Our funders

The First in the World project, run by the Consortium for the Advancement of Underrepresented Student Engagement (CAUSE), is made possible through the U.S. Department of Education and its programs.

Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)

FIPSE is a unit of the Higher Education Programs within the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education. FIPSE’s mandate is to “improve postsecondary educational opportunities” across a broad range of concerns. Through its various grant competitions, FIPSE seeks to support the implementation of innovative educational reform ideas, to evaluate how well they work, and to share the findings with the larger education community.

Part of the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE), the First in the World (FITW) Program provides grants to institutions of higher education to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes and make college more affordable for students and families, and to develop an evidence base of effective practices.

First in the World Program (FiTW)

The FITW program is designed to support the development, replication, and dissemination of innovative solutions and evidence for what works in addressing persistent and widespread challenges in postsecondary education for students who are at risk for not persisting in and completing postsecondary programs, including, but not limited to, adult learners, working students, part-time students, students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, students with disabilities, and first-generation students.