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Notice

Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education-Special Focus Competition (Institutional Cooperation and Student Mobility in Postsecondary Education among the United States, Canada and Mexico); Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2003

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Purpose of Program: To provide grants or enter into cooperative agreements to improve postsecondary education opportunities by focusing on problem areas or improvement approaches in postsecondary education.

Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education or combinations of institutions and other public and private nonprofit institutions and agencies.

Applications Available: December 17, 2002.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 11, 2003.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 15, 2003.

Available Funds: Approximately $300,000 for FY 2003.

Estimated Range of Awards: $30,000 for FY 2003. $200,000-$215,000 for four-year duration of grant.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $30,000 for FY 2003. $210,000 for four-year duration of grant.

Estimated Number of Awards: 10.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

Project Period: Up to 48 months.

Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit your narrative to the equivalent of no more than twenty (20) double-spaced pages using the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ × 11″ on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use a font that is either 12-point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

The page limit does not apply to the title page, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification, the assurances and certifications, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support.

Our reviewers will not read any pages of your application narrative that—

  • Exceed the page limit if you apply these standards; or
  • Exceed the equivalent of the page limit if you apply other standards.

Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 82, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This program is a Special Focus Competition to support projects addressing a particular problem area or improvement approach in postsecondary education. The competition also includes an invitational priority to encourage proposals designed to support the formation of educational consortia of American, Canadian and Mexican institutions to encourage cooperation in the coordination of curricula, the exchange of students and the opening of educational opportunities throughout North America. The invitational priority is issued in cooperation with Canada and Mexico. Canadian and Mexican institutions participating in any consortium proposal responding to the invitational priority may apply, respectively, to Human Resources Development Canada and the Mexican Department of Public Education for Start Printed Page 77243additional funding under separate Canadian and Mexican competitions.

Priority

We are particularly interested in applications that meet the following invitational priority.

Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets the invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

Invitational Priority

Projects that support consortia of institutions of higher education that promote institutional cooperation and student mobility among the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Methods for Applying Selection Criteria

We give equal weight to the listed criteria. Within each of the criteria, we give equal weight to each of the factors.

Selection Criteria

In evaluating applications for grants under this program competition, we use selection criteria chosen from those listed in 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR.

FOR APPLICATIONS OR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20006-8544. You may also request application forms by calling 732-544-2504 (fax on demand), or application guidelines by calling 202-358-3041 (voice mail) or submitting the name of the competition and your name and postal address to FIPSE@ED.GOV (e-mail).

Applications are also listed on the FIPSE Web Site: http://www.ed.gov.FIPSE.

e-APPLICATIONS are available at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339. For additional program information call the FIPSE office 202-502-7500 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the contact number listed under FOR APPLICATIONS OR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Individuals with disabilities also may obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format by contacting that number. However, the Department is not able to reproduce in an alternative format the standard forms included in the application package.

Application Procedures:

Note:

Some of the procedures in these instructions for transmitting electronic applications differ from those in the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR)(34 CFR 75.102). Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed regulations. However, these amendments make procedural changes only and do not establish new substantive policy. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C.553(b)(A), the Secretary has determined that proposed rulemaking is not required.

Pilot Project for Electronic Submission of Applications

In FY 2003, the U.S. Department of Education is continuing to expand its project of electronic submission of applications to include additional formula grant programs and additional discretionary grant competitions. The Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education (CFDA No. 84.116N) is one of the programs included in this project. If you are an applicant under the Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education, you may submit your application to us in either electronic or paper format.

The pilot project involves the use of the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) portion of the Grant Administration and Payment System (GAPS). Users of e-Application will be entering data on-line while completing their applications. You may not e-mail a soft copy of a grant application to us. If you participate in this voluntary pilot project by submitting an application electronically, the data you enter on-line will be saved into a database. We request your participation in e-Application. We shall continue to evaluate its success and solicit suggestions for improvement.

If you participate in this e-Application pilot, please note the following:

  • Your participation is voluntary.
  • You will not receive any additional point value or penalty because you submit a grant application in electronic or paper format, nor will we penalize you if you submit an application in paper format. When you enter the e-Application system, you will find information about its hours of operation.
  • You may submit all documents electronically, including the Title Page, (substitutes for the ED Form 424), Budget Summary Form (substitutes for the ED Form 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement, which will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to your application).
  • Within three working days of submitting your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the Title Page (replaces ED 424) to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

(1) Print the Title Page from the e-Application system.

(2) The institution's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.

(3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the Title Page.

(4) Fax the Title page to the Application Control Center at 202 260-1349 within three working days of submitting your electronic application.

  • We may request that you give us original signatures on all other forms at a later date.
  • Closing Date Extension in Case of System Unavailability: If you elect to participate in the e-Application pilot for the Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education and you are prevented from submitting your application on the closing dates because the e-Application system is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day in order to transmit your application electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery. For us to grant this extension—

(1) You must be a registered user of e-Application, and have initiated an e-Application for this competition; and

(2) (a) The e-Application system must be unavailable for 60 minutes or more between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the deadline date; or

(b) The e-Application system must be unavailable for any period of time during the last hour of operation (that is, for any period of time between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time) on the deadline date. The Department must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this extension you must contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or (2) the e-Grants help desk at 1-888-336-8930.

You may access the electronic grant application for the Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

We have included additional information about the e-Application pilot project (see Parity Guidelines between Paper and Electronic Start Printed Page 77244Applications) in the application package.

Note:

Due to the upgrading of software, we anticipate that the e-Application system will be unavailable for several days in mid-December.

The tentative schedule for this down time is from 7 p.m., December 12 until 6 a.m., December 16, Washington, DC time. Please check http://e-grants.ed.gov for any updates on the unavailability of the e-Application system.

Electronic Access to This Document

You may view this document, as well as all other Department of Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/​legislation/​FedRegister.

To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) toll free at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC area at 202 512-1530.

Note:

The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available on GPO Access at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/​nara/​index.html.

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Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1138-1138d.

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Dated: December 12, 2002.

Sally Stroup,

Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 02-31690 Filed 12-16-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4001-01-P