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Land-grant university

From Academic Kids

Land-grant universities (also called land-grant colleges or land grant institutions) are American institutions which have been designated by Congress to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. These acts funded educational institutions by granting federally-controlled land to the states. The mission of these institutions, as set forth in the 1862 Act, is to teach agriculture, military tactics, and the mechanic arts, not to the exclusion of classical studies, so that members of the working classes might obtain a practical college education.

The mission of the land grant universities was expanded by the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 to include cooperative extension - the sending of agents into rural areas to help bring the results of agricultural research to the end users.

Land-grant universities are not to be confused with Sea Grant Colleges (a program instituted in 1966) or Space Grant Colleges (instituted in 1988). There are six colleges or universities that have all three designations.

History

The universities were initially known as land-grant colleges. Today, only a small handful of the seventy some institutions which evolved from the Morrill Acts still have "College" in their official names.

The University of the District of Columbia received land grant status and a US$ 7.24 million endowment, in lieu of a land grant, in 1967. In a 1972 Special Education Amendment, American Samoa, Guam, Micronesia, Northern Marianas, and the Virgin Islands each received US$ 3 million.

In 1994, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium also received land grant status, and 29 additional land grant colleges were created under the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act. Most of these are two-year technical schools, but three are four-year institutions, and one offers a master's degree.

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