(a) Program authority

The Secretary shall carry out a program to be known as student support services which shall be designed–

Terms Used In 20 USC 1070a-14

  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • writing: includes printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding, or otherwise. See 1 USC 1

(1) to increase college retention and graduation rates for eligible students;

(2) to increase the transfer rates of eligible students from 2-year to 4-year institutions;

(3) to foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of students who are limited English proficient, students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, students with disabilities, students who are homeless children and youths (as such term is defined in section 11434a of title 42), students who are in foster care or are aging out of the foster care system, or other disconnected students; and

(4) to improve the financial literacy and economic literacy of students, including–

(A) basic personal income, household money management, and financial planning skills; and

(B) basic economic decisionmaking skills.

(b) Required services

A project assisted under this section shall provide–

(1) academic tutoring, directly or through other services provided by the institution, to enable students to complete postsecondary courses, which may include instruction in reading, writing, study skills, mathematics, science, and other subjects;

(2) advice and assistance in postsecondary course selection;

(3)(A) information on both the full range of Federal student financial aid programs and benefits (including Federal Pell Grant awards and loan forgiveness) and resources for locating public and private scholarships; and

(B) assistance in completing financial aid applications, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid described in section 1090(a) of this title;

(4) education or counseling services designed to improve the financial literacy and economic literacy of students, including financial planning for postsecondary education;

(5) activities designed to assist students participating in the project in applying for admission to, and obtaining financial assistance for enrollment in, graduate and professional programs; and

(6) activities designed to assist students enrolled in two-year institutions of higher education in applying for admission to, and obtaining financial assistance for enrollment in, a four-year program of postsecondary education.

(c) Permissible services

A project assisted under this section may provide services such as–

(1) individualized counseling for personal, career, and academic matters provided by assigned counselors;

(2) information, activities, and instruction designed to acquaint students participating in the project with the range of career options available to the students;

(3) exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually available to disadvantaged students;

(4) mentoring programs involving faculty or upper class students, or a combination thereof;

(5) securing temporary housing during breaks in the academic year for–

(A) students who are homeless children and youths (as such term is defined in section 11434a of title 42) or were formerly homeless children and youths; and

(B) students who are in foster care or are aging out of the foster care system; and


(6) programs and activities as described in subsection (b) or paragraphs (1) through (4) of this subsection that are specially designed for students who are limited English proficient, students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, students with disabilities, students who are homeless children and youths (as such term is defined in section 11434a of title 42), students who are in foster care or are aging out of the foster care system, or other disconnected students.

(d) Special rule

(1) Use for student aid

A recipient of a grant that undertakes any of the permissible services identified in subsection (c) may, in addition, use such funds to provide grant aid to students. A grant provided under this paragraph shall not exceed the Federal Pell Grant amount, determined under section 1070a(b)(2)(A) of this title, for which a student is eligible, or be less than the minimum Federal Pell Grant amount described in section 1070a(b)(4) of this title, for the current academic year. In making grants to students under this subsection, an institution shall ensure that adequate consultation takes place between the student support service program office and the institution’s financial aid office.

(2) Eligible students

For purposes of receiving grant aid under this subsection, eligible students shall be current participants in the student support services program offered by the institution and be–

(A) students who are in their first 2 years of postsecondary education and who are receiving Federal Pell Grants under subpart 1 of part A; or

(B) students who have completed their first 2 years of postsecondary education and who are receiving Federal Pell Grants under subpart 1 if the institution demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that–

(i) these students are at high risk of dropping out; and

(ii) it will first meet the needs of all its eligible first- and second-year students for services under this paragraph.

(3) Determination of need

A grant provided to a student under paragraph (1) shall not be considered in determining that student’s need for grant or work assistance under this subchapter, except that in no case shall the total amount of student financial assistance awarded to a student under this subchapter exceed that student’s cost of attendance, as defined in section 1087ll of this title.

(4) Matching required

A recipient of a grant who uses such funds for the purpose described in paragraph (1) shall match the funds used for such purpose, in cash, from non-Federal funds, in an amount that is not less than 33 percent of the total amount of funds used for that purpose. This paragraph shall not apply to any grant recipient that is an institution of higher education eligible to receive funds under part A or B of subchapter III or subchapter V.

(5) Reservation

In no event may a recipient use more than 20 percent of the funds received under this section for grant aid.

(6) Supplement, not supplant

Funds received by a grant recipient that are used under this subsection shall be used to supplement, and not supplant, non-Federal funds expended for student support services programs.

(e) Requirements for approval of applications

In approving applications for projects under this section for any fiscal year, the Secretary shall–

(1) require an assurance that not less than two-thirds of the persons participating in the project proposed to be carried out under any application–

(A) be individuals with disabilities; or

(B) be low-income individuals who are first generation college students;


(2) require an assurance that the remaining students participating in the project proposed to be carried out under any application be low-income individuals, first generation college students, or individuals with disabilities;

(3) require an assurance that not less than one-third of the individuals with disabilities participating in the project be low-income individuals;

(4) require that there be a determination by the institution, with respect to each participant in such project, that the participant has a need for academic support in order to pursue successfully a program of education beyond secondary school;

(5) require that such participants be enrolled or accepted for enrollment at the institution which is the recipient of the grant or contract; and

(6) consider, in addition to such other criteria as the Secretary may prescribe, the institution’s effort, and where applicable past history, in–

(A) providing sufficient financial assistance to meet the full financial need of each student in the project; and

(B) maintaining the loan burden of each such student at a manageable level.