An eligible institution seeking a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require. An eligible institution may submit an application to receive a grant under subsection (c) or (d) or both.
Each eligible institution seeking a grant under this section shall agree to participate in the evaluation described in subsection (f).
In awarding grants for the program under subsection (d), the Secretary shall give priority to applications submitted by eligible institutions that propose to replicate policies and practices that have proven effective in increasing persistence and degree completion by low-income students or students in need of developmental education.
In this subsection, the term “eligible institution” means an institution of higher education in which, during the three-year period preceding the year in which the institution is applying for a grant under this subsection, an average of not less than 50 percent of the institution’s entering first-year students are assessed as needing developmental courses to bring reading, writing, or mathematics skills up to college level.
The Secretary shall award grants under this subsection to eligible institutions in an amount equal to $1,500 multiplied by the number of students the institution selects to participate in the program in such year. An institution shall not select more than 200 students to participate in the program under this subsection during such year.
The Secretary may award a grant under subsection (c) or (d) of this section for a period of five years.
The evaluations required under paragraph (3) shall be conducted by entities that are capable of designing and carrying out independent evaluations that identify the impact of the activities carried out by eligible institutions under this section on improving persistence and success of student participants under this section.
Eligible institutions receiving a grant to carry out the program under subsection (d) shall work with the evaluator to track persistence and completion outcomes for students in such program, specifically the proportion of these students who take and complete developmental education courses, the proportion who take and complete college-level coursework, and the proportion who complete certificates and degrees. The data shall be broken down by gender, race, ethnicity, and age and the evaluator shall assist institutions in analyzing these data to compare program participants to comparable nonparticipants, using statistical techniques to control for differences in the groups.
Funds made available under this section shall be used to supplement and not supplant other Federal, State, and local funds available to the institution to carrying out the activities described in subsections (c) and (d).
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. The Secretary may use not more than two percent of the amounts appropriated to provide the technical assistance and conduct the evaluations required under subsection (f).