Applications for New Awards; Educational Opportunity Centers Program, 5425-5431 [2016-01832]

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 21 (Tuesday, February 2, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 5425-5431]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-01832]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Educational Opportunity Centers 
Program

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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    Overview Information: Educational Opportunity Centers Program (EOC 
Program) Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year 
(FY) 2016.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.066A.

Dates: Applications Available: February 2, 2016.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 4, 2016.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 1, 2016.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purposes of the EOC Program are to: provide 
information regarding financial and academic assistance available for 
qualified adults who want to enter or continue to pursue a program of 
postsecondary education; provide assistance to those individuals in 
applying for admission to institutions at which a program of 
postsecondary education is offered, including preparing necessary 
applications for use by admissions and financial aid officers; and 
assist in improving the financial and economic literacy of program 
participants.
    An Educational Opportunity Centers project may provide the 
following services:
    (1) Public information campaigns designed to inform the community 
regarding opportunities for postsecondary education and training;
    (2) Academic advice and assistance in course selection;
    (3) Assistance in completing college admission and financial aid 
applications;
    (4) Assistance in preparing for college entrance examinations;
    (5) Education or counseling services designed to improve the 
financial literacy and economic literacy of students;
    (6) Guidance on secondary school reentry or entry to a general 
educational development (GED) program or other alternative education 
program for secondary school dropouts;
    (7) Individualized personal, career, and academic counseling;
    (8) Tutorial services;
    (9) Career workshops and counseling;
    (10) Mentoring programs involving elementary or secondary school 
teachers, faculty members at institutions of higher education (IHEs), 
students, or any combination of these persons; and
    (11) Programs and activities as described in items (1) through (10) 
that are specially designed for students who are limited English 
proficient, students from groups that are traditionally 
underrepresented in postsecondary education, students with 
disabilities, students who are homeless children and youths, students 
who are in foster care or are aging out of the foster care system, or 
other disconnected students.
    (12) Other activities designed to meet the purposes of the EOC 
Program.

    Note: Consistent with 34 CFR 75.209, the Secretary will use the 
selection criteria outlined in 34 CFR 644.21 to evaluate the 
applications submitted for new grants under this program. In 
addition, consistent with the Department's increasing emphasis on 
promoting evidence-based practices through our grant competitions, 
the Secretary will also evaluate applications on the extent to which 
the components of the proposed project are supported by a logic 
model that meets the evidence standard of ``strong theory'' (as 
defined in this notice). We encourage applicants to read carefully 
the Selection Criteria section of 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 two competitive preference 
priorities. The competitive preference priorities are from the notice 
of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary 
grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014 
(79 FR 73425) (Supplemental Priorities).
    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2016 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 priorities.
    The competitive preference priorities are:
    Competitive Preference Priority 1: Improving Parent, Family, and 
Community Engagement (up to 2 additional points).
    The Secretary gives priority to projects that are designed to 
improve student outcomes through implementing initiatives that improve 
community engagement (as defined in this notice), the relationships 
between parents or families and school or program staff by cultivating 
sustained partnerships (as defined in this notice).
    Competitive Preference Priority 2: Supporting Military Families and 
Veterans (up to 2 additional points).
    The Secretary gives priority to projects that are designed to 
address the needs of military- or veteran-connected students (as 
defined in this notice).

    Note: Applicants must include, in the one-page abstract 
submitted with the application, a statement indicating which, if 
any, of the competitive preference priorities are addressed. If the 
applicant has addressed the competitive preference priorities, this 
information must also be listed in the application package on the 
EOC Program Profile Form.

    Definitions: These definitions are from the Supplemental Priorities 
and 34 CFR 77.1.
    Community engagement means the systematic inclusion of community 
organizations as partners with State educational agencies (SEAs), local 
educational agencies (LEAs), or other educational institutions, or 
their school or program staff to accomplish activities that may include 
developing a shared community vision, establishing a shared 
accountability agreement, participating in shared data collection and 
analysis, or establishing community networks that are focused on shared 
community-level outcomes. These organizations may include faith- and 
community-based organizations, IHEs (including minority-serving 
institutions eligible to receive aid under title III or title V of the 
Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA)), businesses and industries, labor 
organizations, State and local government entities, or Federal entities 
other than the Department.
    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

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hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and 
describes the relationships among the key components and outcomes, 
theoretically and operationally.
    Military- or veteran-connected student means (a) A child 
participating in an early learning and development program, a student 
enrolled in preschool through grade 12, or a student enrolled in 
postsecondary education or career and technical training who has a 
parent or guardian who is a member of the uniformed services (as 
defined by 37 U.S.C. 101, in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, 
Coast Guard, National Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, or Public Health Service); (b) A student who is a 
member of the uniformed services, a veteran of the uniformed services, 
or the spouse of a service member or veteran; or (c) A child 
participating in an early learning and development program or a student 
enrolled in preschool through grade 12 who has a parent or guardian who 
is a veteran of the uniformed services (as defined by 37 U.S.C. 101).

    Note: For the purpose of this competition, only subpart (b) of 
this definition is applicable, and the term ``students'' in this 
definition includes prospective students.

    Parent and family engagement means the systematic inclusion of 
parents and families, working in partnership with SEAs, State lead 
agencies (under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education 
Act or the State's race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant), 
LEAs, or other educational institutions, or their staff, in their 
child's education, which may include strengthening the ability of (a) 
parents and families to support their child's education; and (b) school 
or program staff to work with parents and families.
    Strong theory means a rationale for the proposed process, product, 
strategy, or practice that includes a logic model.
    Sustained partnership means a relationship that has demonstrably 
adequate resources and other support to continue beyond the funding 
period and that consists of community organizations as partners with an 
LEA and one or more of its schools. These organizations may include 
faith- and community-based organizations, IHEs (including minority-
serving institutions eligible to receive aid under title III or title V 
of the HEA), businesses and industries, labor organizations, State and 
local government entities, or Federal entities other than the 
Department.
     Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 20 U.S.C. 1070a-16.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75 (except for 
75.215 through 75.221), 77, 79, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The 
Education Department debarment and suspension regulations as adopted in 
2 CFR part 3485 and the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost 
Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards as adopted in 2 
CFR part 3474. (c) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 644. 
(d) The Supplemental Priorities.

    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 IHEs only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $54,296,053.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2017 from the list of 
unfunded applications from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $236,000-$1,207,694.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $377,661.
    Maximum Award:
     For an applicant that is not currently receiving an EOC 
Program grant, the maximum award amount is $236,000, based upon a per-
participant cost of no more than $236 and a minimum of 1,000 
participants.
     For an applicant that is currently receiving an EOC 
Program grant, the maximum award amount is an amount equal to 103 
percent of the applicant's base award amount for FY 2015. The minimum 
number of participants an applicant proposes to serve must be at least 
the number of participants approved to serve in FY 2015.
    We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding the 
applicable maximum amount listed above for a single budget period of 12 
months. We will also reject any application that proposes a budget to 
serve fewer than 1,000 participants, or any application that proposes a 
budget that exceeds the maximum per-participant cost of $309.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 151.

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

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: IHEs, public and private agencies and 
organizations including community-based organizations with experience 
in serving disadvantaged youth; combinations of such institutions, 
agencies, and organizations; and secondary schools.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other: An applicant may submit more than one application for an 
EOC Program grant so long as each application describes a project that 
serves a different target area (34 CFR 644.10(a)). The term ``target 
area'' is defined as a geographic area served by a project (34 CFR 
644.7(b)).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: Rachael Couch, Ed.D., 
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 7E311, 
Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 502-7655 or by email: 
Rachael.Couch@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 that 
reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the 
application narrative, which includes the budget narrative, to no more 
than 60 pages using the following standards. However, any application 
addressing the competitive preference priorities may include up to 4 
additional pages for each of the priorities that is addressed. Those 
additional pages must be used to discuss how the application meets the 
competitive preference priorities.
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. Page numbers and an 
identifier may be within the 1'' margin.
     Each page on which there is text or graphics will be 
counted as one full page.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative.
     Titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and 
captions, as

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well as all text in figures, charts, and graphs, may be single-spaced.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger, or no 
smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman and Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
    The page limit does not apply to Part I--the Application for 
Federal Assistance Face Sheet (SF 424); Part II--the Budget Information 
Summary form (ED Form 524); Part III--the EOC Program Profile form; 
Part III--the one-page Project Abstract form; and Part IV--the 
Assurances and Certifications. The page limit also does not apply to a 
table of contents, which you should include in the application 
narrative. If you include any attachments or appendices, these items 
will be counted as part of Part III--the application narrative for 
purpose of the page-limit requirement. You must include your complete 
response to the selection criteria in Part III--the application 
narrative.
    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: February 2, 2016.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 4, 2016.
    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 Other Submission Requirements in section 
IV of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the program contact person listed under For Further Information Contact 
in section VII in this notice. If the Department provides an 
accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in 
connection with the application process, the individual's application 
remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this 
notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 1, 2016.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about 
Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 
12372 is in the application package for this program.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We specify unallowable costs in 34 CFR 
644.31. We reference additional 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.

    Note:  Once your SAM registration is active, it may be 24 to 48 
hours before you can access the information in, and 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 program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an 
exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in 
this section.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    Applications for grants under the EOC Program, CFDA number 84.066A, 
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 EOC 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 84.066, not 
84.066A).
    Please note the following:

[[Page 5428]]

     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this program to ensure that you 
submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. 
You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to 
Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home 
page at www.G5.gov. In addition, for specific guidance and procedures 
for submitting an application through Grants.gov, please refer to the 
Grants.gov Web site at: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications.
     You must upload any narrative sections and all other 
attachments to your application as files in a read-only, non-modifiable 
Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or 
fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, 
non-modifiable PDF (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.) or submit a 
password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note 
that this could result in your application not being considered for 
funding because the material in question--for example, the project 
narrative--is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For 
that reason it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload 
all material as PDF files. The Department will not convert material 
from other formats to PDF.
     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. Grants.gov 
will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all 
the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors 
(such as submission of your application by someone other than a 
registered Authorized Organization Representative, or inclusion of an 
attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will 
be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you 
must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.
    Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
you an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application.
    These emails do not mean that your application is without any 
disqualifying errors. While your application may have been successfully 
validated by Grants.gov, it must also meet the Department's application 
requirements as specified in this notice and in the application 
instructions. Disqualifying errors could include, for instance, failure 
to upload attachments in a read-only, non-modifiable PDF; failure to 
submit a required part of the application; or failure to meet applicant 
eligibility requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your 
submitted application has met all of the Department's requirements.
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date, please contact the program 
contact 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 the 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will 
contact you after we determine whether your application will be 
accepted.

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

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through Grants.gov because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system; and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar

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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: Gaby Watts, 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 84.066A), 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 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 84.066A), 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 grant 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 following selection criteria for this 
competition total 105 points and are from 34 CFR 644.21 and 34 CFR 
75.210:
    (a) Need for the project (24 points). The Secretary evaluates the 
need for an EOC project in the proposed target area on the basis of the 
extent to which the application contains clear evidence of--
    (1) A high number or percentage, or both, of low-income families 
residing in the target area;
    (2) A high number or percentage, or both, of individuals residing 
in the target area with education completion levels below the 
baccalaureate level;
    (3) A high need on the part of residents of the target area for 
further education and training from programs of postsecondary education 
in order to meet changing employment trends; and
    (4) Other indicators of need for an EOC project, including the 
presence of unaddressed educational or socio-economic problems of adult 
residents in the target area.
    (b) Objectives (8 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality of 
the applicant's objectives and proposed targets (percentages) in the 
following areas on the basis of the extent to which they are both 
ambitious, as related to the need data provided under paragraph (a) of 
this section, and attainable, given the project's plan of operation, 
budget, and other resources--
    (1) Secondary school diploma or equivalent (2 points).
    (2) Postsecondary enrollment (3 points).
    (3) Financial aid applications (1.5 points).
    (4) College admission applications (1.5 points).
    (c) Plan of operation (30 points). The Secretary evaluates the 
quality of the applicant's plan of operation on the basis of the 
following--
    (1) The plan to inform the residents, schools, and community 
organizations in the target area of the goals, objectives, and services 
of the project and the eligibility requirements for participation in 
the project (4 points);
    (2) The plan to identify and select eligible participants and 
ensure their participation without regard to race, color, national 
origin, gender, or disability (4 points);
    (3) The plan to assess each participant's need for services 
provided by the project (2 points);
    (4) The plan to provide services that meet the participants' needs 
and achieve the objectives of the project (12 points); and
    (5) The management plan to ensure the proper and efficient 
administration of the project including, but not limited to, the 
project's organizational structure, the time committed to the project 
by the project director and other personnel, and, where appropriate, 
its coordination with other projects for disadvantaged students (8 
points).
    (d) Applicant and community support (16 points). The Secretary 
evaluates the applicant and community support for the proposed project 
on the basis of the extent to which the applicant has made provision 
for resources to supplement the grant and enhance the project's 
services, including--
    (1) Facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel, and other resources 
committed by the applicant (8 points); and
    (2) Resources secured through written commitments from schools, 
community organizations, and others (8 points).
    (e) Quality of personnel (9 points). (1) The Secretary evaluates 
the quality of the personnel the applicant plans to use in the project 
on the basis of the following--
    (i) The qualifications required of the project director.
    (ii) The qualifications required of each of the other personnel to 
be used in the project.
    (iii) The plan to employ personnel who have succeeded in overcoming

[[Page 5430]]

disadvantages or circumstances like those of the population of the 
target area.
    (2) In evaluating the qualifications of a person, the Secretary 
considers his or her experience and training in fields related to the 
objectives of the project.
    (f) Budget (5 points). The Secretary evaluates the extent to which 
the project budget is reasonable, cost-effective, and adequate to 
support the project.
    (g) Evaluation plan (8 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality 
of the evaluation plan for the project on the basis of the extent to 
which the applicant's methods of evaluation--
    (1) Are appropriate to the project's objectives;
    (2) Provide for the applicant to determine, using specific and 
quantifiable measures, the success of the project in--
    (i) Making progress toward achieving its objectives (a formative 
evaluation); and
    (ii) Achieving its objectives at the end of the project period (a 
summative evaluation); and
    (3) Provide for the disclosure of unanticipated project outcomes, 
using quantifiable measures if appropriate.
    (h) Quality of the project design (5 points). 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 assistance from the Department of 
Education (34 CFR 100.4,104.5,106.4,108.8, and 110.23).
    For this competition, a panel of non-Federal reviewers will review 
each application in accordance with the selection criteria in 34 CFR 
644.21 and 34 CFR 75.210. The individual scores of the reviewers will 
be added and the sum divided by the number of reviewers to determine 
the peer review score received in the review process. Additionally, in 
accordance with 34 CFR 644.22, the Secretary will award prior 
experience points to applicants that conducted an EOC Program project 
during budget periods 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15, based on their 
documented experience. Prior experience points, if any, will be added 
to the application's averaged reader score to determine the total score 
for each application.
    If there are insufficient funds for all applications with the same 
total scores, the Secretary will choose among the tied applications so 
as to serve geographic areas and eligible populations that have been 
underserved by the EOC Program.
    3. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 
200.205, before awarding grants under this competition 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 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/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 success of the EOC Program will be 
measured by the EOC Program participants' success in completing a 
secondary school diploma or its equivalent, completion of applications 
for student financial aid, submission of applications for postsecondary 
admission, and postsecondary enrollment. All EOC Program grantees will 
be required to submit annual performance reports.
    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 management requirements, the 
performance targets in the grantee's approved application.
    In making a continuation grant, 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 Contacts

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Rachael Couch, Ed.D., U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 7E311, Washington, DC 
20202. Telephone: (202) 502-7655 or by email: Rachael.Couch@ed.gov.

[[Page 5431]]

    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 computer 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 this 
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 feature at 
this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the 
Department.

    Dated: January 27, 2016.
Lynn Mahaffie,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Innovation 
Delegated the Duties of Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary 
Education.
[FR Doc. 2016-01832 Filed 2-1-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P