President Obama FY15 Budget Briefing Update

March 6, 2014

FY15 Budget Briefing Notes
As President Obama rolled out his proposed budget for the year, we attended the Department of Education and the Office of Management and Budget briefings this week. Although there is a long road ahead, here is a sampling of areas of interest for FIU in the budget looks like for FY15. This will be updated as we learn of more information.
Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan stated that there has been growth in African American and Latino High School student graduation rates.  More minority students are attending college through Pell Grants – the numbers of minority students receiving Pell grant increased from 6 million students in 2008 to 8.9 million students in 2013.

  • Pell Grants: proposed increase to $5,830
    • Eligibility provisions strengthen academic progress requirements; and encourage on-time completion
    • Grants eligibility to co-enrollees of adult and post-secondary education, adults without a high school diploma
  • Minority Serving Institutions:  $75 million in competitive grants to increase Pell Grant On-time completion
    • $100 million for the First in the World for innovative strategies and practices that improve affordability and outcomes for low income students
    • $75 million for new College Success Grants - grant programs to HBCUs and MSIs to support innovations that reduce costs and improve outcomes for students
  • College Opportunity and Graduation Bonus proposal rewards colleges that successfully enroll and graduate a significant number of low- and moderate-income students on time and encourage institutions to improve their performance.
    • Institutions would receive an annual “bonus” grant equal to their number of on-time Pell graduates multiplied by a tiered bonus amount per student, varying by institution type.
    • In addition, this new program would encourage institutions to continue improving their performance by providing a larger bonus amount for additional Pell graduates.
    • Eligibility would be based on Pell students comprising a significant share of an institution’s graduating class, graduation rates, and student loan default rates.
    • The estimated total 10-year cost of the College Opportunity and Graduation Bonus proposal is $7 billion.
    • The Department expects “Bonus” grants to be used for making key investments and adopting best practices that would further increase college access and success for low-income students, such as by awarding additional need-based financial aid, enhancing academic and student support services, improving student learning and other outcomes while reducing costs, using technology to accelerate improvements, and establishing or expanding accelerated learning opportunities.
  • $4 billion will go to State Matching Program, the State Higher Education Performance Fund “to support States that are committed to investing in higher education and improving performance and outcomes at their public higher education institutions.”
    • States would be required to match these resources dollar-for-dollar, for a total of $8 billion over 4 years.
    • Supports the development of the new college rating systems
  • $5 million will go to mandatory funds for RESPECT grants
    • It will improve educator preparation and career support;
    • Increase college educator leadership of transitions from college and career ready standards and;
    • Will enhance school working conditions
  • The International Education and Foreign Language Studies programs (Title VI) would be funded at $76.2 million, an increase of $4 million over the 2014 level to support Asia-Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa efforts. 
  • The Administration would provide level funding for Federal Work Study ($1.2 billion), Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants ($975 million), Federal TRIO programs ($838 million), and GEAR UP ($302 million).  With FWS and SEOG, the Administration hopes to revise current funding formulas to “reward institutions that enroll and graduate higher numbers of Pell-eligible students while offering an affordable and quality education.”

Department of Education Congressional Budget Justification:
Summary on college affordability:
Science Agencies:
The budget allocates $134 billion for Research and Development. President Obama is submitting a separate $56 billion Opportunity Growth and Security Initiative Package that includes 5.3 billion for Research and Development, which includes:

  • $1 billion for the Climate Resilience Fund – includes preparedness and research
  • $970 million at the National Institute of Health (NIH)
  • $552 million at the National Science Foundation (NSF) – covering  Advanced Materials, Clean Energy, Neuroscience, and STEM Workforce
  • $2.1 billion at the Department of Defense (DOD)
  • $180 million at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)
  • $115 million at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)


  • $80 million will be allocated for the brain initiative


  • $25 million will go to New Innovation Corps which is aimed at bringing together the technological, entrepreneurial, and business collaborations to bring discoveries ready for application out of the university and into the commercial sphere.


  • NIH has a $200 million proposed increase which is divided by:
    • $100 million will go towards the Brain initiative that will focus on: mapping circuits; patterns of activity; and cognition abilities
      • NIH is also charting the course for the next generation of non-invasive imaging techniques that can be used to explore human brain functions and behaviors in real time.
    • Big Data: $100 million 
  • Alzheimer’s  -  there is an Accelerated Medical Partnership


  • There will be three new innovation institutes at $25 million each in pollination health, antimicrobial/Bio-products manufacturing

Department of Transportation

  • There will be a comprehensive, nationally coordinated highway research and technology program managed by DOT’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which performs a range of research activities associated with safety, infrastructure preservation and improvements, operations, and environmental mitigation and streamlining.


  • $200 million total funding will go towards the Brain initiative
    • NSF - $20 million
    • NIH  -$ 100 million
    • DARPA - $ 80 million
  • DARPA’s investments aim to leverage brain-function research to alleviate the burden of illness and injury and provide novel, neurotechnology-based capabilities for military personnel and civilians alike.
  • New military medical imaging efforts will provide new discovery tools capable of understanding structures of the behaving brain at high resolution in a stable manner over multiple experiments and generate tremendous amounts of data regarding the functional and structural connections between regions of the brain.
  • Finally, the Prosthetic Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) effort will develop human-ready implantable electronic microsystems that monitor and modulate information in motor and sensory fibers of peripheral nerves, enabling amputees to achieve advanced and intuitive control and sensory functions with prosthetic limbs.

National Nanotechnology Initiative:

  • $1.5 billion in funding will go to materials, devices, and systems that exploit the unique physical, chemical, and biological properties that emerge in materials at the nano-scale.

U.S. Global Change Research Program: will receive $2.5 billion in funding

  • STEM education will receive $2.9 billion which is a 3.7% increase from last year.
  • $110 million to support approximately 10 STEM Innovation Networks, consortia of school districts working in partnership with universities, science agencies, businesses, and other educational entities.
  • $20 million to launch a pilot STEM Master Teacher Corps.
  • $150 million  to redesign high schools to focus on providing students with challenging, relevant learning experiences
  • $118 million at NSF for a consolidated program to implement evidence-based instructional practices, expand the evidence base, and support research on how new technologies can facilitate adoption and use of new approaches to instruction.
  • $75 million for NSF’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program to provide early opportunities to conduct research, which can be especially influential in maintaining a student’s interest in science, engineering, and mathematics.
  • $50 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Education (ARPA-ED), through which the Department of Education (ED) would support high-risk, high-return research on next-generation learning innovations
  • ED is proposing $40 million in the 2015 Budget to support evidence-based STEM teacher preparation programs to recruit and train effective STEM teachers for high-need schools.

OSTP STEM summary
Department of Education STEM summary

- Juliet Haydar