Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965 provides funds directly to institutions of higher education that serve low-income and minority students. Approximately $1.01 billion was made available for these initiatives in fiscal-year 2014. Title III funds can be used by relevant institutions to improve academic quality through staff or curricula development, support administrative improvements, or expand fiscal capacity, for example by establishing endowment funds. Other activities such as construction, infrastructure improvement, and student services are also supported by Title III funds.
Institutions must demonstrate that they support low-income or minority students in order to be eligible for Title III funds. Title III, Part A aid generally goes to institutions at which a large percentage of the student body receives a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid. A portion of Part A funds is also set aside for American Indian Tribally-Controlled Colleges and Universities. Title III, Part B aid is specifically for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Hispanic-Serving Institutions can receive similar competitive grants under Title V of the Higher Education Act.