Dozens of universities and organizations that applied for federal grants to help young people from poor families prepare for college have been turned down by the U.S. Department of Education because of mistakes that consisted mostly of incorrect margins, the wrong font, or lack of double-spacing.
The rejections have triggered an outcry from members of both parties on Capitol Hill.
Amid the uproar, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued a memo late last month saying grant requests from the federally funded Upward Bound program will no longer be rejected over “formatting” errors. But congressional aides said that DeVos’ staff subsequently informed them that the applications turned down in March will not be revisited.
The next round of applications won’t be held for another five years, and some of the affected schools and groups say their programs may have to shut down. More than 62,000 high school students receive services from Upward Bound, which seeks to inspire low-income, first-generation, and rural students to attend college.
A version of this article appeared in the May 17, 2017 edition of Education Week as Minor Errors Lead to Rejection of Upward Bound Applications