The Education Department acknowledged last week that its Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education would have insufficient funds in its 2009 budget to hold its normal "open" competition for innovative projects, partly because Congress had crammed other projects onto the program's agenda. On Thursday, the department announced competitions for two lawmaker-dictated priorities: one to expand graduate-level academic offerings at colleges with large numbers of Hispanic students, and one to identify innovative ways to help students rent textbooks and other course materials.
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