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First in the World

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Eligibility

Who May Apply: An institution of higher education, combinations of such institutions, and other public and private nonprofit institutions and agencies

All Development applicants to the FITW program must meet the evidence standard of strong theory as the entry point and submit a logic model. Please refer to the application guidelines for further information.

All Validation applicants to FITW program must be supported by studies that meet the moderate strength of effectiveness. Please refer to the NIA and the application guidelines for further information.

Authorization

Higher Education Act Title VII, Part B, Subparts 741-745 as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008

Program Statute

20 U.S.C. 1138-1138d First in the World (FITW) Program

Eligible Applicants

Eligibility for the 2015 FITW Validation and Development competitions is based on program statute language. Eligible applicants include “institutions of higher education, combinations of such institutions, and other public and private institutions and agencies.”

To qualify as an eligible Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) under the “First in the World” Competition, applicants must satisfy certain criteria listed below in Section I and Section II. Carefully review the information contained in this section to ascertain if you qualify as an MSI. The Department of Education will not determine an applicant’s status prior to submitting an application.

Please note that you are not required to upload documentation in Grants.gov to verify eligibility as an MSI. If an applicant institution submits an application requesting consideration for MSI status,” the Department of Education will use the most recent Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) survey information to verify eligibility as an MSI. If the Department is unable to verify an applicant’s eligibility using IPEDS data, applications will still be reviewed as non-MSI applications.

Section I. Current Eligibility Status

Applicants may indicate that they qualify as an MSI if they meet at least one of the conditions listed in this section.

  1. Participated in the Department’s FY 2015 designation of eligibility process and received an approval letter to apply for grant programs authorized under Title III and/or Title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
  2. Currently has an open grant under one of the Department’s Title III, Parts A and F and/or Title V programs.
  3. Designated as a Historically Black College or University or a Tribally Controlled College or University.

Section II. MSI Eligibility Determination

If the applicant does not meet any of the criteria listed in Section I, IPEDS data will be used to determine the proportion of minority students served and/or needy student and educational and general (E&G) expenditure for income eligibility.

Part I. Proportion of Minority Students Served

To qualify as an eligible MSI, applicants must meet one of the race/ethnic group enrollment levels listed below. In some cases, applicants must also meet the needy student and educational and general (E&G) expenditure requirements referenced below.

Hispanic Serving Institution - At the time of application, the applicant institution has an enrollment of undergraduate students that has at least 25 percent Hispanic students. Please review income eligibility requirements in Part II.

Native American (non-tribal) Institution - At the time of application, the applicant institution has an enrollment of undergraduate students that has at least 10 percent Native American students.

Asian American, Pacific Islander Institution - At the time of application, the applicant institution has an enrollment of undergraduate students that has at least 10 percent Asian or Pacific Islander students. Please review income eligibility requirements in Part II.

Predominantly Black Institution - At the time of application, the applicant institution has an enrollment of at least 1,000 undergraduate students that has at least 40 percent African American students. Please review income eligibility requirements in Part II.

Alaska Native Institution - At the time of application, the applicant institution has an enrollment of undergraduate students that has at least 20 percent Alaska Native students.

Native Hawaiian Institution - At the time of application, the applicant institution has an enrollment of undergraduate students that has at least 10 percent Native Hawaiian students.

Students from Underrepresented Minority Groups - At the time of application, the applicant has an enrollment of undergraduate students that has at least 50 percent minority students (excluding non-underrepresented Asian students). Please review income eligibility requirements in Part II.

Part II. Needy Student and Educational and General (E&G) Expenditure Criteria for Determining Income Eligibility

Applicants must meet the criteria in this section if they fall under one of the following race/ethnic categories in Part I: Hispanic Serving Institution; Asian American, Pacific Islander Institution; Predominantly Black Institution, and Students from Underrepresented Minority Groups. Carefully review the income eligibility information and reference tables below to ascertain if you meet the needy student and E&G expenditure requirements.

Enrollment of Needy Students Requirement:

The percentage of your institution’s undergraduate degree students who were enrolled on at least a half-time basis and received Federal Pell Grants exceeded the median percentage of undergraduate degree students who were enrolled on at least a half time basis and received Federal Pell Grants at comparable institutions that offer similar instruction. See Table 1 below for the current median percentages for institutions comparable to the applicant institution.

Table 1: Enrollment of Needy Students – median percentage of undergraduate students receiving Pell grants, by institution level (two-year or four-year) and control (public or private-not-for-profit): academic year 2012-2013 (n = 3,062).

 PublicPrivate Not-for-Profit
Two-year InstitutionsMedian: 34.7% (n = 939)Median: 38% (n = 88)
Four-year InstitutionsMedian: 45% (n = 688)Median: 44% (n = 1,347)

Table 2: E&G Expenditures per FTE Student – average core expenses per full-year full-time-equivalent (FTE) student, by institution level (two-year or four-year) and control (public or private-not-for-profit): academic year 2012-2013 (n = 3,317).

 PublicPrivate Not-for-Profit
Two-year Institutions$11,287 (n = 941)$13,657 (n = 88)
Four-year Institutions$27,608 (n = 700)$34,641 (n = 1,588)

Note: Tables are based on academic year 2012-2013 data for all degree granting Title IV-eligible postsecondary institutions (n = 3,351). Eligible MSIs must meet race/ethnic group enrollment levels (see text) and in addition must have the same or higher Pell-grant recipient levels (Table 1) and the same or lower E&G expenditure levels per FTE student (Table 2) corresponding to their institutional classification.

Source: Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics,
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

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Last Modified: 05/08/2015