Federal Relations

Congress Passes Remaining Six Appropriations Bills into Law, Impacting Student Aid and Federal Research Funding

On March 22, 2024, Congress passed the remaining six appropriations bills for fiscal year (FY) 2024. The $1.2 trillion package included funding for defense, health, and education programs, among others. The President has signed the bill into law. Congress passed the first six appropriations bills on March 8, 2024. A summary of that legislative package can be found on the University of Maryland (UMD) Government Relations website.

Federal funding for FY2024 has been significantly delayed due to disagreement between Republicans and Democrats over top-line funding levels and the decision by the U.S. House of Representatives to vacate the Speaker, which stalled business in the House for months. The funding agreement for FY2024 largely aligns with a deal struck back in June 2023, where Democrats agreed to cap domestic funding and limit increases to defense spending to 3.3% in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling.

Many federal programs of priority to UMD were level funded or cut in this legislative package due to the agreed-upon spending caps. Of note, the Department of Defense Science and Technology (S&T), which supports basic research (6.1) through applied technology development (6.3), was cut by 3.9%. 6.1 Basic Research received a significant 9.7% cut. Other research programs were largely level funded or received slight increases or decreases, such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Federal student financial aid programs were also level funded from FY23.

The university also received funding in the defense appropriations portion of the package that will benefit three research centers on campus:

● $20 million to support the construction of a new secure quantum computing facility at the Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS)

● $18 million to support the Joint Research Laboratories, a collaborative research operation with the Army Research Laboratory (ARL)

● $10 million to support the Center for Research on Extreme Batteries (CREB)

Below is a synopsis of some of the funding levels passed in the legislative package. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) has prepared a summary of the legislative package and a funding chart with additional details.


Department of Defense (DOD)

  • Defense Science and Technology (S&T) (6.1-6.3 research): $21.441 billion (down 3.9% from FY23)
  • 6.1 Basic Research: $2.636 billion (down 9.7% from FY23)
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA): $4.123 billion (up 1% from FY23)

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): $47.081 billion (down 0.8% from FY23)
  • Advanced Research Projects Agency Health (ARPA-H): $1.5 billion (level with FY23)

Department of Education

  • Institute for Education Sciences (IES): $793.1 million, (down 2% from FY23)


Department of Education

  • Pell Grants: $7,395 maximum award (level with FY23)
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) program: $910 million (level with FY23)
  • Federal Work Study: $1.23 billion (level with FY23)
  • TRIO programs: $1.191 billion (level with FY23)