NAICU Washington Update

Changes Made to How Institutions Can Qualify for Discretionary Grant Programs

January 07, 2022

In order for institutions of higher education to qualify for discretionary grant programs, they are usually required to meet various priorities within the competitive grant competition. These priorities can change depending on the grant program.  

Recently, the Secretary of Education established six supplemental priorities (outlined below) to be used in future discretionary grant program competitions. These new priorities replace previous ones, and the Secretary may choose to use an entire priority for a grant program or a particular competition or use one or more of the priority's subparts. These priorities and definitions are effective January 10, 2022.  If a competitive grant competition takes places before January 10, however, the included priorities in that particular competition apply. 

The six new supplemental priorities are: 
  • Priority 1—Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Students, Educators, and Faculty;
  • Priority 2—Promoting Equity in Student Access to Educational Resources, Opportunities, and Welcoming Environments;
  • Priority 3—Supporting a Diverse Educator Workforce and Professional Growth to Strengthen Student Learning;
  • Priority 4—Meeting Student Social, Emotional, and Academic Needs;
  • Priority 5—Increasing Postsecondary Education Access, Affordability, Completion, and Post-Enrollment Success; and
  • Priority 6—Strengthening Cross-Agency Coordination and Community Engagement to Advance Systemic Change.
Priorities in federal grant making are an important tool that allows administrations to direct federal funds toward their top policy goals. The recently announced priorities are a good indicator of the overall educational priorities of the Biden Administration.

MORE News from NAICU