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U.S. Department of Education: Strengthening Institutions Program

Deadline: July 19, 2019

The Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) provides grants to eligible institutions of higher education (IHEs) to help them become self-sufficient and expand their capacity to serve low income students by providing funds to improve and strengthen the institution’s academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability.

SIP contains two competitive preference priorities and one invitational priority:

  • Competitive Preference Priority 1 – Fostering Flexible and Affordable Paths to Obtaining Knowledge and Skills. Projects that are designed to address providing work-based learning experiences (such as internships, apprenticeships, and fellowships) that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 2 – Fostering Knowledge and Promoting the Development of Skills that Prepare Students to be Informed, Thoughtful, and Productive Individuals and Citizens. Projects that are designed to address supporting instruction in personal financial literacy, knowledge of markets and economics, knowledge of higher education financing and repayment (e.g., college savings and student loans), or other skills aimed at building personal financial understanding and responsibility.
  • Invitational Priority – Spurring Investment in Opportunity Zones. Under this priority, an applicant may address one or both of the following priority areas: (1) Propose to serve children or students who reside, or attend elementary or secondary schools or institutions of higher education, in a qualified opportunity zone. In addressing this priority, an applicant must provide the census tract number of the qualified opportunity zone for which it proposes to serve children or students. A list of qualified opportunity zones, with census tract numbers, is available at https://www.cdfifund.gov/Pages/Opportunity-Zones.aspx. (2) Provide evidence in its application that it has received or will receive financial assistance from a qualified opportunity fund for a purpose directly related to its proposed project. In addressing this priority, an applicant must identify the qualified opportunity fund from which it has received or will receive financial assistance.

Amount: Approximately $26,300,000 is available to award five-year Individual Development Grants and Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants. Up to 31 Individual Development Grants will be awarded, ranging from $400,000–$450,000 per year and averaging $425,000 per year. Up to 25 Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants will be awarded, ranging from $500,000–$550,000 per year and averaging $525,000 per year.

Eligibility: An institution must:

  • Be accredited or preaccredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association that the Secretary has determined to be a reliable authority as to the quality of education or training offered
  • Be legally authorized by the State in which it is located to be a junior or community college or to provide an educational program for which it awards a bachelor’s degree
  • Be designated as an ‘‘eligible institution’’ by demonstrating that it: (1) has an enrollment of needy students; and (2) has low average educational and general expenditures per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=317122

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