Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act
FIPSE, established by the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1972, awards grants "to improve postsecondary education opportunities by encouraging the reform, innovation, and improvement of postsecondary education, and providing equal educational opportunity for all." Total funding for FIPSE equalled $18 million in FY 97.
FIPSE grant competitions include:
The Comprehensive Program, FIPSE's primary grant competition, which annually accounts for over eighty percent of its program budget.
Smaller, "special focus" competitions in areas of particular national need are also conducted each year. In recent years these competitions have addressed such topics as dissemination of proven postsecondary reforms, and development of cooperative postsecondary programs between institutions in the United States and those in the Mexico, Canada, and European Union.
Is open to all public and private nonprofit postsecondary institutions, from two-year institutions to research universities. In FY 97, 2156 applications were submitted.
Supports demonstration projects addressing a wide range of postsecondary improvements, access to postsecondary education for all types of students, teaching and learning. Most grant awards are in the areas of access and retention, curriculum reform, educational technology, school-college collaboration, school-to-work programs, international education, faculty development, and graduate and professional education.
Is very competitive: of the approximately 2000 applications submitted each year, only about 75 receive FIPSE grants, a funding ratio of less than four percent.
Requires each funded project to engage in systematic evaluation of its outcomes, and to disseminate its results to the postsecondary community.
Includes evaluation of outcomes that leads to institutionalization of successful projects; a large majority of FIPSE projects are continued after FIPSE funding expires.
In recognition of this program's outstanding success over the past 25 years, both the Department of Education and the higher education community have recommended that FIPSE be reauthorized without substantial change in its statute. Three minor amendments are proposed here to: 1) clarify the range of eligible grantees; 2) provide for increased staff flexibility; and 3) encourage applicants to address the need to restructure institutions to improve learning and promote cost efficiencies, and to promote articulation between two-year and four-year institutions.
Last updated: April 3, 2002 by [pss] Return to HEA Bill Language page