The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) is a unit of the Higher Education Programs within the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education. FIPSE's directive is to "improve postsecondary educational opportunities." By conducting a number of annual grant competitions, FIPSE seeks to fund projects that offer innovative, sustainable solutions and improvements to overarching issues in postsecondary education.
FIPSE conducts several grant programs under different categories: a comprehensive program, special focus competitions, and The Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program. The Student E-rent Pilot Project (STEPP) is funded under one of FIPSE's special focus grants: the Pilot Program for Course Material Rental.
FIPSE's Pilot Program for Course Material Rental funds projects designed to help students of Institutions of Higher Education achieve savings by providing the option for students to rent course materials at a lower cost than purchasing them. Visit the Pilot Program for Course Material grant page at the U.S. Department of Education for more information.
STEPP is one of twelve projects that were granted funding under the Pilot Program for Course Material Rental in 2010. Read the STEPP grant abstract for more information.
The other eleven projects are listed below, including the institution each project is under as well as a link to their abstract.
- Bellevue College: 21st Century Bookstore: E-Course Materials Rental
- Columbia College (California): Model Course Material Rental Program for Small IHE's
- Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture: Delaware Valley College Bookstore Textbook Rental Program
- Florence-Darlington Technical College: Florence-Darlington Technical College's Technology's Books Course Materials Rental Program
- Illinois Central College: Illinois Central College Textbook Rental Pilot Project Program
- Mountain San Antonio College: Mt. San Antonio College Pilot Course Material Rental Program
- Pratt Institute: Pratt Institute Course Material Rental Program
- San Diego State University: Rent to Save: Pilot Program for Course Material Rental
- St. Johns River Community College: Supporting a Value Education: Openly Navigating the Expensive Textbook Scene
- West Los Angeles College: Instructional Materials Rental Initiative
- Western Oregon University: Western Oregon University College Textbook Rental Pilot Program