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Notice

Applications for Eligibility Designation; Programs under Parts A and F of Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), and Programs under Title V of the HEA

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AGENCY:

Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice.

Overview Information:

This notice applies to the following programs:

1. Programs authorized under Part A, Title III of the HEA: Strengthening Institutions Program (Part A SIP), Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions (Part A ANNH), Predominantly Black Institutions (Part A PBI), Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions (Part A NASNTI), and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (Part A AANAPISI).

2. Programs authorized under Part F, Title III of the HEA: Hispanic-Serving Institutions STEM and Articulation (Part F, HSI STEM and Articulation), Predominantly Black Institutions (Part F PBI), Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions (Part F ANNH), Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions (Part F NASNTI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (Part F AANAPISI).

3. Programs authorized under Title V of the HEA: Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) and Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (PPOHA). Notice inviting applications for designation as an eligible institution for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015.

DATES:

Application Available: November 3, 2014.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: December 18, 2014.

Special Note:

Section 312 of the HEA and 34 CFR 607.2-607.5 include most of the basic eligibility requirements for grant programs authorized under Titles III and V of the HEA. Section 312(b)(1)(B) of the HEA provides that, to be eligible for these programs, an institution of higher education's average “educational and general expenditures” (E&G) per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student must be less than the average E&G expenditures per FTE undergraduate student of institutions that offer similar instruction in that year. 34 CFR 607.4(a). Since 2004, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has calculated core expenses (Core Expenses) per FTE of postsecondary institutions, a statistic similar to E&G per FTE. Both E&G per FTE and Core Expenses per FTE are based on regular operational expenditures of postsecondary institutions (excluding auxiliary enterprises, independent operations, and hospital expenses). They differ only in that E&G per FTE is based on fall undergraduate enrollment, while Core Expenses per FTE is based on 12-month undergraduate enrollment for the academic year. To avoid inconsistency in the data submitted to and produced by the Department, for the purpose of section 312(b)(1)(B) of the HEA, E&G per FTE will now be calculated using the same methodology as Core Expenses per FTE. Accordingly, with regard to this and future notices inviting applications, to calculate E&G per FTE for the purpose of determining institutional eligibility for programs under Part A and Part F of Title III and Title V of the HEA, the Department will apply the NCES methodology for calculating Core Expenses per FTE. Institutions applying for eligibility must use the Core Expenses per FTE data reported to NCES's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) for the most currently available academic year, in this case 2012-2013.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Programs:

The Part A SIP, Part A ANNH, Part A PBI, Part A NASNTI, and Part A AANAPISI programs are authorized under Title III, Part A, of the HEA. The HSI and PPOHA programs are authorized under Title V of the HEA. The Part F, HSI STEM and Articulation, Part F PBI, Part F AANAPISI, Part F ANNH, and Part F NASNTI programs are authorized under Title III, Part F of the HEA. Please note that certain programs in this notice have the same or a similar name as another program that falls under a different statutory authority. For this reason, we specify the statutory authority as part of the acronym for certain programs.

Under the programs discussed above, institutions of higher education (“IHEs” or “institutions”) are eligible to apply for grants if they meet specific statutory and regulatory eligibility requirements. An IHE that submits an application and is designated as an eligible institution may also receive a waiver of certain non-Federal cost-sharing requirements for one year under the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) program authorized by Part A, Title IV of the HEA and the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) program authorized by section 443 of the HEA. Qualified institutions may receive the FWS and FSEOG waivers for one year even if they do not receive a grant under the Title III or Title V Programs. An applicant that receives a grant from the Student Support Services (SSS) program that is authorized under section 402D of the HEA, 20 U.S.C. 1070a-14, may receive a waiver of the required non-Federal share for institutions for the duration of the grant. An applicant that receives a grant from the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) program that is authorized under section 604 of the HEA, 20 U.S.C. 1124, may receive a waiver or reduction of the required non-Federal share for institutions for the duration of the grant.

Special Note:

To qualify as an eligible institution under the grant programs listed in this notice, your institution must satisfy several criteria. For most of these programs, these criteria include those that relate to the enrollment of needy students and to Core Expenses per FTE for a specified base year. The most recent data available for Core Expenses per FTE are for base year 2012-2013. In order to award FY 2015 grants in a timely manner, we will use this data to evaluate eligibility. Therefore, in completing your eligibility application, please use Core Expenses per FTE reported to IPEDS for academic year 2012-2013.

Accordingly, all institutions interested in applying for a new grant under the Title III or Title V programs addressed in this notice or in requesting a waiver of the non-Federal cost share, must apply for eligibility designation for FY 2015. Under the HEA, any IHE interested in applying for a grant under any of these programs must first be designated as an eligible institution. (34 CFR 606.5 and 607.5).

Eligible Applicants:

The eligibility requirements for the programs authorized under Part A of Title III of the HEA are in Sections 312 and 317-320 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1058, 1059d-1059g) and in the Department's implementing regulations at 34 CFR 607.2 through 607.5. The regulations may be accessed at: Start Printed Page 65198 www.gpo.gov/​fdsys/​pkg/​CFR-2001-title34-vol3/​xml/​CFR-2001-title34-vol3-part607.xml.

The eligibility requirements for the programs authorized by Part F of Title III of the HEA are in Section 371 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1067q). We are developing regulations for these programs; there are currently no specific program regulations.

The eligibility requirements for the Title V HSI Program are in Part A of Title V of the HEA and in 34 CFR 606.2 through 34 CFR 606.5. The regulations may be accessed at: www.gpo.gov/​fdsys/​pkg/​CFR-2001-title34-vol3/​xml/​CFR-2001-title34-vol3-part606.xml.

The requirements for the PPOHA Program are in Part B of Title V of the HEA and in the notice of final requirements published in the Federal Register on July 27, 2010 (75 FR 44055), and in 34 CFR 606.2(a) and (b), and 606.3 through 606.5.

Enrollment of Needy Students: For the Title III, Part A SIP; Part A ANNH; Part A NASNTI; Part A AANAPISI Part A PBI; Title III, Part F HSI STEM and Articulation; Part F AANAPISI; Part F NASNTI; Part F ANNH; Part F PBI; HSI and PPOHA programs, an institution is considered to have an enrollment of needy students if: (1) At least 50 percent of its degree students received financial assistance under: The Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG, FWS, or the Federal Perkins Loan Programs; or (2) the percentage of its undergraduate degree students who were enrolled on at least a half-time basis and received Federal Pell Grants exceeded the median percentage of undergraduate degree students who were enrolled on at least a half-time basis and received Federal Pell Grants at comparable institutions that offer similar instruction.

To qualify under this latter criterion, an institution's Federal Pell Grant percentage for base year 2012-2013 must be more than the median for its category of comparable institutions provided in the 2012-2013 Median Pell Grant and Core Expenses per FTE Student Table in this notice.

For the definition of “Enrollment of Needy Students” for purposes of the Part A PBI Program, see section 318(b)(2) of the HEA, and for purposes of the Part F PBI program see section 371(c)(9)of the HEA.

Core Expenses Per FTE Student: For the Title III, Part A SIP; Part A ANNH; Part A PBI; Part A NASNTI; Part A AANAPISI; Title III, Part F HSI STEM and Articulation; Part F PBI; Part F AANAPISI; Part F ANNH; Part F NASNTI; HSI and PPOHA programs, an institution should compare its base year 2012-2013 Core Expenses per FTE student to the average Core Expenses per FTE student for its category of comparable institutions in the base year 2012-2013 Median Pell Grant and Average Core Expenses per FTE Student Table in this notice. The institution meets this eligibility requirement under these programs if its Core Expenses for the 2012-2013 base year are less than the average for its category of comparable institutions.

Core Expenses are defined as the total expenses for the essential education activities of the institution. Core Expenses for public institutions reporting under the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) standards include expenses for instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, operation and maintenance of plant, depreciation, scholarships and fellowships, interest and other operating and nonoperating expenses. Core Expenses for institutions reporting under the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) standards (primarily private, not-for-profit and for-profit) include expenses for instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, net grant aid to students, and other expenses. For both FASB and GASB institutions, core expenses exclude expenses for auxiliary enterprises (e.g., bookstores, dormitories), hospitals, and independent operations. The following table identifies the relevant median Federal Pell Grant percentages for the base year 2012-2013 and the relevant Core Expenses per FTE student for the base year 2012-2013 for the four categories of comparable institutions:

Type of institutionBase year 2012-2013 median pell grant percentageBase year 2012-2013 average core expenses per FTE student
Two-year Public Institutions34.7$11,287
Two-year Non-profit Private Institutions3813,657
Four-year Public Institutions4527,608
Four-year Non-profit Private Institutions4434,361

Waiver Information: IHEs that are unable to meet the needy student enrollment requirement or the Core Expenses per FTE requirement may apply to the Secretary for waivers of these requirements, as described in sections 392 and 522 of the HEA, and the implementing regulations at 34 CFR 606.3(b), 606.4(c) and (d), 607.3(b), and 607.4(c) and (d).

IHEs requesting a waiver of the needy student enrollment requirement or the Core Expenses per FTE requirement must include in their application detailed information supporting the waiver request, as described in the instructions for completing the application.

The regulations governing the Secretary's authority to waive the needy student requirement, 34 CFR 606.3(b)(2) and (3) and 607.3(b)(2) and (3), refer to “low-income” students or families. The regulations at 34 CFR 606.3(c) and 607.3(c) define “low-income” as an amount that does not exceed 150 percent of the amount equal to the poverty level, as established by the U.S. Census Bureau.

For the purposes of this waiver provision, the following table sets forth the low-income levels for the various sizes of families:Start Printed Page 65199

2012 Annual Low-Income Levels

Size of family unitFamily income for the 48 contiguous States, DC, and outlying jurisdictionsFamily income for AlaskaFamily income for Hawaii
1$16,755$20,955$19,290
222,69528,38026,115
328,63535,80532,940
434,57543,23039,765
540,51550,65546,590
646,45558,08053,415
752,39565,50560,240
858,33572,93067,065

Note:

We use the 2012 annual low-income levels because those are the amounts that apply to the family income reported by students enrolled for the fall 2012 semester. For family units with more than eight members, add the following amount for each additional family member: $5,940 for the contiguous 48 States, the District of Columbia, and outlying jurisdictions; $7,425 for Alaska; and $6,825 for Hawaii.

The figures shown under family income represent amounts equal to 150 percent of the family income levels established by the U.S. Census Bureau for determining poverty status. The poverty guidelines were published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Federal Register on January 26, 2012 (77 FR 4034).

The information about “metropolitan statistical areas” referenced in 34 CFR 606.3(b)(4) and 607.3(b)(4) may be obtained at: www.census.gov/​prod/​2010pubs/​10smadb/​appendixc.pdf and www.census.gov/​prod/​2008pubs/​07ccdb/​appd.pdf.

Electronic Submission of Applications:

Applications for designation of eligibility must be submitted electronically at: http://opeweb.ed.gov/​title3and5/​.

To enter the Web site, you must use your institution's unique 8-digit identifier, i.e., your Office of Postsecondary Education Identification Number (OPE ID Number). Your business office or student financial aid office should have the OPE ID Number. If not, contact the Department using the email addresses of the contact persons listed in this notice under For Applications and Further Information Contact. You will find detailed instructions for completing the application form electronically under the “Eligibility” link at: http://www2.ed.gov/​about/​offices/​list/​ope/​idues/​eligibility.html.

If your institution is unable to meet the needy student enrollment requirement or the Core Expenses requirement, you may request a waiver of one or both of these requirements. To request a waiver, you must upload a waiver narrative at: http://opeweb.ed.gov/​title3and5/​.

Exception to the 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 electronically because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload documents to the Web site;

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 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.

Mail or fax your statement to: Nancy Regan, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6032, Washington, DC 20006-8513. Fax: (202) 502-7861.

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

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 following address: Nancy Regan, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6032, Washington, DC 20006-8513.

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.

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.

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 application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: Nancy Regan, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6032, Washington, DC 20006-8513.

Hand delivered applications will be accepted daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

Applicable Regulations: This notice inviting applications (NIA) is being published before the Department adopts the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements in 2 CFR part 200. We expect to publish interim final Start Printed Page 65200regulations that would adopt those requirements before December 26, 2014, and make those regulations effective on that date. Because grants in the programs to which this separate application process applies will likely be made after the Department adopts the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, we list as applicable regulations both those that are currently effective and those that will be effective at the time the Department makes grants.

The current regulations follow: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485.

At the time we award grants under this NIA, the following regulations will apply: (a) EDGAR in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485 and the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted in 2 CFR part 3474.

Regardless of the timing of the publication of the interim final regulations, the following also will apply to this NIA: (a) The regulations for the Title III Programs in 34 CFR part 607, and for the HSI Program in 34 CFR part 606. (b) The notice of final requirements for the PPOHA Program, published in the Federal Register on July 27, 2010 (75 FR 44055).

Note:

There are no program-specific regulations for the Part A AANAPISI, Part A NASNTI, and Part A PBI programs or any of the Part F, Title III programs. Also, there have been amendments to the HEA since the Department last issued regulations for the programs established under Titles III and V of the statute. Accordingly, we encourage each potential applicant to read the applicable sections of the HEA in order to fully understand the eligibility requirements for the program for which they are applying. Please note that the Department is in the process of amending the Title III and Title V regulations. These updated regulations will include regulations for Part A AANAPISI, Part A NASNTI, and Part A PBI programs, as well as the Part F, Title III programs.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.

For Applications and Further Information Contact: Robyn Wood or Jeffrey Hartman, Institutional Service, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6134, Request for Eligibility Designation, Washington, DC 20006-8513.

You can contact these individuals at the following email addresses or phone numbers: Robyn.Wood@ed.gov, 202-502-7437, Jeffrey.Hartman@ed.gov, 202-502-7607.

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 this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audio tape, or compact disc) on request to one of the contact persons listed in this section.

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: October 29, 2014.

Lynn B. Mahaffie,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 2014-26075 Filed 10-31-14; 8:45 am]

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