1.8 billion), Influenza research ($270 million), HIV/AIDS research ($26 million), health disparities research ($95 million), mental health ($200 million increase), human health and climate change research ($25million), and NIH research infrastructure ($350 million). The proposal also calls for an additional $1 billion increase ($2.5 billion total) for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA- H).
National Science Foundation (NSF): The President’s budget for NSF is $11.3 billion, a $1.8 billion or 18.6-percent increase from the FY2023 enacted level ($9.5 billion). The budget request highlights a proposed $1.2 billion for the CHIPS and Science Act authorized Directorate for Technology Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) to accelerate technology development in emerging areas crucial to U.S. technological leadership. Within TIP the budget proposal calls for $300 million to invest in the Regional Innovation Engines program.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): The President’s FY24 budget includes $211 million for the NEH a 1.9% increase above the FY23 enacted level.
Climate Research: The President’s budget prioritizes and increases investments in climate-related research across several federal agencies. Climate research funding requests are as follows:
NSF: The budget calls for $1.6 billion for climate research and development, an increase of $630 million above the 2023 enacted level. This funding would be used “to support research in atmospheric composition; water and carbon cycles; renewable energy technologies; climate resilience technologies for communities heavily affected by climate change; social, behavioral, and economic research on human responses to climate change; and more.” The budget also proposes $15 million for 128 new National Science Foundation fellowships that would provide researchers studying disparate impacts of climate change.
Department of Energy (DOE): The budget draws on nearly every part of DOE’s wide-ranging portfolio to tackle clean energy and the climate crisis, including through funds directed to ARPA-E and foundational research through the Office of Science. The president’s FY2024 budget requests $52 billion for DOE, a $3.3 billion or 6.2 percent increase from the agency’s FY2023 allocation. The discretionary request invests $8.8 billion, an increase of more than $700 million or 12.8 percent over FY2023, in DOE’s Office of Science “for clean energy, climate change, emerging technologies, workforce development, and more, and moves the Department closer to the authorized funding level provided by the President’s CHIPS and Science Act. Within the $8.8 billion, the Budget requests over $1 billion for the Fusion Energy Science Program to help unlock the full potential of commercialized fusion energy and support the President’s bold climate vision.” The PBR includes $650.2 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), an increase of $180.2 million or 38.3 percent over FY2023.
NASA: The administration’s FY2024 budget requests $27.2 billion for NASA, a 7.1 percent increase from FY2023. This budget proposal supports space nuclear technologies (Fission Surface Power, Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, and Nuclear Electric Propulsion) at an increase of approximately $75 million from the FY 2023 President's Budget Request, which will support propulsion development as well as designing, building, and testing the first ever space fission power system for deployment to and demonstration on the lunar surface.” The PBR also includes $58 million for the Space Grant program, flat funded over FY2023.
National Institutes for Standards and Technology (NIST): The budget request includes $98 million for the Manufacturing USA Program (formerly known as the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation), an increase of $61 million (164.9 percent), “to support the progress of NIST’s existing manufacturing institute, funding for a new institute to be launched in 2023.”
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Full details on the budget will be available later this month at the following link: EPA’s FY 2024 Congressional Justification (CJ) and Budget in Brief.
HIGHER EDUCATION ORGANIZATION RESPONSE
Higher education organizations are closely following and reacting to the prosed budget. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) preliminary analysis of the President’s Budget Request can be found here.
The Association of American Universities (AAU) released a statement lauding the proposed budget. It said, “AAU welcomes President Biden’s FY24 budget request, and we appreciate that it includes increases for many of our priorities in research and education. In particular, we laud its increase to the annual maximum Pell Grant award to $8,215 and its proposal to provide $21 billion in discretionary funding necessary to implement Department of Energy and National Science Foundation programs authorized by the bipartisan 2022 CHIPS and Science Act.”
APLU President Mark Becker also released a statement saying, “We appreciate the president’s proposal to boost the maximum Pell Grant award by $820 as part of efforts to #DoublePell by 2029. We also appreciate the administration’s efforts to provide strong funding to the National Science Foundation, including $1.2 billion in funding for its Directorate for Technology to help vault discoveries made in the lab into the commercial marketplace. We’re also pleased to see increased investment in American manufacturing through the National Institutes of Standards and Technology and Manufacturing Extension Partnership to support cutting-edge manufacturing. Robust investment in a skilled workforce and scientific innovation is vital to U.S. global competitiveness.
“With global competition continuing to grow, particularly in the scientific arena, it’s critical that Congress back proposed research investments in the CHIPS and Science Act with real dollars that drive American innovation. While we look forward to examining the full budget request in further detail, we applaud the administration for proposing significant increased investment in the higher education and research that are the backbone of American innovation.”