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Notice

Office of Postsecondary Education; Overview Information; Strengthening Institutions, American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Numbers: 84.031A, 84.031T, 84.031N and 84.031W.

Dates:

Applications Available: January 16, 2004.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: February 27, 2004.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: April 27, 2004.

Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education that qualify as eligible institutions under the Strengthening Institutions (SIP), American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCU), and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions (ANNH) Programs may apply for grants under this notice. These programs are known collectively as the Title III, Part A Programs. To qualify as an eligible institution under any Title III, Part A Program, an institution must, among other requirements, be accredited or preaccredited, have a high enrollment of needy students, and have Educational and General (E&G) expenditures per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student that are low in comparison with the average E&G expenditures per FTE undergraduate student of institutions that offer similar instruction. The eligibility requirements are set forth in a Notice Inviting Applications for Designation as Eligible Institutions for Fiscal Year 2004 that was published in the Federal Register on December 9, 2003 (68 FR 68614) and in program regulations contained in 34 CFR 607.2 through 607.5. The regulations may be accessed by visiting the following Department of Education Web site: http://www.ed.gov/​news/​fedregister.

Relationship Between Title III, Part A and Hispanic Serving Institution Programs

Notes:

1. A grantee under the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program, authorized under Title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), may not receive a grant under any Title III, Part A Program. Further, a current Developing HSI Program grantee may not give up its grant under the Developing HSI Program in order to receive a grant under any Title III, Part A Program.

2. An institution that does not fall within the limitation described in Note 1 may apply for a FY 2004 grant under all Title III, Part A Programs for which it is eligible, as well as under the Developing HSI Program. However, a successful applicant may receive only one grant.

Estimated Available Funds: Although Congress has not enacted a final appropriation for FY 2004, the Department is inviting applications for this competition now so that it may be prepared to make awards following final action on the Department's appropriations bill. Based on the Congressional action to date, we estimate $5.0 million for new awards under the ANNH Program, $15.541 million for new awards under the TCCU Program and $20.023 million for new awards under the SIP.

For specific funding information, see the chart in the Award Information section of this notice.

Estimated Range of Awards: See chart.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: See chart.

Estimated Number of Awards: See chart.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Applicants should periodically check the Title III, Part A Web Start Printed Page 2703site for further information on these programs. The address is: http://www.ed.gov/​programs/​iduestitle3a/​index.html.

Project Period: 60 months for individual development grants, 60 months for cooperative arrangement grants, 12 months for planning grants and 12 months for construction grants.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The SIP, TCCU, and ANNH Programs are all authorized under Title III, Part A of the HEA. Each provides grants to eligible institutions of higher education to enable them to improve their academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability, and increase their self-sufficiency.

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1057-1059d.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 607.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: Although Congress has not enacted a final appropriation for FY 2004, the Department is inviting applications for this competition now so that it may be prepared to make awards following final action on the Department's appropriations bill. Based on the Congressional action to date we estimate $5.0 million for new awards under the ANNH Program, $15.541 million for new awards under the TCCU Program and $20.023 million for new awards under the SIP.

Estimated Range of Awards: See chart.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: See chart.

Estimated Number of Awards: See chart.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Applicants should periodically check the Title III, Part A Web site for further information on these programs. The address is: http://www.ed.gov/​programs/​iduestitle3a/​index.html.

Project Period: 60 months for individual development grants, 60 months for cooperative arrangement grants, 12 months for planning grants and 12 months for construction grants.

III. Eligibility Information

Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education that qualify as eligible institutions under the SIP, TCCU, and ANNH programs may apply for grants under this notice. These programs are known collectively as the Title III, Part A Programs. To qualify as an eligible institution under any Title III, Part A Program, an institution must, among other requirements, be accredited or preaccredited, have a high enrollment of needy students, and have E&G expenditures per FTE undergraduate student that are low in comparison with the average E&G expenditures per FTE undergraduate student of institutions that offer similar instruction. The eligibility requirements are set forth in a Notice Inviting Applications for Designation as Eligible Institutions for Start Printed Page 2704Fiscal Year 2004 that was published in the Federal Register on December 9, 2003 (68 FR 68614), and in program regulations contained in 34 CFR 607.2 through 607.5. The regulations may be accessed by visiting the following Department of Education Web site: http://www.ed.gov/​news/​fedregister.

Notes:

1. A grantee under the Developing HSI Program, authorized under Title V of the HEA, may not receive a grant under any Title III, Part A Program. Further, a current Developing HSI Program grantee may not give up its grant under the Developing HSI Program in order to receive a grant under any Title III, Part A Program.

2. An institution that does not fall within the limitation described in Note 1 may apply for a FY 2004 grant under all Title III, Part A Programs for which it is eligible, as well as under the Developing HSI Program. However, a successful applicant may receive only one grant.

1. Cost Sharing or Matching: There are no cost sharing or matching requirements in any Title III, Part A Programs unless a grantee under the SIP or TCCU Program uses a portion of its grant for establishing or improving an endowment fund. If it does, it must match with non-Federal funds the amount of grant funds used for this purpose. 20 U.S.C. 1057(d)(2) and 1059c (c)(3)(B).

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Louis J. Venuto, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20006-8513. Telephone: (202) 502-7777 or via Internet: Louis.Venuto@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.

Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the contact person listed in this section. However, the Department is not able to reproduce in an alternative format the standard forms included in the application package.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program.

Page Limit: We have established mandatory page limits for the applications to be submitted under this notice. You must limit your entire application to the equivalent of no more than 80 pages for an individual development grant under the SIP; 80 pages for an individual development grant under ANNH; 80 pages for an individual development grant and a construction and renovation grant under the TCCU Program; 100 pages for the cooperative arrangement development grant under the Title III, Part A Programs and 30 pages for the planning grant under the Title III, Part A Programs, 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 and headings. You may single space abstracts, footnotes, quotations, references, captions, tables and forms (including the ED Forms), however, you must still use font size 12.
  • Use a font that is either 12-point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). The page limit applies to all parts of the application.

We will reject your application if—

  • You apply these standards and exceed the page limit; or
  • You apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: January 16, 2004.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: February 27, 2004.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: April 27, 2004.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.

5. Funding Restrictions: We specify unallowable costs in 34 CFR 607.10. We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

6. Other Submission Requirements: Instructions and requirements for the transmittal of applications by mail or by hand (including a courier service or commercial carrier) are in the application package for this program.

Application Procedures: The Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-277) and the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 106-107) encourage us to undertake initiatives to improve our grant processes. Enhancing the ability of individuals and entities to conduct business with us electronically is a major part of our response to these Acts. Therefore, we are taking steps to adopt the Internet as our chief means of conducting transactions in order to improve services to our customers and to simplify and expedite our business processes.

Some of the procedures in these instructions for transmitting 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.

We are requiring that applications for grants for FY 2004 under Title III, Part A Programs—CFDA Numbers 84.031A, 84.031N, 84.031T and 84.031W be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) available through the Department's e-GRANTS system. The e-GRANTS system is accessible through its portal page at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

If you are unable to submit an application through the e-GRANTS system, you may submit a written request for a waiver of the electronic submission requirement. In your request, you should explain the reason or reasons that prevent you from using the Internet to submit the application. Address your request to: Louis J. Venuto, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K. Street, NW., 6th Floor, room 6071, Washington, DC 20006-8513. Please submit your request no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

If, within two weeks of the application deadline date, you are unable to submit an application electronically, you must submit a paper application by the application deadline date in accordance with the transmittal instructions in the application package. The paper application must include a written request for a waiver documenting the reasons that prevented you from using the Internet to submit your application.

Pilot Project for Electronic Submission of Applications

We are continuing to expand our pilot project for electronic submission of applications to include additional formula grant programs and additional discretionary grant competitions. The Title III, Part A Programs—CFDA Start Printed Page 2705Numbers 84.031A, 84.031N, 84.031T, and 84.031W are included in the pilot project. If you are an applicant under Title III, Part A Programs, you must submit your application to us in electronic format or receive a waiver.

The pilot project involves the use of e-Application. If you use e-Application, you will be entering data online while completing your application. You may not e-mail a soft copy of a grant application to us. The data you enter online will be saved into a database. We shall continue to evaluate the success of e-Application and solicit suggestions for its improvement.

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

  • When you enter the e-Application system, you will find information about its hours of operation. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to initiate an e-Application package.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit a grant application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you submit an application in paper format.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424), Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524, and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • Your e-Application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • 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 after submitting your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424) to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

1. Print ED 424 from e-Application.

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

3. Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the hard copy signature page of the ED 424.

4. Fax the signed ED 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 260-1349.

  • We may request that you give us original signatures on other forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of System Unavailability: If you are prevented from submitting your application on the application deadline date 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. We will grant this extension if—

1. You are a registered user of e-Application and you 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 application 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 application deadline date.

We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to confirm our acknowledgement of any system unavailability, you may contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT (see VII. Agency Contact) or (2) the e-GRANTS help desk at 1-888-336-8930.

You may access the electronic grant application for Title III, Part A Programs at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for these programs are in 34 CFR 607.21 and 607.22.

2. Review and Selection Process: Additional factors we consider in selecting an application for an award are the tie-breaking situations described in 34 CFR 607.23. The Title III, Part A Program regulations require that we award one additional point to an application from an institution of higher education (IHE) that has an endowment fund for which the 2000-2001 market value per FTE student was less than the comparable average per FTE student at a similar type IHE. We also award one additional point to an application from an IHE that had expenditures for library materials in 2000-2001 per FTE student that were less than the comparable average per FTE student at a similar type IHE.

For the purpose of these funding considerations, an applicant must demonstrate that the market value of its endowment fund per FTE student and library expenditures per FTE student, were less than the average expenditure per FTE student when calculated using the data submitted by applicants for the year 2000-2001.

If a tie remains, after applying the additional point(s) we will determine the ranking of applicants based on the lowest combined library expenditures per FTE student and endowment values per FTE student.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN). We may also notify you informally.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

3. Reporting: At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as specified by the Secretary in 34 CFR 75.118 and 607.31.

4. Performance Measures: The Secretary has established the following key performance measures for assessing the effectiveness of the Title III, Part A Programs: (1) The percentage of Title III, Part A project goals relating to the improvement of academic quality that are met or exceeded will increase or be maintained over time. (2) The percentage of Title III, Part A goals relating to the improvement of student services and student outcomes that are met or exceeded will increase or be maintained over time. (3) The percentage of Title III, Part A project goals relating to the improvement of institutional management and fiscal stability that are met or exceeded will increase or be maintained over time.

VII. Agency Contact

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Louis J. Venuto, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20006-8513. Telephone: (202) 502-7777 or by email: Louis.Venuto@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call Start Printed Page 2706the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.

Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact person listed in this section.

VIII. Other Information

Electronic Access to This Document: You may view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/​news/​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.gpoaccess.gov/​nara/​index.html.

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Dated: January 14, 2004.

Sally L. Stroup,

Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 04-1139 Filed 1-14-04; 3:00 pm]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P