Maintained for Historical Purposes

This resource is being maintained for historical purposes only and is not currently applicable.

(GEN-13-21) Subject: Invitation to Participate in the Experimental Sites Initiative

Publication Date: August 9, 2013

DCL ID: GEN-13-21

Subject: Invitation to Participate in the Experimental Sites Initiative

Summary: This letter reopens the application process for institutions interested in participating in one or more of the experiments under the Experimental Sites Initiative.

Dear Colleague:

On January 17, 2013 we posted Dear Colleague Letter GEN-13-03 that invited institutions to express interest in participating, beginning with the 2013-2014 award year, in one or more of the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI) experiments currently in process. The Department received 115 letters of interest in response to this invitation and the number of schools participating in at least one of the experiments has increased to 122.

To maximize the number of schools participating in the experiments, we are reopening the ESI application process without a closing date. We anticipate continuing all the experiments through at least the 2014-15 award year. Please note that the steps an institution and the Department need to take before beginning an experiment may take up to 90 days. Therefore, if your institution is interested in being considered for one or more of the experiments listed below, please let us know as soon as possible. Submitting a letter of application does not commit the institution to participate in an experiment. Nor does it commit the Department to approving an institution's request to participate. However, we ask institutions to be thoughtful in their submissions. The process of preparing for potential participation requires work by both the institution and the Department.

If your institution is interested in participating in any of the listed experiments, please let us know by sending a letter of application in the form of a PDF attachment to an email message sent to With the exception of the cutoff date, please follow the submission guidance provided in DCL GEN-13-03.

Current ESI Experiments

Experiment 1 – Federal Pell Grant Program – Eligibility of students with bachelor's degrees who enroll in vocational or career programs.

Experiment 2 – Federal Pell Grant Program – Eligibility of students who enroll in certain short-term training programs.

Experiment 3 – Direct Loan Program – Single disbursement of a one-term loan for study abroad students.

Experiment 4 – Direct Loan Program – Early disbursement for study abroad students and for students enrolled in foreign institutions.

Experiment 5 – Direct Loan Program – Unequal disbursements.

Experiment 6 – Direct Loan Program – Limiting unsubsidized loan amounts.

Experiment 7 – Direct Loan Program – PLUS Loans for parents of students with intellectual disabilities.

Experiment 8 – Student Eligibility – Eligibility of students with intellectual disabilities who are also enrolled in high school.

Further information about the experiments is available at If you have any questions please send an email to:


Jeff Baker, Director
Policy Liaison and Implementation
Federal Student Aid

Last Modified: 08/08/2013