Byrd Honors Scholarships

To provide scholarships to support postsecondary education to outstanding high school seniors who show promise of continued academic achievement in an effort to recognize and promote student excellence and achievement.

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

In FY 08, all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands are eligible to participate in this program. In FY 08, approximately 27,000 students received $1,500 in sholarships.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Scholarships of $1,500 are awarded to support a maximum of 4 years of study at any eligible institution of higher education.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The State educational agencies (SEA), which supervise public elementary and secondary schools in the States, are responsible for administering the program.

For the purposes of this program, the States include the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Palau.

Beneficiary Eligibility

A student must meet residency and citizenship requirements, be a graduate of a public or private secondary school or have been accepted for enrollment at an institution of higher education, have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, and show promise of continued academic achievement to be eligible to receive a scholarship.


To receive allotments for scholarships, a State must submit a participation agreement to the Department of Education as required by Section 419E of the program statute. A State is not required to provide further application information for funding unless the State wants to modify an approved agreement. 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 excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

Annual allotments are provided through grant awards to the State educational agencies for making scholarships to qualifying students. Students apply to their State of legal residence for a scholarship under this program. Student applicants must follow the application procedures as directed by each State. Each participating State awards scholarships to eligible students in accordance with selection procedures developed by the State.


Grant awards to States for scholarships are made in time for the States to make scholarship payments before the end of the secondary school academic year. Students must submit an application according to the deadlines established by each participating State.


Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part A, Subpart 6, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1070d-31-1070d-41.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time





To be eligible for allotments for any year, States must enter into an agreement with the Department of Education in accordance with Section 419E of the program statute and the program requirements for the year as published in the Federal Register by the Secretary. To be eligible for renewal of scholarships, students must continue to meet residency and citizenship requirements, be enrolled as a full-time student, and maintain satisfactory academic progress. Renewals are subject to the availability of appropriations.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Each participating State is allotted funds based on the ratio of the State's population ages five through seventeen years to the population ages five through seventeen in all participating States, except that no State shall receive less than 10 scholarships of $1,500 each.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Awards may be made for up to four years. Renewals are subject to the availability of appropriations.

Post Assistance Requirements


An annual performance report of the expenditure of Scholarship funds and other reports as required by the Secretary.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A- 133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Records must be maintained for 5 years after the activity for which the funds were awarded or until completion of the Department Audit, whichever is later.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $40,590,000; FY 08 est $40,283,730; and FY 09 est $0.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In FY 08, scholarships to individuals were $1,500.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

34 CFR 654 (Program Regulations) published in the Federal Register on August 11, 1993, fact sheet, program description, and Directory of State Agency Official Contacts (current). Contact the program office for more information.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Higher Education Programs, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20024-5251. Contact: Darryl Davis. E-mail: darryl Telephone: (202) 502-7657.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals


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