WHAT IS TITLE III?
Over forty years ago, the U.S. Congress recognized the critical need to assure that the benefits of a higher education be made accessible to everyone. Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) was enacted to provide federal assistance for a program to
strengthen and improve the academic quality, strengthen the administrative capacity, and establish an endowment fund in order to achieve growth and self-sufficiency for developing institutions. Amendments to the Act have altered some of the elements of the program,
but it remains basically as written – an instrument to provide assistance to institutions, such as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), demonstrating a constructive effort to strengthen themselves.
The Title III Institutional Aid Program is intended to equalize educational opportunities for disadvantaged students by assisting eligible colleges and universities. Eligible institutions are Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Historically
Black Graduate Institutions (HBGIs), and other institutions with limited financial resources that serve a high percentage of students receiving need-based federal financial assistance. This federal program currently provides assistance to more than 350 postsecondary institutions. Grant
funds may be used to improve academic programs, student services, institutional management, and financial stability. At the institutional level, a wide range of activities has been funded under these umbrella objectives. Even within a single institution, Title III funds are
typically used to support more than one activity – the number of funded activities changes from year to year.