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Notice

Applications for New Awards; Predominantly Black Institutions Formula Grant Program

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice.

Overview Information

Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Formula Grant Program

Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2016.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.031P.

DATES:

Applications Available: February 1, 2016.

Deadline for Transmittal of Phase I of Applications: March 2, 2016.

Deadline for Transmittal of Phase II of Applications: April 1, 2016.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) Formula Grant Program provides grants to eligible institutions to plan, develop, undertake, and implement programs that enhance their capacity to serve more low- and middle-income Black American students; to expand higher education opportunities for eligible students by encouraging college preparation and student persistence in secondary school and postsecondary education; and to strengthen the financial ability of the institutions to serve the academic needs of these students.

Start Authority

Program Authority: Title III, part A, section 318 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1059e).

End Authority

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 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 as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Formula grant.

Estimated Available Funds: $9,942,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: Grants awarded under the PBI Formula Grant Program are allotted to eligible institutions based on the formula included in section 318(e) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(e)), with no grantee allotted less than $250,000.

If the amount appropriated for this program for a fiscal year is not sufficient to pay the minimum allotment to eligible institutions, then the amount of the minimum allotment must be ratably reduced, in accordance with section 318(e) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(e)(4)).

Funding Formula:

Grant amounts to PBIs are awarded according to the following formula:

(1) Federal Pell Grant basis—From the amount appropriated for this program for any fiscal year, the Secretary allots to each PBI with an approved application a sum that bears the same ratio to one-half of that amount as the number of Federal Pell Grant recipients in attendance at such institution at the end of the academic year preceding the beginning of that fiscal year, bears to the total number of Federal Pell Grant recipients at all such institutions at the end of such academic year.

(2) Graduates basis—From the amount appropriated for this program for any fiscal year, the Secretary allots to each PBI with an approved application a sum that bears the same ratio to one-fourth of that amount as the number of graduates for such academic year at such institution, bears to the total number of graduates for such academic year at all such institutions.

(3) Graduates seeking a higher degree basis—From the amount appropriated for this program for any fiscal year, the Secretary allots to each PBI with an approved application a sum that bears the same ratio to one-fourth of that amount as the percentage of graduates from such institution who are admitted to and in attendance at, not later than two years after graduation with an associate's degree or a baccalaureate degree, a baccalaureate degree-granting institution or a graduate or professional school in a degree program in disciplines in which Black American students are underrepresented, bears to the percentage of such graduates for all such institutions.

Estimated Number of Awards: All applicant institutions that meet the eligibility requirements will receive a portion of the total appropriations for the PBI Formula Grant Program.

Note:

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

Project Period: 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: An applicant must—

(a) Have an enrollment of needy undergraduate students as defined in section 318(b)(2) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(b)(2));

(b) Have an average educational and general expenditure that is low, per full-time equivalent undergraduate student, in comparison with the average educational and general expenditure per full-time equivalent undergraduate student of institutions that offer similar instruction, except that the Secretary may apply the waiver requirements described in section 392(b) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1068a(b)) to this subparagraph in the same manner as the Secretary applies the waiver requirements to section 312(b)(1)(B) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1058(b)(1)(B));

(c) Have an enrollment of undergraduate students that is not less than 40 percent Black American students (section 318(b)(1)(C) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1059e (b)(1)(C));

(d) Be legally authorized to provide, and provide, within the State, an educational program for which the institution of higher education awards a baccalaureate degree or, in the case of a junior or community college, an associate's degree (section 318(b)(1)(D) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1059e(b)(1)(D));

(e) Be accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or Start Printed Page 5110association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation (section 318(b)(1)(E) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(b)(1)(E))); and

(f) Not be receiving funds under any other provision of part A or part B of title III of the HEA or part A of title V of the HEA (sections 318(b)(1)(F) and 318(i) of the HEA; 20 U.S.C. 1059e(b)(1)(F) and 1059e(i)).

To be eligible for a grant under the PBI Formula Grant Program, an applicant must also meet the definition of a Predominantly Black Institution in section 318(b)(6) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(b)(6)). The term Predominantly Black Institution means an institution of higher education, as defined in section 101(a) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1001(a))—

(i) That is an eligible institution with not less than 1,000 undergraduate students;

(ii) At which not less than 50 percent of the undergraduate students enrolled at the eligible institution are low-income individuals or first-generation college students; and

(iii) At which not less than 50 percent of the undergraduate students are enrolled in an educational program leading to a bachelor's or associate's degree that the eligible institution is licensed to award by the State (defined as each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia) in which the eligible institution is located.

Note:

The notice announcing the FY 2016 process for designation of eligible institutions, and inviting applications for waiver of eligibility requirements, was published in the Federal Register on November 19, 2015 (80 FR 72422). Only institutions that the Department determines are eligible, or are granted a waiver, may apply for a grant under this program.

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 in an amount equal to or greater than the Federal funds used for the establishment or increase of the endowment fund (section 318(d)(3) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(d)(3)).

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Bernadette D. Miles, OPE, Institutional Service, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 7E311, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 502-7616, or by email: bernadette.miles@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. The application process for this program has two phases: Phase I will require submitting 2014-2015 data used to run the funding formula; Phase II will require submission of the narrative project plan and standard forms. The deadline dates for submitting Phases I and II of the application are listed in this notice. Other 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: February 1, 2016.

Deadline for Transmittal of Phase I of Applications: March 2, 2016.

Deadline for Transmittal of Phase II of Applications: April 1, 2016.

Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically as an email attachment to pbiprogram@ed.gov by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the deadline date.

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.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.

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 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), 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 at the following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/​webform.

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 two to five 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 you enter into the SAM database. 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.

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: www2.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​sam-faqs.html.

7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this program must be submitted Start Printed Page 5111electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

Applications for grants under the Predominantly Black Institutions Formula Grant Program, CFDA number 84.031P, must be submitted electronically via email to pbiprogram@ed.gov.

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 PBI Program at www2.ed.gov/​programs/​pbihea/​index.html.

Please note the following:

  • You must complete the electronic submission of your grant application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will not accept an application for this program after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process.
  • 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 attach any narrative sections of your application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the three file types specified in this paragraph or submit a password protected file, we will not review that material.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may wish to print a copy of it for your records.
  • Within three working days after submitting Phase II of your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the SF 424 to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

(1) Print SF 424 from e-Application.

(2) The applicant's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.

(3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the hard-copy signature page of the SF 424.

(4) Fax the signed SF 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 245-6272.

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

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 via email because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; 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 that you do not have access to the Internet.

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: Bernadette D. Miles, OPE, Institutional Service, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 7E311, Washington, DC 20202. FAX: (202) 205-0063.

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 84.031P), 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.

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.

We will not consider applications postmarked after the application deadline date.

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 84.031P), 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 Start Printed Page 5112Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

1. Review and Selection Process: After eligibility is determined, Department staff will begin a two stage process to—

(1) Determine grant awards based on the formula in section 318(e) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(e)); and

(2) Ensure that all activities proposed in the application are allowable under section 318(d) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1059e(d)).

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 grant award, the Secretary 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. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions:

Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this program, the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. 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 multiyear 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/​appforms.html.

(C) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

4. Performance Measures: The Department has established the following Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GRPRA) performance measures for the PBI Formula Grant Program:

(a) Enrollment Rate: The percentage change of the number of full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at PBIs. Note that this is a long-term measure, which will be used to periodically gauge performance.

(b) Persistence Rate—four-year institutions: The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students at four-year PBIs 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 PBI.

(c) Persistence Rate—two-year institutions: The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students at two-year PBIs who were in their first year of postsecondary enrollment in the previous year and are enrolled in the current year at the same two-year PBI.

(d) Completion Rate—four-year institutions: The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at four-year PBIs who graduate within six years of enrollment.

(e) Completion Rate—two-year institutions: The percentage of first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at two-year PBIs who graduate within three years of enrollment.

(f) Efficiency Measure: Cost per successful program outcome: Federal cost per undergraduate degree at PBIs.

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

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Bernadette D. Miles, OPE, Institutional Service, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 7E311, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 502-7616, or by email: bernadette.miles@ed.gov.

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 Start Printed Page 5113can 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.

Start Signature

Dated: January 26, 2016.

Lynn B. Mahaffie,

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning, and Innovation Delegated the Duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

End Signature End Further Info End Preamble

[FR Doc. 2016-01746 Filed 1-29-16; 8:45 am]

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