U.S. Department of Education: High School Equivalency Program
The High School Equivalency Program (HEP) is designed to assist eligible persons to obtain the equivalent of a secondary school diploma and subsequently to gain improved employment, enter into military service, or be placed in an institution of higher education (IHE) or other postsecondary education or training.
This competition includes two competitive preference priorities.
- Competitive Preference Priority 1—Fostering Flexible and Affordable Paths to Obtaining Knowledge and Skills: Improving collaboration between education providers and employers to ensure student learning objectives are aligned with the skills or knowledge required for employment in in-demand industry sectors or occupations.
- Competitive Preference Priority 2—Consideration of Prior Experience: Projects that are expiring (current HEP grantees in their fifth year) will be considered for additional points under Competitive Preference Priority 2. The applicant’s prior experience will be considered in implementing its expiring HEP project, based on performance report information to include, but not limited to, the percentage of HEP participants exiting the program having received a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma and the percentage of HSE diploma recipients who enter postsecondary education or training programs, upgraded employment, or the military.
Amount: Approximately $6,431,000 is available to make up to 14 awards ranging from $180,000–$475,000 and averaging $459,000 for a period of 12 months.
Eligibility: Nonprofits with or without 501(c)(3) status with the IRS; public and state controlled institutions of higher education (IHEs); and private institutions of higher education. An IHE or a private nonprofit organization may apply for a grant to operate a HEP project. If a private nonprofit organization other than an IHE applies for a HEP grant, that agency must plan the project in cooperation with an IHE and must propose to operate some aspects of the project with the facilities of that IHE.
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