WASHINGTON, March 9, 2023—The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) celebrates the significant increases in higher education investments called for by the Biden-Harris administration in the FY24 budget request to Congress for the U.S. Department of Education. Many of the proposed budget increases would greatly improve the access, retention, and success of the new majority of students, including students of color, low-income, first-generation, working adults, and/or veterans, enrolled at AASCU member institutions.
As engines of upward mobility in communities across the country, the 517 public regional comprehensive universities and the 4.9 million students they educate would continue to benefit from the programs and grants included in the request. AASCU supports a great number of the budget requests, including:
- A $820 increase in the maximum value of Pell Grants to $8,215
- $150 million for new competitive grants for schools and campus-based strategies to support student mental health
- $15 million increase for the Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence Program Grants at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), and other Minority-serving institutions (MSIs)
- $165 million for the Postsecondary Student Success Grant Program
- $5.5 million increase for TEACH Grants
- $84 million in Teacher Quality Partnerships (TQP)
- More than $1 billion in increased investments in institutional support funding for HBCUs, HSIs, Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions (AANAPISIs), and other MSIs
- $350 million for Research Infrastructure Investments Program for HBCUs, HSIs, AANAPISIs, and other MSIs
- $20 million increase for campus-based childcare services
- $106.7 million increase for TRIO programs
- $20 million increase for GEAR UP
AASCU also calls on Congress to strengthen the federal and state partnership in support of public higher education. We support a national policy to make the first two years at any public college or university more affordable. We support amending the president’s budget request to make two years at community college education free for first-time students and workers wanting to reskill, by making all public colleges and universities eligible for two years of subsidized tuition support for eligible students.
We also ask Congress to make an increased investment in the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program to help students with the greatest economic need finance the costs of postsecondary education. FWS is a key program at regional comprehensive universities, and we have concerns about not increasing its funds in FY24.
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise. Visit us at aascu.org.