NAICU Washington Update

Grants Available to Help Institutions with Basic Needs for Students

August 05, 2022

The Department of Education announced a $7.5 million grant opportunity for the Basic Needs for Postsecondary Students Program for FY 2022.  Basic needs grants are intended to address food and housing insecurity so students can succeed in their college education.

Eligible institutions for the grants are community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and other Minority Serving Institutions. All categories include private, nonprofit colleges and universities. 

According to the Department, an estimated 8 institutions will be awarded with grants, which are expected to range between $750,000 and $950,000. Applications are due October 3, 2022.

The grants should promote student success by supporting interventions and programs that address the basic needs of students and reporting on the practices that improve student outcomes.

The grant competition includes two absolute priorities, which means only applications that include these priorities will be considered; and one competitive priority, which can allow for additional application points. 

Absolute priorities
  • Projects should “strengthen cross-agency coordination and community engagement to advance system change.” For example, projects should coordinate efforts with federal, state or local agencies that support students with food, housing, transportation, childcare and other needs; conduct community needs and asset mapping to identify existing programs to leverage for systemic change; or establish cross-agency partnerships or community-based partnerships to meet student well-being needs. 
  • Projects to promote “equity in student access to educational resources and opportunities,” which is defined by the institution implementing the project being a community college, HBCU, TCU or other MSI. 
Competitive Priority
  • The competitive preference priority points will be given to projects that “meet student social, emotional and academic needs.” Projects should foster a sense of belonging and inclusion and implement evidence-based practices for advancing student success for underserved students. 

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