The Office of the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) announces a request for applications to enhance and expand educational opportunities for students from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Education is a priority for the Administration, and President Obama has called for an increased emphasis on building partnerships through expanding exchanges and increasing scholarship opportunities for students from this region. With this program announcement, MEPI seeks to promote mutual understanding and respect through innovative programming that provides university-level scholarships, internship opportunities, and service-learning activities at U.S. accredited institutions of higher learning based in the MENA region. Priority Area A: TomorrowÂ’s Leaders Scholarships III Applications submitted under this priority area should focus on the implementation of the third phase of the TomorrowÂ’s Leaders Scholarship Program, an established endeavor that supports academically qualified, but economically disadvantaged students from the MENA region. A successful applicant must be a U.S. accredited institution of higher learning in the MENA region and can create a strong academic and civic educational foundation for a cadre of civic-minded, intellectually able, and professionally skilled university students. These scholarships should help prepare these students to become future community and business leaders. The TomorrowÂ’s Leaders Scholarship III (TLIII) program will be hosted by universities prepared to provide four-year academic matriculation, civic education, and community service opportunities for secondary school graduates from the MENA region. Selected students represent diverse and socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds and demonstrate academic merits, English language skills, and other credentials that would qualify them for admission to a university program of study; however, their limited financial resources preclude attendance. The scholarship program must include interactive and practical civic education lessons for students, opportunities for mentorship from civic leaders, internships in the public sector, and career counseling. Applicants must discuss a plan to further institutionalize civic education courses specific to TomorrowÂ’s Leaders within the university and ensure that scholarship recipients are fully integrated with other university students. MEPI is interested in how applicants, after MEPI funding is completed, will follow up with students at the end of the scholarship to track how students are engaged within their communities, university alumni network, and/or MEPI alumni network. MEPI hopes to see every student succeed and complete the scholarship, but experience with the current implementation of TomorrowÂ’s Leaders shows that not every student will finish the program. Applicants must discuss how they would achieve the intended results of the project if one or more students withdraw prior to completion of the program. Budget Considerations: Successful applications will propose cost-sharing and cost-effective strategies with the intent of enhancing scholarship activities which include, but are not limited to, internship placement, civic activities, mentorship, and developing and integrating a civic education curriculum into the university, leadership training sessions, and community service projects. While MEPI funding will only cover four years of a degree program, applicants may, using a cost share, propose major degrees of study that could take student recipients more than four years to complete. (More information on the cost-sharing requirement can be found in Part III, Section D below.) In addition, applicants that demonstrate the most cost effective rate per student will receive highest consideration by MEPI. Priority Area B: Recruitment for TomorrowÂ’s Leaders Scholarships III Under Priority Area B, MEPI is soliciting applications from organizations to conduct the recruitment portion of TLIII. Based on its experience with the current Â“TomorrowÂ’s LeadersÂ” program, MEPI seeks to have a single implementing partner recruit and screen all applicants, , with the final selection of scholarship recipients resting with each of the host universities. Every year, student recruitment and selection continues to increase, and in the past four years, the scholarship now includes more than 140 students. Applicants should expect to select approximately 50 Â– 150 students and outline a plan of recruitment to select recipients. Applicants under this priority area should be prepared to recruit students for all scholarships to be made under Priority Area A. Applications under this priority area must include a plan to advertise, recruit, and screen qualified scholarship recipients consistent with finding students who are both academically qualified and who represent diverse and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. All applicants must explain how they plan to vet scholarship recipients using the Excluded Parties List System (https://www.epls.gov/) and/or the Foreign Terrorist Organization list (http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/other/des/143210.htm). Submissions should also describe how the applicant will assess the suitability of potential scholarship recipients for the rigors of TLIII, including the potential recipientsÂ’ future leadership plans, as well as the recipientsÂ’ commitment to the program. Applicants must also demonstrate that the methodology used to select potential scholarship recipients meets the core requirements of the universities implementing TLIII.