Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act
The Title III programs directly relate to the Department's support of access to postsecondary education as well as high standards and high achievement because these programs enable the improvement and expansion of an institution's capacity to provide educational opportunities for large numbers of needy and underrepresented students. The Department is proposing the following changes to Title III as part of the reauthorization.
The revised Title III structure will be as follows:
Part A: Strengthening Institutions program
Part B: Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) program
Part C: HBCU Capital Financing program
Part D: Strengthening Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) program
Part E: Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU) Program
Part F: Minority Science Improvement Program (MSIP)
Part G: General Provisions
This new priority focuses on improving the educational capacity of institutions participating in the competitive Institutional Aid programs by giving priority to those applications that focus on integrating the use of technology and enhancing the institution's technological capacity in their activities. A specific authorized activity is also included to encourage institutions who need it to invest in the improvement of their administration of funds made available to students pursuant to Title IV of the HEA.
Eliminate the Endowment Challenge Grants program and allow institutions participating in the Institutional Aid programs -- with the exclusion of HBCU Capital Financing, and MSIP -- the option of using a portion (up to 20 percent) of their awards to establish or expand an endowment fund. Institutions would be required to match the federal funds used for this purpose -- at least equal to one dollar of institutional funds for every two dollars of the grant funds -- with nonfederal funds.
Move the HSI program into a separate part to recognize the important role HSIs serve in educating Hispanic and other low-income students. The Strengthening HSI program currently exists under Title III Part A: Sec. 316.
In addition, revise the definition of an HSI by eliminating the criteria that an additional 25 percent of Hispanics enrolled be low-income or first-generation. To be an eligible Title III institution, sec. 312(b) already requires a high percentage enrollment of needy students. This change will lessen the data collection burden on eligible institutions but have no effect on the number of eligible institutions.
Eliminate the current priority of a collaborative arrangement with a local educational agency to create more consistency between the HSI program and the other Strengthening Institution programs, which do not have this requirement.
Since both programs also serve to strengthen institutions and are targeted to the institutions most served by the other programs in Title III, this incorporation will move the two programs, with minimal changes, to where they most appropriately fit within the HEA.
In recognition of the important role Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU) have in educating American Indian and other low-income students, the Department has proposed legislation creating a new institutional aid program. The purpose of this program is to improve, strengthen and expand the institution's capacity to serve American Indian and other low-income students. The Department intends to increase the support to institutions that serve large numbers of Native American and Alaska Natives.
The President's authorization levels for the institutional aid programs include $260 million of funding -- about $44 million more than the FY 1998 budget. This authorization level reflects the Department's increased commitment to capacity-building for institutions that serve large numbers of needy and underrepresented students. The following section provides a table of the fiscal year 1998 and 1999 budget requests for the Title III Institutional Aid programs.
|Aid for Institutional Development: (In thousands)||FY 1998
|FY 1999 President's Budget|
|Strengthening Institutions [Part A]||$ 55,450||$ 60,000|
|Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) [Part B: Sec. 323]||118,495||134,500|
|Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions (HBGIs) [Part B: Sec. 326]||25,000||25,000|
|Strengthening Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs) [Part A: Sec. 316] / [proposed Part D]||12,000||28,000|
|Strengthening Tribal Colleges & Universities (TCUs) [proposed Part E]||0||5,000|
|Minority Science Improvement Program (MSIP) [proposed Part F]||5,255||7,500|
|Total Title III program:||$216,200||$260,000|
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