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FY2019 Appropriations Update:

Significant Boost for Research and Higher Ed Programs

Dear Colleagues:


This fall, Congress passed five appropriations bills for FY 2019 that provide some significant funding increases for various research and education programs of priority to the university. This is the result of a budget deal enacted by Congress in February 2018 that lifted caps on both defense and non-defense spending by $153 billion for FY 2019.


Below is a summary of funding levels passed in five bills. Congress must still pass the remaining seven appropriations bills, which include additional programs of interest to the university. Updates will be available at:


Please feel free to pass this along to others who may be interested.



  • The National Institutes of Health received $39 billion, a $2 billion (5%) increase over FY18. The appropriation marks the fourth year in a row that Congress has provided NIH with a multibillion dollar increase. Since 2015, the NIH budget has increased 30%.
  • The Department of Energy’s Office of Science received $6.56 billion, a $325 million (5%) increase over FY18. Congress also provided a $13 million (3.6%) increase to the Advanced Research Projects-Energy (ARPA-E).
  • The Department of Defense received $16 billion for Defense Science and Technology (S&T), up 7% from FY18.  Within that funding, Congress allocated $2.5 billion for basic research, (up 8% from FY18), $6.1 billion for applied research, (up 7% from FY18) and $3.43 billion for DARPA, (an 11.7% increase from FY18). Congress’ recent funding increases for DOD research have generally favored late-stage prototyping and testing activities. This budget cycle, basic and applied research also received increases, along with late-stage development activities.


Student Financial Aid:

  • Pell Grants: The maximum Pell grant award was increased by $100 (1.6%) to $6,195.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): Congress rejected the proposal to eliminate PSLF and modified eligibility to include students that enrolled in an ineligible repayment plan but would have otherwise been eligible.
  • Campus-Based Aid Programs: Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) and Federal Work Study are funded at FY18 levels.
  • TRIO: $1.06 billion, a $50 million (5%) increase
  • GEAR UP: $360 million, a $10 million (2.9%) increase




Laurie E. Locascio, Ph.D.

Vice President for Research




Virginia Meehan

Director of Federal Relations



Office of Government Relations

1129 Main Administration Building / College Park, MD 20742-5025, USA / 301.405.8359

FY2019 Appropriations Update: