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Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) - Title III, Part A

Grants to USA IHEs to Improve Institutional
Capacity to Serve Low-Income Students

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Funding Source:

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United States Department of Education - Office of Postsecondary Education

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Grants to USA institutions of higher education to build capacity and become self-sufficient in serving low-income students. Funding is intended to strengthen and improve the academic quality, fiscal stability, and institutional management of post-secondary educational institutions.

Grants may be used for planning, faculty development, and establishing endowment funds. Administrative management and the development and improvement of academic programs are also 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.

Program priorities:

  • Competitive Preference Priority 1—Tutoring, Counseling, and Student Service Programs
    • The SIP Program is critical to the Department's efforts to improve college completion for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education. In recent years, attention to the importance of other supports, such as mental health, food pantries, and childcare, among others, to student persistence and graduation rates has increased. Through this priority, IHEs are encouraged to develop and/or create internal support systems and/or train personnel on ways to enhance and/or develop systems of support that provide wrap-around services to students and promote retention. These services can be provided to newly admitted students or to existing students at the institution.
    • Priority: Projects designed to 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.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 2—Fostering Flexible and Affordable Paths to Obtaining Knowledge and Skills:
    • One of the top expectations of students who attend post-secondary education is that they will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to get a job. Institutions are encouraged to provide their students employability-related experiences.
    • Priority: Projects designed to provide work-based learning experiences (such as internships, apprenticeships, and fellowships) that align with in-demand industry sectors or occupations (as defined in section 3(23) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA)).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 155478

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

- Estimated Range of Awards: $400,000 - $450,000 per year.
- Estimated Average Size of Awards: $425,000 per year.

Awards will not exceed $450,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.

Term of Contract:

Five years


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This program is authorized by title III, part A, of the HEA. To qualify as an eligible institution under any title III, part A program, an institution must:
(a) 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;
(b) 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;
(c) Be designated as an “eligible institution” by demonstrating that it: (1) Has an enrollment of needy students as described in 34 CFR 607.3; and (2) has low average educational and general expenditures per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student

Pre-proposal Conference:

Pre-Application Information:

Proposals must be submitted through by July 13, 2021.

Additional information:

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For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Direct questions to:

Nalini Lamba-Nieves, Program Manager
U.S. Department of Education,
400 Maryland Avenue, SW, room 2B116,
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
Telephone: (202) 453-7953

For technical assistance:
Julius C Cotton
ED FIND Systems Admin.
Phone 202-245-6288

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Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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