Washington Watch: ED extends institutional aid eligibility


The U.S. Education Department (ED) has extended the period in which institutions can apply to qualify for its MSI/SIP Eligibility Matrix. It is used to pre-certify institutional status for Title III, V and VII Higher Education Act (HEA) grants. 

As campus grants writers know, being included on the eligibility matrix greatly facilitates competing for funds. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) appreciates that the department is providing this additional time, especially since Congress is still discussing final appropriations levels for the current fiscal year (FY 2022), which began October 1. ED just made the following announcement.

ED communication on new deadline

The FY 2022 eligibility application period for Titles III, V and VII grant programs is extended through February 18 at 11:59 PM EST. Institutions can review the application booklet as well as the eligibility technical assistance webinar (and corresponding documents) from January 6. Additionally, institutions may review information on the eligibility website. If you have additional questions, contact Jason Cottrell (Jason.Cottrell@ed.gov) or Christopher Smith (Christopher.Smith@ed.gov).

Please note, you may need to have an account created, which can take up to 24 hours. Go here and click on “new user” to request an account. Have your campus OPEID available. Search for your OPEID.

Congressional funding activity continues

Congress aims to wrap up the FY 2022 appropriations process by March 11. The process had been stymied for months due to disagreements between the two parties over how much overall funding to allocate to defense and domestic programs.

Although details are not yet available, appropriators have signaled that they have reached broad agreement on these levels. This top-line compromise effectively allows final funding levels to be determined. That said, numerous difficult policy decisions, including those on appropriations “riders” that delve into non-funding issues (most prominently on Medicaid funding for abortion), need to be resolved before the bills can be sent to the president for his signature. 

AAAC continues to advocate for a significant increase to the Pell Grant maximum and for boosts to several other key programs, including but not limited to TRIO, GEAR UP, institutional assistance, childcare and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Strengthening Community College Training Grants.

About the Author

David Baime
David Baime is senior vice president for government relations at the American Association of Community Colleges.
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