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Office of Postsecondary Education; Overview Information Predominantly Black Institutions Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.382A.

DATES: Applications Available: May 13, 2008.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 27, 2008.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 26, 2008.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Program is to strengthen predominantly Black institutions to carry out programs in the following areas: Science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM); health education; internationalization or globalization; teacher preparation; or improving educational outcomes of African-American males.

Program Authority: Title IV, Part J, Section 499A of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) of 2007.

Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $15,000,000.

Estimated Size of Awards: $600,000 per year.

Estimated Number of Awards: 25.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 24 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: An institution of higher education that—

(A) Has an enrollment of needy students as defined by the CCRAA of 2007. The term enrollment of needy students means the enrollment at an institution of higher education with respect to which not less than 50 percent of the undergraduate students enrolled in an academic program leading to a degree—

(a) In the second fiscal year preceding the fiscal year for which the determination is made, were Federal Pell Grant recipients for such year;

(b) Come from families that receive benefits under a means-tested Federal benefit program (as defined in paragraph (5));

(c) Attended a public or nonprofit private secondary school—

(i) That is in the school district of a local educational agency that was eligible for assistance under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 for any year during which the student attended such secondary school; and

(ii) Which for the purpose of this paragraph and for that year was determined by the Secretary (pursuant to regulations and after consultation with the State educational agency of the State in which the school is located) to be a school in which the enrollment of children counted under a measure of poverty described in section 1113(a)(5) of such Act exceeds 30 percent of the total enrollment of such school; or

(d) Are first-generation college students (as that term is defined in section 402A(g)), and a majority of such first-generation college students are low-income individuals. The term low-income individual has the meaning given such term in section 402A(g).

(B) Has an average educational and general expenditure which is low, per full-time equivalent undergraduate student in comparison with the average educational and general expenditure per full-time equivalent undergraduate student of institutions of higher education that offer similar instruction. The Secretary may waive this requirement, in accordance with section 392(b) of the HEA in the same manner as the Secretary applies the waiver requirements to grant applicants under section 312(b)(1)(B) of the HEA;

(C) Has an enrollment of undergraduate students—

i. That is at least 40 percent Black American students;

ii. That is at least 1,000 undergraduate students;

iii. Of which not less than 50 percent of the undergraduate students enrolled at the institution are low-income individuals or first-generation college students (as that term is defined in section 402A(g); The term first generation college student means—(A) an individual both of whose parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree; or (B) in the case of any individual who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, an individual whose only such parent did not complete a baccalaureate degree; and

iv. Of which not less than 50 percent of the undergraduate students are enrolled in an educational program leading to a bachelor's or associate's degree that the institution is licensed to award by the State in which the institution is located;

(D) Is legally authorized to provide, and provides within the State, an educational program for which the institution of higher education awards bachelor's degree, or in the case of a junior or community college, an associate's degree;

(E) Is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered, or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation; and

(F) Is not receiving assistance under Part B of Title III of the HEA, as amended by the CCRAA of 2007.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Karen W. Johnson, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6032, Washington, DC 20006-8515. Telephone: (202) 502-7777 or by e-mail: karen.johnson@ed.gov or Bernadette Miles, U.S. Department of Start Printed Page 27524Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6047, Washington, DC 20006-8515. Telephone: (202) 502-7616 or by e-mail: bernadette.miles@ed.gov.

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

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the program contact person listed in this section.

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 and instructions for this program. Page Limit: The program narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the section of the narrative that addresses the selection criteria to the equivalent of no more than 30 pages, using the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. Page numbers and an identifier may be outside of the 1″ margin.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions. Charts, tables, figures, and graphs in the application narrative may be single spaced and will count toward the page limit.
  • Use a font that is either 12-point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). However, you may use a 10-point font in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New or Arial. Applications submitted in any other font (including Times Roman and Arial Narrow) will be rejected.
  • The page limit does not apply to Part I, the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF-424 form (SF-424); Part II, the Budget Information Non-Construction Programs form (ED 524); and Part IV, the Assurances and Certifications. The page limit also does not apply to a table of contents. If you include any attachments or appendices not specifically requested, these items will be counted as part of the program narrative (Part III) for purposes of the page limit requirement. You must include your complete response to the selection criteria in the program narrative.

We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit or if you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: May 13, 2008.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 27, 2008.

Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 6. Other Submission Requirements in this notice.

We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 26, 2008.

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 reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice.

6. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

Applications for grants under the Predominantly Black Institutions Program, CFDA Number 84.382A, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at http://www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

You may access the electronic grant application for the Predominantly Black Institutions program at http://www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.382, not 84.382A).

Please note the following:

  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
  • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
  • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
  • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this program to ensure that you submit your application Start Printed Page 27525in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov at http://e-Grants.ed.gov/​help/​GrantsgovSubmissionProcedures.pdf.
  • To submit your application via Grants.gov, you must complete all steps in the Grants.gov registration process (see http://www.grants.gov/​applicants/​get_​registered.jsp). These steps include (1) Registering your organization, a multi-part process that includes registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR); (2) registering yourself as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (3) getting authorized as an AOR by your organization. Details on these steps are outlined in the Grants.gov 3-Step Registration Guide (see http://www.grants.gov/​section910/​Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf). You also must provide on your application the same D-U-N-S number used with this registration. Please note that the registration process may take five or more business days to complete, and you must have completed all registration steps to allow you to submit successfully an application via Grants.gov. In addition you will need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take three or more business days to complete.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF-424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications. Please note that two of these forms—the SF 424 and the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424—have replaced the ED 424 (Application for Federal Education Assistance).
  • You must attach any narrative sections of your application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the three file types specified in this paragraph or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an Ed-specified identifying number unique to your application).
  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice. If you submit an application after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact either of the persons listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

Note:

The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; and
  • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.

If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

Address and mail or fax your statement to: Karen W. Johnson, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6032, Washington, DC 20006-8515, FAX: (202) 502-7861.

Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the applicable following address:

By mail through the U.S. Postal Service: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.382A), 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260; or

By mail through a commercial carrier: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Stop 4260, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.382A), 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785-1506.

Regardless of which address you use, you must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

(1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark. Start Printed Page 27526

(2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

(3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

(4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

(1) A private metered postmark.

(2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

Note:

The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.382A), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

(1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

(2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 75.209(a) and 75.210, and are as follows—

Need for the project (20 points);

Quality of the project design (15 points);

Quality of project services (15 points);

Quality of project personnel (10 points);

Adequacy of resources (5 points);

Quality of the management plan (20 points);

Quality of project evaluation (15 points).

Additional information regarding these criteria is in the application package for this competition.

2. Review and Selection Process: Applicants must provide, as an attachment to the application, the documentation the institution relied upon to determine that at least 40 percent of the institution's undergraduate full-time equivalent (FTE) students are Black American students.

Note:

The 40 percent requirement applies only to undergraduate Black American students and is calculated based upon FTE students. Instructions for formatting and submitting the verification documentation to Grants.gov are in the application package for this competition.

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 notify you informally, also.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we will 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 in this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section in 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 directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. Grantees are required to use the electronic data instrument Caliber Annual Performance Reporting System to complete the final report. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures: The Secretary has established the following key performance measures for assessing the effectiveness of the Predominantly Black Institutions program:

(1) The number of full-time degree-seeking undergraduates enrolling at Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI).

(2) The increase in the persistence rate for students enrolled at PBIs.

VII. Agency Contact

For Further Information Contact: Karen W. Johnson, Institutional Development and Undergraduate Education Service, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6032, Washington, DC 20006-8515. Telephone: (202) 502-7777 or by e-mail: karen.johnson@ed.gov or Bernadette D. Miles, Institutional Development and Undergraduate Education Service, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6047, Washington, DC 20006-8515. Telephone: (202) 502-7616 or by e-mail: bernadette.miles@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

Alternative Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this notice.

Electronic Access to This Document: You can 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.

Start Signature

Dated: May 8, 2008.

Diane Auer Jones,

Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. E8-10680 Filed 5-12-08; 8:45 am]

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