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Department Awards Grants to Improve Opportunities and Outcomes for Nation's Postsecondary Students

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today announced 38 awards totaling more than $30 million to colleges and universities from five competitive grant programs of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), which aims to improve higher education opportunities and outcomes for students from underrepresented communities.

"We cannot be complacent with a higher education system that leaves so many college students from diverse and underserved backgrounds without the supports and resources they need to succeed in school and, ultimately, graduate," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "The $30 million in grants announced today – including those of the new Postsecondary Student Success Program -- will help colleges and universities advance innovative and evidence-based strategies to better support their students and help address students' basic needs, launch affordable open textbook programs, improve campus resources for veterans, and create opportunities for youth who've struggled with violence to get their lives back on track. These investments reflect the Biden-Harris Administration's continued commitment to raising the bar for equitable outcomes in higher education and making sure students from all walks of life can thrive."

The grants are awarded under five FIPSE programs that target critical needs in our higher education system and are described below: Postsecondary Student Success Program; Basic Needs for Postsecondary Students Program; Open Textbooks Pilot Program; Centers of Excellence for Veteran Student Success; and Transitioning Gang-Involved Youth to Higher Education Program.

Announced in August 2022, the Postsecondary Student Success Program is a new FIPSE grant program established by Congress in response to the Biden-Harris Administration's request for funding to address college completion issues. The Department recently received an additional $45 million in funding in the FY23 budget to expand the program to serve more students. The grants will help institutions invest in data-driven and evidence-based reforms to encourage postsecondary retention, transfer, and completion among students who are close to graduation, as well as those who temporarily withdrew from school because of challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department's first awards under this grant program total more than $4.5 million to five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), and community colleges.

The Basic Needs for Postsecondary Students Program provides grants to eligible institutions of higher education (IHEs) to address students' basic needs, including food, housing, transportation, and child care. The Department made 14 awards totaling more than $13 million to MSIs and community colleges.

The Open Textbooks Pilot Program supports efforts to create new open textbooks, which are openly licensed teaching, learning, and research resources that freely reside in the public domain or have been released under a license that permits their free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with others. By encouraging grant competition applicants to prioritize resources for courses with high enrollment and for high-demand career fields, the program aims to emphasize initiatives with the greatest potential to generate the highest level of cost savings for students. The Department awarded more than $2.5 million in new awards this fiscal year to two institutions.

The Centers of Excellence for Veteran Student Success Program helps institutions support veteran student success by coordinating services to address their academic, financial, physical, and social needs. The Department made 15 awards for more than $8.5 million.

Transitioning Gang-Involved Youth to Higher Education Program provides resources to IHEs for projects aimed at re-directing gang-involved youth toward postsecondary education opportunities that will lead to certification or credentials. The Transitioning Gang-Involved Youth to Higher Education Program helps gang-involved youth access postsecondary education opportunities that lead to certification or credentials. The Department awarded a total of nearly $1 million to two institutions to support the transition of gang-involved youth to higher education.

The FIPSE program was included in the 1972 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act to fund projects that encourage innovative reform and expand educational opportunities to historically underrepresented communities. The new grantees, listed below, reflect the diversity of America's higher education ecosystem, including HBCUs, MSIs, and community colleges.

Postsecondary Student Success Program
Grantee State Award
The Florida International University Board of Trustees FL $975,000
Passaic County Community College NJ $999,963
Claflin University SC $1,000,000
Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College SC $952,262
Austin Community College TX $770,764

Basic Needs for Postsecondary Students Program
Grantee State Award
Northwest-Shoals Community College AL $950,000
Broward College FL $949,986
Wichita State University Campus of Applied Sciences KS $950,000
University of North Carolina at Pembroke NC $935,922
DACC Student Development Unit (New Mexico State University- Dona Ana) NM $950,000
SUNY College at Old Westbury NY $878,057
University of Puerto Rico at Ponce PR $948,423
Northeast State Community College TN $943,755
Palm Beach State College FL $950,000
Pensacola State College FL $832,390
University of Houston-Clear Lake TX $949,914
Cuyahoga Community College District OH $939,352
University of Houston-Downtown TX $943,724
Phoenix College AZ $929,617

Open Textbooks Program
Grantee State Award
Loyola Marymount University CA $1,533,300
University of Houston - Downtown TX $1,160,037

Centers of Excellence for Veteran Student Success
Grantee State Award
Chattahoochee Valley Community College AL $600,000
Iowa Lakes Community College IA $587,298
City Colleges of Chicago IL $596,278
Roosevelt University IL $527,081
Western Kentucky University KY $601,069
Minnesota State University Moorhead MN $453,424
St. Joseph's College, New York NY $559,867
State University of New York College at Old Westbury NY $538,307
Cuyahoga Community College District OH $597,745
The Citadel SC $600,462
Wayland Baptist University TX $592,217
University of Saint Thomas TX $590,107
Saint Martin's University WA $583,135
Herzing University, LTD WI $600,962
Fresno City College CA $599,986