Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.
Advanced Placement Test Fee Program
Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2014.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.330B.
Applications Available: March 24, 2014.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 8, 2014.
Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 7, 2014.
Full Text of Announcement
I. Funding Opportunity Description
Purpose of Program: The Advanced Placement (AP) Test Fee program awards grants to eligible State educational agencies (SEAs) to enable them to pay all or a portion of advanced placement test fees on behalf of eligible low-income students who (1) are enrolled in an advanced placement course and (2) plan to take an advanced placement exam. The program is designed to increase the number of low-income students who take advanced placement tests and receive scores for which college academic credit is awarded.
Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administration Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR Parts 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Education Department suspension and debarment regulations in 2 CFR Part 3485.
II. Award Information
Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
Estimated Available Funds: $28,483,000.
Due to limited funds, the Department does not plan to make new or continuation awards under the Advanced Placement Incentive program in FY 2014.
Estimated Range of Awards: $13,235-$10,757,186.
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $662,395.
Estimated Number of Awards: 43.
The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.
Project Period: Up to 12 months.
III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs in any State, including the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the freely associated states of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau (subject to continued eligibility).
For the purposes of this program, the Bureau of Indian Education in the U.S. Department of the Interior is treated as an SEA.
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2. a. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.
b. Supplement-Not-Supplant: This program involves supplement-not-supplant funding requirements. Section 1706 of the ESEA requires that grant funds provided under the AP Test Fee program supplement, and not supplant, other non-Federal funds that are available to assist low-income individuals in paying for the cost of advanced placement test fees.
IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Address to Request Application Package: To obtain an application package via the Internet use the following address: www.ed.gov/programs/apfee/applicant.html.
To obtain an application package from the Department use the following address: Francisco Ramirez, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E224, Washington, DC 20202-6200. Telephone: (202) 260-1541 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), 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 accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) 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 for this program.
3. Submission Dates and Times:
Applications Available: March 24, 2014.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 8, 2014.
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. 7. Other Submission Requirements of 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 of 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: July 7, 2014.
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 of this notice.
6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department, you must—
a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;
c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.
You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one business day.
If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.
Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov. and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.
If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.
Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.
In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.
7. 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 AP Test Fee program, CFDA number 84.330B, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at 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 email 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 Start Printed Page 15977before 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 AP Test Fee program at 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 84.330, not 84.330B).
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 4:30:00 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 4:30:00 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 4:30:00 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 in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at http://www.G5.gov.
- 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: the 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.
- You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF 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 email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (a Department-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 4:30:00 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 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of 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 4:30:00 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.
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;
- 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 prevents 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: Francisco Ramirez, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E224, Washington, DC 20202-6200. FAX: (202) 260-8969.
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 Start Printed Page 15978may 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 following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.330B), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.
You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
(1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
(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.
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 84.330B), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 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. Review and Selection Process: The Department intends to fund, at some level, all applications that meet the requirements for Approval of Application as described in the application package for this program and that demonstrate need for new or additional funds to pay advanced placement exam fees on behalf of low-income students for school years 2013-14 and/or 2014-15.
For FY 2014, the Department expects to award approximately $28,483,000 in new grants under this program. Based on the anticipated number of applications and other available information, the Department expects this amount to be sufficient to pay (1) all but $18 of the cost of each advanced placement exam taken by low-income students in school year 2013-14; and (2) all but $18 of the cost of some of the advanced placement exams taken by low-income students in school year 2014-15. Accordingly, SEAs may use AP Test Fee program funds to cover a portion of the cost of each approved advanced placement exam taken by low-income students in school years 2013-14 and 2014-15 as follows: (a) up to $37 for each Advanced Placement test administered by the College Board; (b) up to $86 for each Diploma Programme test administered by the International Baccalaureate Organization; and (c) up to $39 for each Advanced Subsidiary test and up to $68 for each Advanced test administered by Cambridge International Examinations. To the extent that FY 2014 funds are insufficient to cover the cost of advanced placement exams taken by low-income students in school year 2014-15, contingent upon the availability of funds, the Department may award supplemental funds to existing grantees in FY 2015 to cover the cost of advanced placement exams taken by low-income students in school year 2014-15.
AP Test Fee program funds may not be used to pay advanced placement test candidate registration fees on behalf of low-income students. Therefore, the student registration fee charged by the International Baccalaureate Organization and the candidate fee charged by the Cambridge International Examinations are not allowable costs under this program.
Further information and instructions on how to request funds for school years 2013-14 and 2014-15 are included in the application package for this program.
Also, in determining whether to approve an application for a new award (including the amount of the award) from an applicant with a current grant under this program, the Department will consider the amount of any unexpended funds under the existing grant and the applicant's use of funds under previous AP Test Fee grant awards.
We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
2. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.
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); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.
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 Start Printed Page 15979specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.
3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 and section 1704(f) of the ESEA should you receive funding under the competition. The reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 do not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
(b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has developed five performance measures to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the AP Test Fee program: (1) The number of advanced placement tests taken by low-income public school students nationally; (2) The number of advanced placement tests taken by minority (Hispanic, Black, Native American) public school students nationally; (3) The percentage of advanced placement tests passed (for AP exams, scores of 3-5) by low-income public school students nationally; (4) The number of advanced placement tests passed (for AP exams, scores of 3-5) by low-income public school students nationally; and (5) The cost per passage of an advanced placement test taken by a low-income public school student. The information provided by grantees in their final performance reports will be one of the sources of data for the measures. Other sources of data include the College Board, IB Americas, and University of Cambridge International Examinations.
VII. Agency Contact
Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Francisco Ramirez, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E224, Washington, DC 20202-6200. Telephone: (202) 260-1541 or by email: email@example.com.
If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
VIII. Other Information
Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.
Electronic Access to This Document: 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 via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site 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). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.
You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.
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Dated: March 19, 2014.
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2014-06387 Filed 3-21-14; 8:45 am]
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