Notice Inviting Postsecondary Educational Institutions To Participate in Experiments Under the Experimental Sites Initiative; Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs Under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as Amended
The Secretary invites postsecondary institutions (institutions) that participate in the student financial assistance programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), to apply to participate in a new institution-based experiment under the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI). Under the ESI, the Secretary has authority to grant waivers from certain title IV, HEA statutory or regulatory requirements to allow a limited number of institutions to participate in experiments to test alternative methods for administering the title IV, HEA programs. ESI experiments are designed to facilitate efforts by institutions to explore particular innovative practices aimed at improving student outcomes, the delivery of services, or both. Under this experiment, participating institutions will be provided a waiver of the specific statutory and regulatory provisions that prevent students who are enrolled in secondary school from receiving Federal Pell Grants for enrollment in title IV-eligible postsecondary programs. Details of the experiment are provided in the Background section of this notice.
Open Licensing Requirement for Direct Grant Programs
The Secretary proposes to amend the regulations regarding the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in order to require that all Department grantees awarded direct competitive grant funds openly license to the public all copyrightable intellectual property created with Department grant funds. These proposed changes would increase the Department's ability to be more strategic with limited resources, broadening the impact of its investments by allowing stakeholders, such as local educational agencies (LEAs), State educational agencies (SEAs), institutions of higher education (IHEs), and other entities, to benefit from these investments, even if they are not themselves recipients of Department funds. An open licensing requirement would also allow the Department to sustain innovations beyond the grant period by encouraging subject matter experts and users to adapt, update, and build upon grant products, stimulating quality and innovation in the development of educational resources. Finally, the proposed requirement would promote equity and access to Department-funded technology and materials and increase transparency and accountability for the Department and its grantees.