Student Aid Funding and the Federal Budget Process
Thanks to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators for the bulk of the information on this page.
On Wednesday, April 10, 2013, President Obama released his fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget request to Congress. This budget will contain proposed funding levels for the student aid programs for the academic year 2014-2015. Many of these funding proposals are up against proposed cuts. The President’s budget request, while significant, marks only the first step a lengthy and complex annual budget process.
Outline of the Budget Process:
President submits initial budget request to Congress (February). This request does not focus on specific funding levels, but instead includes proposed aggregate levels for federal agencies and programs.
Budget resolution process (March and April). Congress will consider the president’s initial budget request. The budget resolution is used to set self-imposed budgetary parameters, also in the aggregate, to serve as guidelines for future spending legislation.
Budget Conference Report (April 15). This is the formal result of the budget resolution process. This congressional report is often referred to as a “budget blueprint” because it does not contain specific levels of funding and is non-binding.
President submits detailed budget request to Congress. This request contains specific line-by-line funding levels for the upcoming fiscal year and proposed aggregate levels for the following five years.
Appropriations Committees draft bills (May-July). Based on the Budget Conference Report and the president’s detailed budget request, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees hold hearings and markups for twelve appropriations bills.
Appropriations bills voted on and passed (July). Technically, the twelve bills are to be passed before the August recess to ensure completion by October 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year. Rarely does Congress meet this self-imposed deadline.
"The strength of the United States is not the gold at Fort Knox or the weapons of mass destruction that we have, but the sum total of the education and the character of our people." -- Senator Claiborne Pell
Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Debate
Committees That Will Be Dealing with the Budget Proposals
- U.S. House of Representative Appropriations Committee
- U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor
- U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee
- U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Enacted and Proposed Student Aid Funding Program Levels
- Report of the Committee on the Budget of the House of Representatives to Accompany H. Con. Res. 000 establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2012 --pages 93-97 cover proposed changes to federal financial aid programs
- House Passes FY2012 Budget Resolution That Slashes 2012-13 Pell Grants (April 15, 2011)
- Senate Spurns Ryan Budget (May 25, 2011)
- Legislation Impacting Financial Aid Programs
Updated April 11, 2013