It is the purpose of this section to provide, through eligible institutions, a program of fellowship awards to assist highly qualified minorities and women to acquire the doctoral degree, or highest possible degree available, in academic areas in which such individuals are underrepresented for the purpose of enabling such individuals to enter the higher education professoriate.
Each recipient of a fellowship award from an eligible institution receiving a grant under this section shall be known as a “Patsy T. Mink Graduate Fellow”.
In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall consider the eligible institution’s prior experience in producing doctoral degree, or highest possible degree available, holders who are minorities and women, and shall give priority consideration in making grants under this section to those eligible institutions with a demonstrated record of producing minorities and women who have earned such degrees.
In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent feasible, ensure an equitable geographic distribution of awards and an equitable distribution among public and private eligible institutions that apply for grants under this section and that demonstrate an ability to achieve the purpose of this section.
To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall use not less than 30 percent of the amount appropriated pursuant to subsection (f) to award grants to eligible institutions that are eligible for assistance under subchapter III or subchapter V, or to consortia of eligible institutions that include at least one eligible institution that is eligible for assistance under subchapter III or subchapter V.
In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary shall allocate appropriate funds to those eligible institutions whose applications indicate an ability to significantly increase the numbers of minorities and women entering the higher education professoriate and that commit institutional resources to the attainment of the purpose of this section.
An eligible institution that receives a grant under this section shall make not less than ten fellowship awards.
If the amount appropriated is not sufficient to permit all grantees under this section to provide the minimum number of fellowships required by subparagraph (D), the Secretary may, after awarding as many grants to support the minimum number of fellowships as such amount appropriated permits, award grants that do not require the grantee to award the minimum number of fellowships required by such subparagraph.
Except as provided in subparagraph (C), for academic year 2009–2010 and succeeding academic years, an institutional allowance under this paragraph shall be in an amount equal to the amount of institutional allowance made to an institution of higher education under section 1135d of this title for such academic year.
Institutional allowances may be expended at the discretion of the eligible institution and may be used to provide, except as prohibited under subparagraph (D), academic support and career transition services for individuals awarded fellowships by such institution.
The institutional allowance paid under subparagraph (A) shall be reduced by the amount the eligible institution charges and collects from a fellowship recipient for tuition and other expenses as part of the recipient’s instructional program.
Funds made available under this section may not be used for general operational overhead of the academic department or institution receiving funds under this section.
In the event that any recipient of a fellowship under this section fails or refuses to comply with the agreement signed pursuant to paragraph (1)(B), the sum of the amounts of any fellowship received by such recipient shall, upon a determination of such a failure or refusal to comply, be treated as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan under part D of subchapter IV, and shall be subject to repayment, together with interest thereon accruing from the date of the grant award, in accordance with terms and conditions specified by the Secretary in regulations under this section.
The Secretary shall promulgate regulations setting forth criteria to be considered in granting a waiver for the service requirement under paragraph (1)(B).
Fellowship awards under this section shall consist of a stipend in an amount equal to the level of support provided to fellows under the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, except that such stipend shall be adjusted as necessary so as not to exceed the fellow’s tuition and fees or demonstrated need (as determined by the institution of higher education where the graduate student is enrolled), whichever is greater.
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2009 and each of the five succeeding fiscal years.