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Chief, Educational Talent Section, DSFA.

Title IV, section 408 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 authorizes the Commissioner of Education to enter into contracts, not to exceed $100,000 per year, with State and local educational agencies and other public or nonprofit organizations and institutions for the purpose of: (1) identifying qualified youths of exceptional financial need and encouraging them to complete secondary school and undertake postsecondary educational training; (2) publicizing existing forms of student financial aid, inclding aid furnished under this part; or (3) encouraging secondary school or college dropouts of demonstrated aptitude to reenter educational programs, including postsecondary school programs.

During the fiscal year 1966, the Educational Talent Section received 133 proposals and ultimately funded 42 contracts which utilized the entire fiscal year appropriation of $2 million. The contracts, funded at an average amount of $47,000, were awarded to members of the educational community in 31 States.

While the contractors funded through this program will be establishing working relationships with diverse samples of students, each approved activity reflects an attempt to identify and motivate these qualified youths to pursue or reenter educational programs. In this regard, it is important to note that the consortiums of institutions of higher education, boards of education, and State scholarship commissions funded through the utilization of talent program will variously be working with high school and college dropouts, evening division students, and adult dropouts as well as with matriculating students of submerged ability-all of whom require informed and systematic encouragement in order to pursue further education.

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Discrimination Prohibited

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, "No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." Therefore projects and programs supported through the Office of Education, like every other program or activity of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, must be operated in compliance with this law.

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