Qualifications that a Title I school must have include a large number of students from low-income families that qualify for government assistance programs and a school plan for serving low-income students. School eligibility for Title I grants depends on poverty estimates for the students in each school as well as the state cost of providing an education.
There are multiple qualification formulas that the government uses to determine which schools qualify for Title I funding. All of the qualification formulas identify schools with the largest numbers and concentrations of low-income students. To meet eligibility requirements, schools must focus the funds received on the most at-risk students. If the school's low-income student population is more than 40 percent of the entire school's population, the school may use Title I funds generally throughout the entire school, as of 2015. School programming must comply with federal instructional standards and commonly accepted educational practices.
While there are eligibility qualifications that schools must meet in order to receive Title I funding, schools must also fulfill program requirements with the funds they receive. Schools receiving Title I funds must create program plans to provide student services and offer students access to a high-quality education in order to continue the school's Title I qualifications. The school must plan for high-quality teachers and staff, and the school must plan services for homeless students. Schools can use the funds to provide preschool and after-school programs, as well as provide extra instruction to students in core areas, such as mathematics and English.