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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

ED Extends Deadline for Experimental Sites Initiative

March 7, 2013

The Department of Education (ED) has established an extended deadline of April 30 for institutions to express interest in participating in one or more experiments under the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI).  The original deadline, posted in a January 17 Dear Colleague Letter (GEN-13-03), was February 28.  

The Higher Education Act authorizes ED to grant waivers of certain statutory and regulatory requirements under Title IV for institutions participating in the ESI. The experiments are intended to inform future policy discussions.  Institutions interested in participating in any of the below experiments for the 2013-14 award year should contact ED.

  1. Federal Pell Grant Program — Eligibility of students with bachelor's degrees who enroll in vocational or career programs.
  2. Federal Pell Grant Program — Eligibility of students who enroll in certain short-term training programs.
  3. Direct Loan Program — Single disbursement of a one-term loan for study abroad students.
  4. Direct Loan Program — Early disbursement for study abroad students and for students enrolled in foreign institutions.
  5. Direct Loan Program — Unequal disbursements.
  6. Direct Loan Program — Limiting unsubsidized loan amounts.
  7. Direct Loan Program — PLUS Loans for parents of students with intellectual disabilities.
  8. Student Eligibility — Eligibility of students with intellectual disabilities who are also enrolled in high school.

ED notes that submitting a letter of application does not commit the institution to participation in the project, nor does it commit ED to approving the institution's request.  All letters of application should be saved as a PDF and emailed to ED at  Further submission guidance can be found in the original Dear Colleague Letter.


Bryan Dickson
Senior Policy Analyst