Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education
Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.031S.
Applications Available: March 20, 2015.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 19, 2015.
Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 20, 2015.
Full Text of Announcement
I. Funding Opportunity Description
Purpose of Program: The HSI Program provides grants to assist HSIs to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of, Hispanic students. HSI Program grants also enable HSIs to expand and enhance the academic offerings, program quality, and institutional stability of colleges and universities that are educating the majority of Hispanic college students and help large numbers of Hispanic students and other low-income individuals complete postsecondary degrees.
Background: In 2008, the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) was amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA). The HEOA made a number of changes to the HSI Program; however the regulations for the HSI Program in 34 CFR part 606 have not yet been updated to reflect these changes. Therefore, we encourage applicants to carefully read this notice, which references the statutory provisions where the corresponding regulatory provisions for this program have not been updated.Start Printed Page 14975
For example, section 501 of the HEOA amended section 503(b) of the HEA to include, among the authorized activities under the HSI Program—
(1) Activities to improve student services, including innovative and customized instruction courses designed to help retain students and move the students into core courses;
(2) Articulation agreements and student support programs designed to facilitate the transfer of students from two-year to four-year institutions; and
(3) Providing education, counseling services, or financial information designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of students or their families.
The list of authorized activities in section 503(b) of the HEA was also amended to use the term “distance education technologies” in place of “distance learning academic instruction capabilities.” Therefore, notwithstanding the description of authorized activities in 34 CFR 606.10, applicants may include these activities in their proposals under this competition.
We encourage applicants to read carefully the Selection Criteria section of this notice. Consistent with the Department's increasing emphasis in recent years on promoting evidence-based practices through our grant competitions, the Secretary will evaluate applications on the extent to which the proposed project is supported by a logic model that meets the evidence standard of “strong theory” (as defined in this notice). Resources to assist applicants in creating a logic model can be found here: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/pacific/pdf/REL_2014007.pdf.
Priorities: This notice contains one absolute priority and two competitive preference priorities. The absolute priority is from the Department's notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs (Supplemental Priorities), published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 73425). Competitive Preference Priority 1 is from section 503(b)(5) of the HEA. Competitive Preference Priority 2 is from the Supplemental Priorities.
Absolute Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.
This priority is:
Projects that are designed to increase the number and proportion of high-need students (as defined in this notice) who are academically prepared for, enroll in, or complete on time college, other postsecondary education, or other career and technical education.
Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an application up to two additional points for each priority, for a total of up to four additional points, depending on how well the application meets each of these competitive preference priorities.
These priorities are:
Competitive Preference Priority 1 (Up to 2 Additional Points)
Tutoring, counseling, and student service programs designed to improve academic success, including innovative and customized instruction courses (which may include remedial education and English language instruction) designed to help retain students and move the students rapidly into core courses and through program completion.
Competitive Preference Priority 2 (Up to 2 Additional Points)
Projects that are designed to support the development and implementation of high-quality online or hybrid credit-bearing and accessible learning opportunities that reduce the cost of higher education, reduce time to degree completion, or allow students to progress at their own pace.
Definitions: The following definitions are from the Supplemental Priorities and from 34 CFR 77.1 and apply to the priorities and selection criteria in this notice:
High-minority school means a school as that term is defined by a local educational agency (LEA), which must define the term in a manner consistent with its State's Teacher Equity Plan, as required by section 1111(b)(8)(C) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. The applicant must provide the definition(s) of high-minority schools used in its application.
High-need students means students who are at risk of educational failure or otherwise in need of special assistance and support, such as students who are living in poverty, who attend high-minority schools, who are far below grade level, who have left school before receiving a regular high school diploma, who are at risk of not graduating with a diploma on time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who have been incarcerated, who have disabilities, or who are English learners.
Logic model (also referred to as theory of action) means a well-specified conceptual framework that identifies key components of the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice (i.e., the active “ingredients” that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the relationships among the key components and outcomes, theoretically and operationally.
In developing logic models, applicants may want to use resources such as the Pacific Education Laboratory's Education Logic Model Application (www.relpacific.mcrel.org/PERR.html or http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED544779.pdf) to help design their logic models.
Regular high school diploma means the standard high school diploma that is awarded to students in the State and that is fully aligned with the State's academic content standards or a higher diploma and does not include a General Education Development credential, certificate of attendance, or any alternative award.
Strong theory means a rationale for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice that includes a logic model.
Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations 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 and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 606. (e) The Supplemental Priorities.
II. Award Information
Type of Award: Discretionary grants—Individual Development Grants and Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants. Planning grants will not be awarded in FY 2015.
Estimated Available Funds: $52,287,473.
Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2016 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.
Estimated Range of Awards: $500,000-$650,000.
Estimated Average Size of Awards:
Individual Development Grants: $513,000.Start Printed Page 14976
Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants: $637,000.
Individual Development Grants: $525,000.
Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants: $650,000.
We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding these maximum amounts for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.
Estimated Number of Awards:
Individual Development Grants: 56.
Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants: 31.
The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.
Project Period: Up to 60 months.
III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants: (a) IHEs that qualify as eligible HSIs are eligible to apply for new Individual Development Grants and Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants under the HSI Program. To be an eligible HSI, an IHE must—
(i) Have an enrollment of needy students, as defined in section 502(b) of the HEA (section 502(a)(2)(A)(i) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1101a(a)(2)(A)(i));
(ii) Have, except as provided in section 522(b) of the HEA, average educational and general expenditures that are low, per full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate student, in comparison with the average educational and general expenditures per FTE undergraduate student of institutions that offer similar instruction (section 502(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1101a(a)(2)(A)(ii));
To demonstrate an enrollment of needy students and low average educational and general expenditures per FTE undergraduate student, an IHE must be designated as an “eligible institution” in accordance with 34 CFR 606.3 through 606.5 and the notice inviting applications for designation as an eligible institution for the fiscal year for which the grant competition is being conducted.
For purposes of establishing eligibility for this competition, the notice inviting applications for designation as an eligible institution for FY 2015 was published in the Federal Register on November 3, 2014 (79 FR 65197), and applications were due on December 22, 2014. Only institutions that submitted the required application and received designation through this process before the deadline date are eligible to submit applications for this competition.
(iii) Be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association that the Secretary has determined to be a reliable authority as to the quality of education or training offered, or making reasonable progress toward accreditation, according to such an agency or association (section 502(a)(2)(A)(iv) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1101a(a)(2)(A)(iv));
(iv) Be legally authorized to provide, and provide within the State, an educational program for which the institution awards a bachelor's degree (section 502(a)(2)(A)(iii) of the HEA), or be a junior or community college (20 U.S.C. 1101a(a)(2)(A)(iii));
(v) Have an enrollment of undergraduate FTE students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application (section 502(a)(5)(B) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1101a(a)(5)(B)); and
(vi) Provide, as an attachment to the application, the documentation the IHE relied upon in determining that at least 25 percent of the IHE's undergraduate FTE students are Hispanic. The 25 percent requirement applies only to undergraduate Hispanic students and is calculated based upon FTE students as defined in section 502(a)(4) of the HEA. Instructions for formatting and submitting the verification documentation to Grants.gov are in the application package for this competition.
(b) Funds for the HSI Program will be awarded each fiscal year; thus, for this program, the “end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application” refers to the end of the fiscal year prior to the application due date. The end of the fiscal year occurs on September 30 for any given year.
(c) In considering applications for grants under this program, the Department will compare the data and documentation the institution relied on in its application with data reported to the Department's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the IHE's State-reported enrollment data, and the institutional annual report. If different percentages or data are reported in these various sources, the institution must, as part of the 25 percent assurance verification, explain the reason for the differences. If the IPEDS data show that less than 25 percent of the institution's undergraduate FTE students are Hispanic, the burden is on the institution to show that the IPEDS data are inaccurate. If the IPEDS data indicate that the institution has an undergraduate FTE less than 25 percent, and the institution fails to demonstrate that the IPEDS data are inaccurate, the institution will be considered ineligible.
(d)(i) A grantee under the HSI Program, which is authorized by title V of the HEA, may not receive a grant under any HEA, title III, part A or part B program (section 505 of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1101D). The title III, part A programs include: The Strengthening Institutions Program; the American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities Program; the Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Programs; the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Program; and the Native American-Serving Non-Tribal Institutions Program. Furthermore, a current HSI Program grantee may not give up its HSI grant in order to receive a grant under any title III, part A program (§ 606.2(c)(1)).
(ii) An HSI that does not fall within the limitation described in paragraph (d)(i) may apply for a FY 2015 grant under all title III, part A programs for which it is eligible, as well as under the HSI Program. However, a successful applicant may receive only one grant.
(e) An eligible HSI that submits multiple applications may only be awarded at most one Individual Development Grant and/or one Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant per fiscal year (34 CFR 606.9 and 606.13). In addition, the Secretary will not award a second Individual Development Grant to an HSI with a current five-year Individual Development Grant as described in 34 CFR 606.9(b)(1).
(f) An eligible HSI that submits a Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant with a partnering branch campus that is a part of the same institution will not be awarded a grant (34 CFR 606.7(b)).
2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching unless the grantee uses a portion of its grant for establishing or improving an endowment fund. If a grantee uses a portion of its grant for endowment fund purposes, it must match those grant funds with non-Federal funds (section 503(c)(2) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1101b(c)(2)).
IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Address To Request Application Package: Carnisia M. Proctor, U.S. Start Printed Page 14977Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6010, Washington, DC 20006-8513. Telephone: (202) 502-7606 or by email: Carnisia.Proctor@ed.gov.
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.
Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria, the absolute priority, and the competitive preference priorities that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We have established mandatory page limits for Individual Development Grant and Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant applications. You must limit the section of the application narrative that addresses:
- The selection criteria and the absolute priority to no more than 50 pages for an Individual Development Grant application and no more than 70 pages for a Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant application.
- A competitive preference priority, if you are addressing one or both, to no more than three pages (for a total of six pages if you address both).
Accordingly, under no circumstances may the application narrative exceed 56 pages for an Individual Development Grant application or 76 pages for a Cooperative Arrangement Development Grant application.
Please include a separate heading for the absolute priority and for each competitive preference priority that you address.
For the purpose of determining compliance with the page limits, each page on which there are words will be counted as one full page. Applicants must use the following standards:
- A “page” is 8.5″ × 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. Page numbers and an identifier may be within the 1″ margins.
- Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, captions and all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs. These items may be single-spaced. Charts, tables, figures, and graphs in the application narrative 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, graphs, footnotes, and endnotes.
- Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
The page limit applies to all of the application narrative section, including your complete response to the selection criteria (including the budget narrative), the absolute priority, and the competitive preference priorities. However, the page limit does not apply to Part I, the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424); the Department of Education Supplemental Information form (SF 424); Part II, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524); Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page project abstract, program activity budget detail form and supporting narrative, and the five-year plan. If you include any attachments or appendices not specifically requested in the application package, these items will be counted as part of your application narrative for purposes of the page-limit requirement.
The narrative response to the budget selection criteria is not the same as the activity detail budget form and supporting narrative. The supporting narrative for the activity detail budget form lists the requested budget items line by line.
We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit.
3. Submission Dates and Times:
Applications Available: March 20, 2015.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 19, 2015.
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 one of the persons 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 20, 2015.
4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition 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 competition.
5. Funding Restrictions: (a) General. We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
(b) Applicability of Executive Order 13202. Applicants that apply for construction funds under the HSI Program must comply with Executive Order 13202, as amended. This Executive order provides that recipients of Federal construction funds may not “require or prohibit bidders, offerors, contractors, or subcontractors to enter into or adhere to agreements with one or more labor organizations, on the same or other construction project(s)” or “otherwise discriminate against bidders, offerors, contractors, or subcontractors for becoming or refusing to become or remain signatories or otherwise to adhere to agreements with one or more labor organizations, on the same or other related construction project(s).” Projects funded under this program that include construction activity will be provided a copy of this Executive order and will be asked to certify that they will adhere to it.
6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, 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 Start Printed Page 14978by 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 to two business days.
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: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.
7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition 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 HSI Program, CFDA number 84.031S, 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 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 HSI 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 84.031, not 84.031S).
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 competition 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 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 (anED-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 Start Printed Page 14979experiencing 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: Carnisia M. Proctor, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6010, Washington, DC 20006-8513. FAX: (202) 502-7813.
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 following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.031S), 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 84.031S), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, 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. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 606.22 and from 34 CFR 75.210 and are as follows:
(a) Quality of the applicant's comprehensive development plan. The extent to which—
(1) The strengths, weaknesses, and significant problems of the institution's academic programs, institutional management, and fiscal stability are clearly and comprehensively analyzed and result from a process that involved major constituencies of the institution;
(2) The goals for the institution's academic programs, institutional management, and fiscal stability are realistic and based on comprehensive analysis;
(3) The objectives stated in the plan are measurable, related to institutional goals, and, if achieved, will contribute to the growth and self-sufficiency of the institution; and
(4) The plan clearly and comprehensively describes the methods and resources the institution will use to institutionalize practice and improvements developed under the proposed project, including, in particular, how operational costs for personnel, maintenance, and upgrades of equipment will be paid with institutional resources.Start Printed Page 14980
(b) Quality of activity objectives. The extent to which the objectives for each activity are—
(1) Realistic and defined in terms of measurable results; and
(2) Directly related to the problems to be solved and to the goals of the comprehensive development plan.
(c) Quality of implementation strategy. The extent to which—
(1) The implementation strategy for each activity is comprehensive;
(2) The rationale for the implementation strategy for each activity is clearly described and is supported by the results of relevant studies or projects; and
(3) The timetable for each activity is realistic and likely to be attained.
(d) Quality of key personnel. The extent to which—
(1) The past experience and training of key professional personnel are directly related to the stated activity objectives; and
(2) The time commitment of key personnel is realistic.
(e) Quality of project management plan. The extent to which—
(1) Procedures for managing the project are likely to ensure efficient and effective project implementation; and
(2) The project coordinator and activity directors have sufficient authority to conduct the project effectively, including access to the president or chief executive officer.
(f) Quality of evaluation plan. The extent to which—
(1) The data elements and the data collection procedures are clearly described and appropriate to measure the attainment of activity objectives and to measure the success of the project in achieving the goals of the comprehensive development plan; and
(2) The data analysis procedures are clearly described and are likely to produce formative and summative results on attaining activity objectives and measuring the success of the project on achieving the goals of the comprehensive development plan.
(g) Budget. The extent to which the proposed costs are necessary and reasonable in relation to the project's objectives and scope.
(h) Quality of the project design. The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the extent to which the proposed project is supported by strong theory (as defined in this notice).
2. Review and Selection Process: 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).
3. Tiebreaker: In tie-breaking situations for development grants described in 34 CFR 606.23(b), the HSI Program regulations require that we award one additional point to an application from an IHE that has an endowment fund of which the current market value, per FTE enrolled student, is less than the average current market value of the endowment funds, per FTE enrolled student, at comparable institutions that offer similar instruction. We also award one additional point to an application from an IHE that has expenditures for library materials per FTE enrolled student that are less than the average expenditures for library materials per FTE enrolled student at comparable institutions that offer similar instruction.
For the purpose of these funding considerations, we use 2012-2013 data.
If a tie remains after applying the tiebreaker mechanism above, priority will be given in the case of applicants for (a) Individual Development Grants, to applicants that addressed the statutory priority found in section 521(d) of the HEA; and (b) Cooperative Arrangement Development Grants, to applicants in accordance with section 524(b) of the HEA, under which the Secretary determines that the cooperative arrangement is geographically and economically sound or will benefit the applicant HSI.
If a tie still remains after applying the additional point(s) and the relevant statutory priority, we will determine the ranking of applicants based on the lowest endowment values per FTE enrolled student.
4. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk 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 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; 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 specific 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 should you receive funding under the competition. This does 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. 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. 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.html.
4. Performance Measures: The Secretary has established the following key performance measures for assessing the effectiveness of the HSI Program:
a. The percentage change, over the five-year grant period, of the number of full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at HSIs.
b. The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students who were in their first year of postsecondary enrollment in the Start Printed Page 14981previous year and are enrolled in the current year at the same two-year HSI.
c. The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students who were in their first year of postsecondary enrollment in the previous year and are enrolled in the current year at the same four-year HSI.
d. The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at four-year HSIs graduating within six years of enrollment.
e. The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at two-year HSIs graduating within three years of enrollment.
f. Federal cost per undergraduate and graduate degree at institutions in the HSI Program.
5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application. In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
VII. Agency Contact
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Carnisia M. Proctor, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6010, Washington, DC 20006-8513. Telephone: (202) 502-7606 or by email: Carnisia.Proctor@ed.gov.
If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
Applicants should periodically check the HSI Program Web site for further information. The address is: www.ed.gov/programs/idueshsi/index.html.
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. Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated authority to Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary, to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
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Dated: March 17, 2015.
Jamienne S. Studley,
Deputy Under Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-06501 Filed 3-19-15; 8:45 am]
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