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First in the World

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Last competition: FY 2015. Application deadline: June 30, 2015.

Federal Register Notices

Current Application

The FY 2015 competition for the FITW Program is closed.

Tips and Assistance

May 2015 Webinar Information

The First in the World (FITW) Program team hosted three pre-application webinar sessions on the FY 2015 grant competition. These sessions provided an overview of the FITW program, evidence requirements, priorities, and selection criteria. We also provided information on pre- and post-award requirements and closed with key steps to successfully submitting an application.

The FITW team also hosted a pre-application webinar with the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to discuss the evidence and evaluation requirements for the FY 2015 FITW competition.

Evidence Requirement Resources

To help First in the World (FITW) applicants understand how to meet the supporting studies requirement for the Validation competition, we have provided summaries of several studies of postsecondary interventions that meet the moderate evidence requirement. These studies, as well as other studies that meet the moderate evidence standard, are available through the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Reviewed Studies Database. Please note that these studies are presented for illustrative purposes only.

Moreover, the Department of Education is aware that other studies of postsecondary interventions that may meet the moderate evidence standard have not yet been reviewed by the WWC. We encourage FITW applicants to cite studies they think will meet the requirements of moderate evidence but that have not been reviewed by the WWC. All supporting studies that are cited for the Validation competition will be reviewed to determine if they meet the requirements of moderate evidence, including relevance to the proposed project.

  • Bettinger, E. P., & Baker, R. (2011). The effects of student coaching in college: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student mentoring: MS Word (39K)
  • Castleman, B. L., & Page, L. C. (2014). Freshman year financial aid nudges: An experiment to increase FAFSA renewal and college persistence: MS Word (37K)
  • Hayward, C. & Willett, T. (2014). Curricular Redesign and Gatekeeper Completion: A Multi-College Evaluation of the California Acceleration Project: MS Word (41K)
  • Stephens, N. M., Hamedani, M. G., & Destin, M. (2014). Closing the social-class achievement gap: A difference-education intervention improves first-generation students’ academic performance and all students’ college transition: MS Word (40K)
  • Walton, G. M. & Cohen, G. L. (2011). A brief social-belonging intervention improves academic and health outcomes of minority students: MS Word (41K)

For more information on the key components of an evaluation plan, please see this Evaluation Plan Guidance document developed for FY 2014 FITW grantees.

Peer Reviewers Needed

  • Invitation to Become a Peer Reviewer MS Word (50K)
  • Instructions to Register as a Peer Reviewer MS PowerPoint (3.44MB) | MS Word (41K)

FY 2014 Competition Summary

Application Contacts

Sarah Beaton, (202) 502-7621,
Claire Cornell, (202) 502-7851,
Frank Frankfort, (202) 502-7513,
Kelly Harris, (202) 219-7083,
1990 K Street, N.W., 6th Floor
Mail Stop K-OPE-6-6163
Washington, DC 20006
Fax: (202) 502-7877

If you have questions concerning this program, please submit them via e-mail to and



Last Modified: 09/17/2015