Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need

To provide fellowships through graduate academic departments, programs, and units of institutions of higher education to graduate students of superior ability who demonstrate financial need for the purpose of sustaining and enhancing the capacity for teaching and research in academic areas of national
need, as designated by the Secretary.

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, 178 grants were awarded; 702 fellowships were provided.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Awards made to institutions under this part shall be used exclusively to provide direct fellowship aid that will include need-based stipends, based on the support level of National Science Foundation fellowships and an institutional allowance for each individual awarded a fellowship to be adjusted annually in accordance with the Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index.

This program is subject to non-supplanting requirements and must use a restricted indirect cost rate which is referenced under 34 CFR 75.563.

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

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Accredited institutions of higher education may apply or submit joint proposals involving a nondegree granting institution having formal arrangements for support of doctoral dissertation research.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Graduate students receiving fellowships must demonstrate financial need, have excellent academic records, plan to pursue the highest degree in the field, and be a U.S. citizen or a National, or a permanent resident of the U.S., or intend to become a U.S. citizen, be a permanent resident of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, or a citizen of any one of the Freely Associated States.


A properly formatted application must be filed with the Secretary. 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

Instructions and forms concerning application procedures will be mailed to eligible institutions of higher education following publication of the Notice Inviting Application funding criteria in the Federal Register. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

Panels of experts from outside the Government will appraise all applications. The program office will recommend funding to the Secretary, who will make the final decisions.


Contact the program office for application deadlines.


Higher Education Act of 1965, Title VII, Part A, Subpart 2, as amended, Public Law 102-325, 20 U.S.C. 1135-1135ee.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The range is approximately three months.




Noncompeting continuation applications must be given funding preference subject to the availability of funds.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

A grantee must match the award by 25 percent. Federal funds and matching funds must be used for stipends, tuition fees, and other educational costs of students.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The length of the award is three years, subject to yearly appropriations. However students may receive support for up to five years.

Post Assistance Requirements


Annual fiscal and performance reports are required.


Audits are performed as required by regulations.



Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $30,067,290; FY 08 est $29,541,730; and FY 09 $32,517,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In FY 08, the average continuation grant was $169,000; the average continuation fellowship was $43,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Regulations were published in the Federal Register on December 16, 1993. The application package including forms and regulations will be mailed to eligible institutions and other interested parties. Contact the Program Office for information.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

International Education and Graduate Programs Service, Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20202-5247. Contact: Gary Thomas. E-mail: Telephone: (202) 502-7767.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

This program will use the selection criteria contained in program regulations made available in the application package. Contact the program office for additional information.

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