To spur innovation in higher education aimed at helping more students access and complete a college degree or credential, the U.S. Department of Education announced late last week the availability of $75 million in the First in the World (FITW) program. The grants will fund the development and testing of innovative approaches and strategies at colleges and universities that improve college attainment and make higher education more affordable for students and families.
The FITW competition aims to increase postsecondary access, affordability, and completion for underrepresented, underprepared, or low-income students at institutions across the country. Colleges and universities are invited to submit proposals addressing key priorities around boosting enrollment and attainment for those students, or minimizing gaps between these students and their peers; improving transfer rates between community college and four-year institutions; increasing enrollment and completion rates among underrepresented, underprepared, or low-income students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs; reducing time to completion; and/or increasing college affordability.
FITW is designed to spur a diverse array of innovative ideas and approaches in order to dramatically improve student learning and outcomes. Applications are available now and due by June 30th. All grants will be awarded by September 2014. The Department will post further information, including information about webinars and other technical assistance, on the FIPSE Web page.