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The federal government supports education by providing about 10 percent of the funding for K-to-12 schooling, helping students finance higher education through loans and grants, and giving favorable tax treatment to educational institutions. CBO analyzes the budgetary costs and other effects of those federal policies.

  • Report

    Federal Investment

    December 18, 2013

    In 2012, the federal government spent $531 billion on investment—for physical capital; research and development; and education and training—which represented 15 percent of federal spending and 3 percent of GDP.

  • Report

    The Pell Grant Program: Recent Growth and Policy Options

    September 5, 2013

    In the 2011–2012 academic year, 9.4 million students received $34 billion in Pell grants. How would tightening eligibility or changing grant amounts affect the program’s costs or the number of recipients?

  • Report

    Options to Change Interest Rates and Other Terms on Student Loans

    June 10, 2013

    The interest rate for subsidized student loans is currently scheduled to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, 2013. What would be the budgetary impact of changing interest rates for student loans?

  • Report

    Federal Grants to State and Local Governments

    March 5, 2013

    In 2011, the federal government provided $607 billion in grants to state and local governments, accounting for 17 percent of federal outlays and a quarter of spending by states and localities. Nearly half of that amount was for Medicaid.

  • Report

    Growth in Means-Tested Programs and Tax Credits for Low-Income Households

    February 11, 2013

    During the past 40 years, federal spending for major means-tested programs and tax credits for low-income households more than tripled as a share of gross domestic product. In 2012, such spending totaled $588 billion.