Higher Education_Institutional Aid

To help eligible colleges and universities to strengthen their management and fiscal operations and to assist such institutions to plan, develop, or implement activities including endowment building that promise to strengthen the academic quality of their institutions.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

The Education Department awarded grants: (1) To develop a management information system at the applicant institution; (2) to develop curriculum; (3) to develop management capabilities among administrators; (4) to develop computer-assisted instruction; and (5) to develop funds management procedures.

Agency - Department of Education

The Department of Education ensures equal access to education and promotes educational excellence through coordination, management and accountability in Federal education programs. The Department works to supplement and complement educational efforts on all levels, encouraging increased involvement by the public, parents and students.

Program Accomplishments

Approximately 800 grants are expected to be made in fiscal year 2008 in the Title III, Title V, and CCRAA minority serving institutions programs.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Eligible institutions may apply under Part A or B of Title III.

Part A includes Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP), the American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian serving (ANNH) institutions.

Part B includes the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) program and the Historically Black Graduate Institutions (HBGI) program .

Part A provides funds to eligible institutions to plan, develop, and implement activities for development of faculty, funds, and administrative management, and improvement of academic programs, acquisition of equipment for use in strengthening academic programs and institutional management, and joint use of facilities such as libraries, laboratories, and student services.

Part B provides funds to undergraduate HBCUs and graduate HBGIs.

Funds may be used for purchase, rental, or lease of scientific equipment; construction, maintenance, renovation, improvement in classroom, library and other instructional facilities; support of faculty exchanges and fellowships; academic instruction in disciplines in which Blacks are underrepresented, purchase of library books, periodicals, and other educational materials; tutoring, counseling, and student services; funds and administrative management; acquisition of equipment for use in funds management; endowment funds; and joint use of facilities.

Title V Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) program provides funds to eligible HSIs for activities such as: faculty development; funds and administrative management; development and improvement of academic programs; endowment funds; curriculum development; scientific or laboratory equipment for teaching; renovation of instructional facilities; joint use of facilities; academic tutoring; counseling programs; and student support services.

The CCRAA authorizes funds for Hispanic Serving Institutions STEM and Articulation Programs to support the kinds of activities being supported under the existing Title V program, except that priority is given for applications that propose to increase the number of Hispanic and other low income students attaining degrees in fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and to applications that propose to develop model transfer and articulation agreements between the 2-year and 4-year HSIs in such fields.

Funds provided for Title III and Title V may not be used for activities other than those in an approved application, activities that are inconsistent with any applicable State plan of higher education or State plan for desegregation, a school or department of divinity or any religious worship or sectarian activity; general operating and maintenance expenses; indirect costs; or supplanting of other funds available to the institution.

These programs are subject to non-supplanting requirements and must use a restricted indirect cost rate which is referenced under 34 CFR 76.563.

For assistance call the Office of Chief Financial Officer/Indirect Cost Group on (202) 708-7770.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

An institution of higher education that qualifies as eligible using criteria as specified in the regulations.

Under Part A, specific and basic requirements as stated in the program regulations must be met.

Eligible applicants include institutions that have: (1) A low average per FTE educational and general expenditure; (2) a substantial percentage of students having Pell Grants or other Federal need-based financial aid.

However, a waiver of the low educational and general expenditure requirement and the needy student enrollment requirement may be granted to institutions meeting the criteria specified in the existing regulations.

Under Part B HBCUs, certain historically Black institutions that were established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of Black Americans are eligible.

A listing of those institutions is published in program regulations; these HBCUs are also eligible under the Endowment Challenge Grant Program.

Institutions eligible for HBGI program grants are specified in Title III Section 326(e)(1) of the HEA.

Under the Title V HSIs program, an HSI is defined as an institution that has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Applicant institutions of higher education, including those in the territories and possessions that meet statutory eligibility requirements will benefit.


Institutions must document that they are accredited a nationally recognized accrediting agency or that they are making satisfactory progress toward such accreditation. A 4-year institution must have authority to award a bachelor's degree. A 2-year institution must offer a program acceptable for full credit towards a bachelor's degree, or a two year program in engineering, mathematics, or the physical or biological sciences designed to prepare the student to work as a technician at a semiprofessional level. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No.


This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Applications for funding are available from the program office. Application deadlines are published in the Federal Register.

Award Procedures

Title III Part A applications and Title V Developing HSIs program applications are evaluated by external reviewers who are experts in postsecondary education. The Department makes final awards based primarily on the scores assigned to the applications by the external reviewers and the recommendations submitted by the staff of Institutional Development and Undergraduate Education Service, Office of Postsecondary Education.


Deadline dates for each program are published in the Federal Register for both eligibility and project grants.


Higher Education Act of 1965, Title III and Title V, as amended. Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part J, Section 499A, as amended by section 802 of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) of 2007.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

About six months.




Under the Strengthening Institutions Program, priority is given to applicants who are not already receiving a grant. Institutions that received a 5-year development grant are not eligible to receive an additional grant until 2 years after the date on which the 5-year terminates. After fulfilling the wait-out requirement, institutions applying for another grant under the Strengthening Institutions Programs must reapply for eligibility.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Under the Strengthening Institutions Program, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic Serving Institutions, institutions of higher education may use no more than 20 percent of grant funds to establish or increase an institution's endowment fund. The endowment funds must be matched at a rate of one non-Federal dollar for each Federal dollar. Under the HBGIs program, eligible institutions that have project grants over $1,000,000 must match the entire Federal share on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Under the Strengthening Institutions Program, TCCUs, ANNH, and HSIs, planning grants are for a period of up to 1 year, development grants are for a period of 5 years.

Post Assistance Requirements


As required by the Special Grant Terms and Conditions.


Subject to a Federal audit any time during the term of the grant and within a period of 3 years after the termination of Federal support.


Must be retained for 5 years after the end of the fiscal year during which the expenditures were made or until the grantee is notified that the records are no longer needed.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 SIP $79,534,620; TCCUs $23,569,920; TCCUs (CCRAA) $0; ANNH $11,785,000; ANNH (CCRAA) $0; HBCUs $238,095,000; HBCUs (CCRAA) $0; HBGIs $57,915,000; HSIs $94,914,270; HSIs STEM $0; FY 08 est SIP $78,145,523; TCCUs $23,158,232; TCCUs (CCRAA) $30,000,000; ANNH $11,579,116; ANNH (CCRAA) $15,000,000; HBCUs $238,094,530; HBCUs (CCRAA) $85,000,000; HBGIs $56,903,225; HSIs $93,255,852; HSIs STEM $100,000,000; and FY 09 est SIP $78,145,523; TCCUs $0; TCCUs (CCRAA) $30,000,000; ANNH $0; ANNH (CCRAA) $15,000,000; HBCUs $153,095,000; HBCUs (CCRAA) $85,000,000; HBGIs $56,903,225; HSIs $74,442,000; HSIs STEM $100,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable because the range and average varies greatly by competition. Under the HBCU Program, grants may not be less than $500,000 and range according to formula allotments.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

34 CFR 607, 608, 609, 628, the Education Department General Administrative Regulations, and the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (P.L. 110-84).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Office of Higher Education Programs, 1990 K St., N.W. Washington, DC 20006-8500. Contact: James Laws Telephone: 202-502-7719. E-mail: james.laws@ed.gov.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

(a) Under Title III, Title V and CCRAA programs, the Department appoints review panels to provide comments and recommend ratings for the applications. The reviewers numerically rate each application assigned and provide the Secretary with comments on each. Criteria are published in the Federal Register along with the point value for each criterion. (b)Under HBCUs and HBGIs, funds are allocated based on a statute-driven formula. To be eligible to receive a grant under the Strengthening HBCUs program, an institution must be designated by the Secretary of Education as a Historically Black College or University. HBGIs receiving discretionary grants are specified in the program statute.

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