Frequently Asked Questions
QHow would one go about nominating their HBCU?
ATo nominate your HBCU, please follow the following steps:
1. Visit
2. Find your school and designated hashtag
3. Use your school’s designated hashtag in a social post via Instagram and Twitter
QWho can nominate their school?
AAny HBCU supporter can nominate their school. Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff, and Supporters are strongly encouraged to nominate their schools.
QWhat is the cumulative voting score?
AThe cumulative voting score is the total of all votes received through the website at, social media through Twitter and Instagram using the designated hashtag, and sponsored events at HBCU classics during the voting phase. PLEASE NOTE: All nominations will be converted to votes.
QLast year, schools received a $1000 participation award after garnering 100 votes. Is that the case for this year?
AThe participation award will not be a part of the 2017 Retool Your School program.
QSince the community members have more control this year to ensure that their HBCU participates, are we allowed to submit a proposal on behalf of our school?
ANo, only school administrators can submit proposals.
QWhat platforms can we use to nominate our HBCU?
ACast your nominations through social media via Twitter and Instagram.
QIs it against program rules to schedule nominations or votes?
AIt is against the program rules to schedule nominations or votes, and may result in disqualification from the program.
QWhat if a school wanted to forgo the nomination period and ensure that their school is in the voting round of the program?
ASchools that would like to forgo the nomination period may go to, complete the nomination application and advance into the voting phase.
QWhat happens after a school is notified that they are one of the top three vote receivers for their cluster?
AUpon notification, schools will submit proposals for judging. Schools will be eligible to win $50,000, $40,000 or $30,000 in campus improvement grants.
QHow are social media votes tallied?
ASocial media votes are defined as those votes that use the school’s unique designated hashtag on Twitter and/or Instagram. Each time your school’s unique hashtag is used on Instagram or Twitter ONE (1) point will be earned per post. This includes retweets and reposts.
QHow will I know my “unique hashtag”?
AClick the NOMINATE/VOTE page to retrieve your school’s designated hashtag.
QCan we promote our school’s involvement with this program?
AYes, however, no applicants or representatives can take part (or agree to take part) in any media interviews or events, or issue any press releases or other announcements regarding participation in the RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL program without the prior written consent of The Home Depot.
QI’ve read through all the materials but I still have questions. How can I contact someone from the RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL staff?
ASubmit your questions to
A RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL staff member will respond within 48 hours.
QWhat is the focus of your HBCU campus improvement program?
AThe RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL program is a chance for Historically Black Colleges and Universities to upgrade their campuses with grants from The Home Depot in the areas of:
• Lawn care/landscaping
• Windows/doors
• Energy efficiency
• General upgrades
• Lighting
• Paint
• Flooring
• General construction
QWhat type of organizations / institutions does the RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL program support?
AOnly Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) designated by the Secretary of Education as accredited Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are eligible to submit an application to the RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL program.
QDoes the RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL program accept unsolicited grant requests?
QWhat is the 2017 program timeline?
ANomination Phase: January 29 – February 10
School Administrator Opt-In: January 29 – February 22
Voting Phase: February 24 – April 16
QIf my HBCU is one of the top three (3) vote receivers per cluster, is there a deadline when proposals must be completed?
AInvited Respondents may submit applications beginning April 19, 2017, at 12:00 a.m. (midnight) Eastern Standard Time (“EST”). Applications must be completed and received by May 3, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. EST.
QWhen will the RETOOL YOUR SCHOOL grant awards be funded to the winning schools?
AAll Grant awards will be announced on or around May 10, 2017. On the same announcement date, Respondents will also be notified via email, as provided on your Proposal.
QHow do I know which Cluster I am assigned to?
ASponsor will make Cluster Assignments using data provided on the LOI and National Center for Education Statistics application.

1. Cluster A includes those Respondents with a student enrollment of 4,000 or more,
2. Cluster B includes those Respondents with a student enrollment between 1,251 and 3,999
3. Cluster C includes those Respondents with a student enrollment of 1,200 or less.

Sponsor reserves right to request enrollment verification.

Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to modify the Cluster Assignment criteria listed above (via increase or decrease of the necessary student enrollment figures of a Cluster or Clusters) based on the total number of Respondents that submit Proposals, toward fulfilling the goal of better equalizing the Grant selection chances among the Respondents.