Carnegie Elective Classification

Frequently Asked Questions

Which campuses are eligible to apply?

All higher education institutions that are classified under the Carnegie Classification are eligible to apply. To determine whether your campus is eligible to apply, visit the Carnegie Classification website and go to the tab for Institution Look Up. If your campus is listed, then you are eligible to apply for the Leadership for Public Purpose Classification.

There are a number of campuses that have one Basic Classification and multiple branch campuses. Branch campuses that have a history of being an independent institution, have distinct local leadership, and a distinct student body and community within which and with whom they partner, can apply for the classification separate from the overall institution, even when the branch campus does not have a “Basic” classification, provided that the institution does have a Basic Classification. In these cases, please consult the updated policy, linked here: Notice of Change in Policy: Eligibility for Applying for the Carnegie Elective Community Engagement Classification (April 18, 2018).

How can my campus prepare for the application process?

A key step in this process is creating a team or committee of individuals on campus that are advancing leadership for public purpose in all its forms. This team will be essential to gather and review data that is dispersed throughout the campus. Before you set out to gather data for the application, take some time to develop partnerships around campus and enlist the help of a “champion” on campus that can lead to high engagement in the process. Once you have identified a champion, engage your president or chancellor to give them an overview of the classification and the value added of this process. Next, work towards the creation of a permanent committee or team that includes all relevant stakeholders (e.g. Student Affairs, Institutional Research Office, Office of the President, Faculty).

How can we access the online application?

In order to gain access to the application, institutional representatives will visit the application payment page where they will be prompted to select an application type. After the payment is complete, an email receipt will be generated and will include a unique link to the classification framework application portal. There, you will be able to complete the application and save your progress as a draft.

The application fee covers the cost of the classification administration and maintaining access to Carnegie classification datasets. The Classification is intended to invite wide participation and not exclude any campus from participating because of inability to cover the application fee. If your campus is interested in requesting a waiver, please email us.

Are web links (i.e., URLs) permitted in responses to application questions?

Web links will NOT be accepted as valid supporting documentation (i.e., reviewers will not be able to open links included in the application). Instead, when relevant, applicants should copy and paste text from websites and include that information as part of application responses, where appropriate.

When should an applicant enter text into the official online application?

It is strongly recommended that applicants complete the entire application in a word-processing application that allows for collaboration (e.g., Google Docs or Microsoft Word) and then transfer text from that file into answer fields on the online application. More specifically, institutions should use the Word version of the Documentation Framework for collecting data and drafting responses to the application questions.  Transferring responses from the framework to the online application and then submitting it should be the last steps in the application process.

Can an applicant “click through” the pages of the online application to review all of the questions?

Yes. Applicants can view the application sections, finish parts of the applications, save drafts, and come back to it later as needed.

Can an applicant save an unfinished online application and then return to it at a later time?

Yes. Applicants that have created an account on GivePulse may save drafts of the online application and then edit and/or continue later. You will need to log in to retain access to the online application and save it in draft mode. As a GivePulse user, your role as a “Collaborator” on the platform will allow you to see that the application is automatically saving your work as you go. If you forget your password, you can easily reset it.

Who should be responsible for submitting the online application?

Though the process of compiling responses to the application questions will likely involve many individuals from the applicant institution, it is strongly recommended that only one person be responsible for filling out and submitting the online application itself. You will be able to add collaborators that will have access to the application under the “Collaborators” tab. However, the individual listed in the “Applicant’s Contact Information” section of the application should be the same individual who submits the application.

Are application responses limited to a certain number of words?

Yes. Application questions require responses that do not exceed 500 words and the text boxes will not allow for more than the word limit. You will find a word count calculator under each text box in the online framework. If a response provided by an applicant exceeds the word limit, the online application software will only submit the maximum number of words allowed for that question, resulting in an incomplete response.

How are applications reviewed?

Multiple reviewers will be evaluating each application in its entirety. Reviewers will be selected and trained rigorously to effectively evaluate all the evidence provided by institutions. Reviewers will need to reach a consensus to determine if each applicant institution will receive the classification. In the case where a consensus is not reached, members of the National Review Board will evaluate and deliberate. 

Are applicants required to answer all questions on the application?

It is not advisable to leave any sections blank. If you cannot respond by providing evidence, explain why the evidence does not exist and what the campus is doing to be able to provide the evidence in the future.

When is the 2027 Leadership for Public Purpose Classification application due?

2024 applications are closed. Dates will be announced soon for our 2027 applications. 

When will the results of the 2024 application process be announced?

The results of the 2024 Leadership for Public Purpose Classification application process will be announced in Spring 2024.  Only those institutions that receive the classification will be announced. Institutions that are not classified during this cycle are notified privately.


Contact Carla Ortega Santori at Carla.Ortega.Santori@rice.edu