The Secretary shall make grants to academic departments, programs and other academic units of institutions of higher education that provide courses of study leading to a graduate degree, including a master’s or doctoral degree, in order to enable such institutions to provide assistance to graduate students in accordance with this subpart.
The principal criterion for the award of grants shall be the relative quality of the graduate programs presented in competing applications. Consistent with an allocation of awards based on quality of competing applications, the Secretary shall, in awarding such grants, promote an equitable geographic distribution among eligible public and private institutions of higher education.
The Secretary shall award a grant under this subpart for a period of 3 years.
Whenever the Secretary determines that an academic department, program or unit of an institution of higher education is unable to use all of the amounts available to the department, program or unit under this subpart, the Secretary shall, on such dates during each fiscal year as the Secretary may fix, reallot the amounts not needed to academic departments, programs and units of institutions which can use the grants authorized by this subpart.
The Secretary shall make new grant awards under this subpart only to the extent that each previous grant recipient under this subpart has received continued funding in accordance with subsection (b)(2)(A).