B - Readily funds technology as part of an award
Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE)
The Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) provides funding to support institutions of higher education 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. Funds may be used for a myriad of purposes including: planning, faculty development, and establishing endowment funds. Administrative management and the development and improvement of academic programs also are supported. Other projects include joint use of instructional facilities, construction and maintenance, and student service programs designed to improve academic success, including innovative, customized, instruction courses designed to help retain students and move the students rapidly into core courses and through program completion, which may include remedial education and English language instruction.
The Department of Education usually conducts two separate SIP competitions (Parts A and F), pending the availability of funds for that biennium. Applicants may apply for grants in both the 84.031A and 84.031F competitions, but can only receive one grant. The department will default to funding the Part F application if both score high enough to be awarded.
For the 2023 competition, SIP Part A features one competitive preference priority and one invitational priority. Applicants are strongly encouraged to meet as many of these priorities as possible.
- Competitive Preference Priority: Increasing Postsecondary Education Access, Affordability, Completion, and Post-Enrollment Success Projects that are designed to increase postsecondary access, affordability, completion, and post-enrollment success for underserved students by addressing one or more of the following priority areas:
- Establishing a system of high-quality data collection and analysis, such as data on persistence, retention, completion, and post-college outcomes, for transparency, accountability, and institutional improvement. (up to 2 points)
- Supporting the development and implementation of student success programs that integrate multiple comprehensive and evidence-based services or initiatives, such as academic advising, structured/guided pathways, career services, credit-bearing academic undergraduate courses focused on career, and access to technological devices. (up to 2 points)
- Supporting the development and implementation of high-quality and accessible learning opportunities, including learning opportunities that are accelerated or hybrid online; creditbearing; work-based; and flexible for working students. (up to 2 points)
- Invitational Priority: Projects that propose to implement activities that promote postsecondary completion for students who are no longer enrolled because of challenges they faced during the COVID–19 pandemic or who stopped attending for other reasons. Institutions may opt to supplement or expand evidence-based and data-driven activities to support retention and completion
History of Funding
Previous awards can be viewed on the Department of Education website: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/iduestitle3a/awards.html
At present, the SIP Part F competition has not been announced. The 2017 SIP Part F competition included one absolute priority and one optional competitive priority.
- Absolute Priority: Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness. Projects that are supported by moderate evidence of effectiveness.
- Competitive Preference Priority: Projects that provide tutoring, counseling, and student service programs designed to improve academic success, including innovative, customized, instruction courses designed to help retain students and move the students rapidly into core courses and through program completion, which may include remedial education and English language instruction. The Department is interested in receiving applications with strong plans for improving outcomes for students who are academically underprepared for college. Each year, substantial numbers of students enroll in college and are assigned to take developmental education courses. These non-credit bearing courses often introduce an additional barrier to college persistence and completion for college students, particularly at SIP-eligible institutions. Proposed activities should be designed to assist students in progressing into credit-bearing courses.
To meet the absolute priority of Title III, Part F applicants must identify no more than two studies that underpin the primary practice or strategy they intend to carry out. Cited studies may include both those already listed in the Department's What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Database of Individual Studies (see https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/ ReviewedStudies#/OnlyStudiesWithPositive Effects:false,SetNumber:1) and those that have not yet been reviewed by the WWC. Studies listed in the WWC Database of Individual Studies do not necessarily satisfy any or all of the criteria needed to meet the moderate evidence of effectiveness standard. Therefore, it is important that applicants themselves ascertain whether the study or studies for the evidence priority meets the standard for moderate evidence of effectiveness.
Moderate evidence of effectiveness means one of the two following conditions is met:
- There is at least one study of the effectiveness of the process, product, strategy, or practice being proposed that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without reservations, found a statistically significant favorable impact on a relevant outcome (with no statistically significant and overriding unfavorable impacts on that outcome for relevant populations in the study or in other studies of the intervention reviewed by and reported on by the What Works Clearinghouse), and includes a sample that overlaps with the populations or settings proposed to receive the process, product, strategy, or practice.
- There is at least one study of the effectiveness of the process, product, strategy, or practice being proposed that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations, found a statistically significant favorable impact on a relevant outcome (with no statistically significant and overriding unfavorable impacts on that outcome for relevant populations in the study or in other studies of the intervention reviewed by and reported on by the What Works Clearinghouse), includes a sample that overlaps with the populations or settings proposed to receive the process, product, strategy, or practice, and includes a large sample and a multi-site sample. (Note: multiple studies can cumulatively meet the large and multi-site sample requirements as long as each study meets the other requirements in this paragraph.)
Designation as an eligible institution is required prior to formal application to the SIP (or any other Higher Education Act) grant program. To be eligible for HEA Title III or V programs, an institution of higher education's average educational and general expenditures” (E&G) per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student must be less than the average E&G expenditures per FTE undergraduate student of institutions that offer similar instruction in that year. Pending this initial calculation or approval of waiver, institutions must then meet further qualifications based on the specific grant program under the HEA for which they wish to apply.
The Department has instituted a process known as the Eligibility Matrix (EM), under which they will use information submitted by IHEs to IPEDS to determine which institutions meet the basic eligibility requirements for the programs authorized by Title III or Title V of the HEA. The Department will use enrollment and fiscal data for the 2018-2019 year submitted by institutions to IPEDS to make eligibility determinations for FY 2021.
Beginning December 16, 2019, an institution will be able to review the Department's decision on whether it is eligible for the grant programs authorized by Titles III or V of the HEA through this process by checking the institution's eligibility in the Eligibility system linked through the Department's Institutional Service Eligibility website at: https://hepis.ed.gov/main
If the EM entry for your institution indicates your institution is eligible for a particular program grant, you will not need to apply for eligibility or submit a waiver request as described in this notice. Rather, if you choose to apply for the grant, you may print out the eligibility letter directly. However, if the EM does not show that your institution is automatically eligible for a program in which you plan to apply for a grant, you must submit a waiver request as discussed in this summary before the deadline Note that eligibility designation for waivers are effective for one year: from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.
The FY22 eligibility matrix is available here: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/2022eligibilitymatrix.xlsx
Eligibility for 2023 for main campuses was pre-determined using data from the Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Eligible main campuses do not need to complete an application. Branch campuses will be required to log in to submit an application. You may search for your institution to determine if your institution is eligible and download your approval letter here: https://hepis.ed.gov/title3and5/ltrMatrix/eligMatrix.cfm
Upon general HEA Title III and V funding eligibility confirmation, the SIP program further requires that applicants are Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) that meet the following requirements:
- Be accredited or pre-accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association;
- Be legally authorized by the State to be a junior college or provide an educational program for which it awards a bachelor's degree;
- Have at least 50% of its degree students who receive need-based assistance or a substantial number of enrolled students who receive Pell Grants; and
- Have low educational and general expenditures
NOTE: A grantee under the HSI (Hispanic Serving Institutions) program, which is authorized under title V of the HEA (Higher Education Act), may not receive a grant under any HEA, title III, part A program. The title III, part A programs are: SIP; the Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities program; the Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions program; the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions program; and the Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions program. Furthermore, a current HSI program grantee may not give up its HSI grant to receive a grant under SIP or any title III, Part A program. An eligible HSI that is not a current grantee under the HSI program may apply for a FY 2021 grant under all Title III, part A programs for which it is eligible, as well as receive consideration for a grant under the HSI program. However, a successful applicant may receive only one grant under the HEA. Finally, for any IHE with current funding under a SIP grant (whether that is Part A or F) a two-year hiatus is required between current project close-out and ability to reapply for SIP funding.
Institutions must first confirm eligibility to apply for HEA Title III and V funding prior to applying to this program. For more information about this process, see: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/eligibility.html
While the SIP competitions occur on a biennial cycle, the Title III and V eligibility window is annual.
- The deadline to confirm eligibility or submit a request for waiver for any funding available under Title III or Title V of the Higher Education Act in FY 2022 was February 27, 2023.
- Please see https://hepis.ed.gov/title3and5/login.cfm for more information. Note that eligibility designation for waivers only of the non-federal cost share is effective for one year.
Provided the applicant institution is listed as automatically eligible within the current FY's eligibility matrix (green color coding) or applied for a waiver (yellow color coding) and received an approval letter, they are then permitted to apply to the SIP program once the window opens.
Applications for the 2023 SIP Part A competition are to be submitted by May 22, 2023. At present, a SIP Part F competition has not been announced. A similar deadline is anticipated biennially (2025). Updates to this timeline will be posted here https://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/find/edlite-forecast.html The Department of Education anticipates releasing additional information about the 2025 cycle in late February/early March 2025.
Approximately $36,886,151 is available in total funding for new SIP Part A awards in 2023.
- SIP Part A Individual Development Grants - Award size will range from $400,000 to $450,000 per year, but the average award will be $425,000 per year. Approximately 70 awards are anticipated.
- SIP Part A Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants - Award size will range from $500,000 to $550,000 per year, but the average award will be $525,000 per year. Approximately 10 awards are anticipated
At present a SIP Part F competition has not been announced, however, for the FY2017 competition, a total of $3,699,000 was available for up to 7 awards. Those awards ranged from $500,000 to $600,000 per year, with the average annual award size of $550,000.
SIP Part A and Part F Grants last up to 60 months (5 years). This program does not require cost sharing or matching unless the grantee uses a portion of its grant for establishing or improving an endowment fund. If a grantee does use a portion of its award for endowment fund purposes, it must match those grant funds with non-Federal funds.
Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic
Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic
Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp