The $400 million Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant (SSAE) consolidates multiple federal grants into one new Title IV program designed to improve access to a well-rounded education, improve school conditions for learning, and improve the use of technology. Here at Pearson we know how important these funds are for your schools so we’ve created a planning guide to help your district coordinate in advance of anticipated Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) funds.

What can be funded?
SSAE has three categories of allowable activities:

  • Well-rounded educational opportunities
  • Safe and healthy students
  • Effective use of technology

Within these three areas, funds may be used for direct services for students, professional development, salaries for personnel to carry out activities, and supplemental educational resources and equipment.

Distribution of funds:  Every State will get a portion of SSAE funds based on their Title I allocation. Each State will decide if they will distribute funds by formula or via competitive grants.  Allocations to Local Education Agencies must be a minimum of $10,000.


Your State’s Department of Education may have additional requirements or areas of focus.  Keep watch for announcements of how they will launch SSAE locally because it may look different than how it was outlined in the federal law.  Districts receiving more than $30,000 in SSAE funds have additional requirements, such as conducting a comprehensive needs assessment every three years.  Download our complete SSAE planning guide.

Schools to be served: Districts must submit applications to the State describing how funds will serve schools that are:

  • are among those with the greatest needs,
  • have the highest numbers of students from low-income families,
  • are identified for comprehensive support and improvement,
  • are implementing targeted support and improvement plans, or
  • are identified as a persistently dangerous public school.


Find out if your State will distribute SSAE funds by formula or competitive grants and when funds will become available.

Formula funds

  • Pros: Your district will get a slice of the federal funds
  • Cons: Funds may be spread too thin to have much effect

Competitive grants:

  • Pros: Awards will be larger
  • Cons: Not every district will receive funding

Join our FREE webinar with Pearson’s Director of Funding to learn more about SSAE Funding


SSAE is a broad program with a wide assortment of allowable activities. District stakeholders will likely have conflicting ideas of how the funds should be used.

Anticipating this, your planning team should define a clear process for how project priorities will be determined.


  • Superintendent decides based on district priorities
  • Consensus among planning committee
  • Survey of principals or school board members

Questions on the SSAE Grant?
Contact our Pearson Grant Experts for a free consultation at or visit our SSAE overview website to learn more.

PART TWO – Planning Tips for the SSAE
PART THREE – Planning Tips for the SSAE





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Grace Stopani

Grace Stopani

Director, Funding

Note: Fresh Ideas for Teaching blog contributors have been compensated for sharing personal teaching experiences on our blog. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.