A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Biennial Evaluation Report - FY 93-94

Chapter 532

Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need

(CFDA No. 84.200)

I. Program Profile

Legislation: Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, Title IX, Part D, Sections 941-47 as amended by P.L. l02-325 (20 U.S.C. ll34l-ll34q) (expires September 30,1997).

Purpose: To sustain and enhance the capacity for teaching and research in areas of national need by providing, through academic departments and programs at institutions of higher education, fellowships to assist graduate students of superior ability who demonstrate financial need.

Funding History

Fiscal Year Appropriation
1988 $17,659,000
1989 12,844,000
1990 15,793,000
1991 24,885,000
1992 28,000,000
1993 27,498,000
1994 27,498,000

II. Program Information and Analysis

Population Targeting

Fellowships are provided to graduate students of superior ability who demonstrate financial need. Since the Higher Education Amendments of 1992, eligibility for funds is calculated in the same manner as Title IV student aid. Previously, need was established under criteria established by institutions.

Fellowships must be in an academic area designated by the Secretary as an area of national need. In the program's first year of operation, FY 1988, the Department determined that the areas of national need were chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and physics. The areas of national need were unchanged in FYs 1989 and 1990. In FY 1991, the less commonly foreign languages was added to the four previously designated areas of national need. The "less commonly taught languages," are languages other than French, German, Italian, and Spanish.


Awards are made through institutions of higher education to graduate students. In FY 1992, 118 noncompeting continuation awards and 46 new awards were made to institutions. The new awards included 6 in biology, 13 in chemistry, 11 in engineering, 3 in foreign languages, 7 in mathematics, and 6 in physics.

In FY 1993, due to changes in the program enacted under the 1992 Higher Education Amendments, only noncompeting continuation awards were made. There were 144 such awards.

Through FY 1992, approximately 5,185 fellowships have been granted from a cumulative funding of $89,181,000. The average fellowship increased from $12,323 in FY 1988 to $14,187 in FY 1992. The cumulative number of fellowships in various academic areas since FY 1988 are as follows: biology, 49; chemistry, 1,472; engineering, 1,140; foreign languages, 84; mathematics, 1,196; physics, 1,244.

Fellowships awarded under these grants include a stipend that may not exceed $14,000 per calendar year, and an amount to the institution not to exceed $9,000 per calendar year to cover tuition, fees, and other educational costs. Institutions receiving grants must match Federal funds with a 25 percent contribution to be used for additional fellowships that meet the authorizing legislation.

Program Administration

Competitive awards are made annually and can be renewed for up to a total of three years. Awards in FY 1992 ranged from $100,000, the minimum allowable, to $400,000. The average new award in FY 1992 was repetitions at $168,310 compared to an average award of $168,825 in FY 1991. Awards are capped at $500,000. Due to the three-year grant cycle, the number of new awards varies annually--46 new awards (out of 276 applications submitted) were funded in FY 1992.

The 1992 Amendments raised the maximum award to $750,000. The minimum award is still $100,000. In FY 1993, noncompeting awards ranged from $100,000 to $400,000.

III. Sources of Information

  1. Program Files.

IV. Planned Studies


V. Contacts for Further Information

Program Operations:
John Bonas, (202) 260-3265
Program Studies:
Gregory Henschel, (202) 401-0182

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