Applications for New Awards; Student Support Services Program, 68915-68920 [2019-27115]

Download as PDF jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 242 / Tuesday, December 17, 2019 / Notices 3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20. 4. 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. 5. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the following measure will be used by the Department to evaluate the success of the GPA short-term program: The percentage of GPA shortterm project participants who disseminated information about or materials from their group project abroad through more than one outreach activity within six months of returning to their home institution. The following measure will be used by the Department to evaluate the success of the GPA longterm program: The percentage of GPA long-term project participants who increased their reading, writing, and/or listening/speaking foreign language scores by one proficiency level. The VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Dec 16, 2019 Jkt 250001 efficiency of the GPA long-term program will be measured by considering the cost per GPA participant who increased his/her foreign language score in reading, writing, and/or listening/ speaking by at least one proficiency level. The information provided by grantees in their performance reports submitted via the International Resource Information System (IRIS) will be the source of data for this measure. Reporting screens for institutions can be viewed at: http://iris.ed.gov/iris/pdfs/ gpa_director.pdf and http://iris.ed.gov/ iris/pdfs/gpa_participant.pdf. VII. 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. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. 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 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. Robert L. King, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. [FR Doc. 2019–27113 Filed 12–16–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Student Support Services Program Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for the Student Support Services (SSS) Program, Catalog of SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68915 Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.042A. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1840–0017. DATES: Applications Available: December 17, 2019. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: January 27, 2020. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: March 26, 2020. ADDRESSES: For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-201902-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lavelle Wright, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 268–24, Washington, DC 20202– 4260. Telephone: (202) 453–7739. Email: Lavelle.Wright@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. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The purpose of the SSS Program is to increase the number of disadvantaged, low-income college students, first-generation college students, and college students with disabilities in the United States who successfully complete a program of study at the postsecondary level. The support services that are provided should increase the retention and graduation rates for these categories of students and facilitate their transfer from two-year to four-year colleges and universities. The support services should also foster an institutional climate that supports the success of students who are limited English proficient, students from groups that are historically 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, and other disconnected students. Student support services should also improve the financial and economic literacy of students. Priorities: This notice contains two competitive preference priorities. Competitive Preference Priorities 1 and E:\FR\FM\17DEN1.SGM 17DEN1 68916 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 242 / Tuesday, December 17, 2019 / Notices 2 are from the Secretary’s Notice of Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096) (Supplemental Priorities). 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 on the SSS Program Profile Form. Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2020 and any subsequent year for which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up to an additional five points to an application, depending on how well the application meets these priorities. These priorities are: Competitive Preference Priority 1— Fostering Flexible and Affordable Paths to Obtaining Knowledge and Skills (up to 3 points). Projects that are designed to address improving collaboration between education providers and employers to ensure student learning objectives are aligned with the skills or knowledge required for employment in in-demand industry sectors or occupations (as defined in section 3(23) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014). Competitive Preference Priority 2— Fostering Knowledge and Promoting the Development of Skills That Prepare Students To Be Informed, Thoughtful, and Productive Individuals and Citizens (up to 2 points). Projects that are designed to address supporting instruction in personal financial literacy, knowledge of markets and economics, knowledge of higher education financing and repayment (e.g., college savings and student loans), or other skills aimed at building personal financial understanding and responsibility. Note: For both priorities, the Department is sufficiently interested in these topics that we may later seek to partner with successful applicants to conduct research and evaluation. Definitions: The definitions below are from 34 CFR 77.1(c). Demonstrates a rationale means a key project component included in the project’s logic model is informed by research or evaluation findings that suggest the project component is likely to improve relevant outcomes. Logic model (also referred to as a theory of action) means a framework that identifies key project components of the proposed project (i.e., the active ‘‘ingredients’’ that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the theoretical and operational relationships among the key project components and relevant outcomes. Note: In developing logic models, applicants may want to use resources such as the Regional Educational Laboratory Program’s (REL Pacific) Education Logic Model Application, available at https:// ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/pacific/ elm.asp, to help design their logic models. Other sources include: https://ies.ed.gov/ ncee/edlabs/regions/pacific/pdf/REL_ 2014025.pdf, https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/ regions/pacific/pdf/REL_2014007.pdf, and https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/ northeast/pdf/REL_2015057.pdf. Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a– 11 and 20 U.S.C. 1070a–14. 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 Office of Management and Budget 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. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 646. (e) 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 institutions of higher education (IHEs) only. II. Award Information Type of Award: Discretionary grants. Estimated Available Funds: We intend to use an estimated $313,849,000 for new SSS awards under this competition. Note: The President’s Budget for FY 2020 requested $950,000,000 for the Administration’s proposal to reform the Federal TRIO programs. The actual level of funding and changes to the program, if any, depend on final congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process if Congress appropriates funds for the Federal TRIO Programs. Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in subsequent years from the list of unfunded applications from this competition. Estimated Range of Awards: $149,482–$1,595,544. Estimated Average Size of Awards: $311,977. Maximum Award: The maximum award varies based on whether the applicant is currently receiving an SSS grant, as well as the type of project and number of students served. For applicants not currently receiving an SSS Program grant, the maximum awards are as follows: Maximum Amount * Type of Proposal jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Regular SSS Proposal Serving a Minimum of 140 Student Participants ........................................................................................... Regular SSS Proposal Serving a Minimum of 100 Student Participants who are Students with Disabilities .................................... English as a Second Language (ESL) SSS Proposal Serving a Minimum of 140 Student Participants ........................................... Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Health Science SSS Proposal Serving a Minimum of 120 Student Participants .............................................................................................................................................................................. Teacher Preparation SSS Proposal Serving a Minimum of 140 Student Participants ....................................................................... Veterans SSS Proposal Serving a Minimum of 120 Student Participants ......................................................................................... For applicants proposing to serve fewer than the minimum number of student participants specified in the above table, the maximum award is an amount equal VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Dec 16, 2019 Jkt 250001 to: $1,807 per student participant for Regular, ESL, and Teacher Preparation proposals; $2,530 per student participant for projects serving Students PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 $253,032 253,032 253,032 253,032 253,032 253,032 with Disabilities (SWD proposals); and $2,109 per student participant for STEM (including Health Science) and Veterans proposals. E:\FR\FM\17DEN1.SGM 17DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 242 / Tuesday, December 17, 2019 / Notices For applicants currently receiving an SSS program grant, the maximum award amount is the greater of (a) $253,032 or (b) 100 percent of the applicant’s base award amount for FY 2019. For any currently funded applicant that proposes to serve fewer students than it served in FY 2019, the maximum award is the amount that corresponds with the cost per participant previously established for the project in FY 2019. Estimated Number of New Awards: 1,069. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: Up to 60 months. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES III. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants: IHEs or combinations of IHEs. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Section 402D(d)(4) of the HEA requires that all successful applicants that use SSS Program funds to provide grant aid to students pursuant to section 402D(d)(1) of the HEA must provide matching funds, in cash, from non-Federal funds, in an amount that is not less than 33 percent of the total amount of the SSS Program funds used for this aid. This matching requirement does not apply to a grant recipient that is an IHE eligible to receive funds under part A or part B of title III or under title V of the HEA. 3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application. 4. Other: An applicant may submit multiple applications if each separate application describes a project that will serve a different campus or a different population (section 402A(c)(5) of the HEA). Under section 402A(h)(1) of the HEA, the term ‘‘different campus’’ means a site of an IHE that—(a) is geographically apart from the main campus of the institution; (b) is permanent in nature; and (c) offers courses in educational programs leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential. Under section 402A(h)(2) of the HEA, the term ‘‘different population’’ means a group of individuals that an eligible entity desires to serve through an SSS grant that is separate and distinct from any other population that the entity has applied to serve using Federal TRIO Program funds, or, while sharing some of the same needs as another population that the eligible entity has applied to serve using Federal TRIO Program funds, has distinct needs for specialized services. To implement the requirement in section 402A(h)(2) of the HEA for this competition, the Secretary is VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Dec 16, 2019 Jkt 250001 designating the populations to be served as: Participants who meet the specific requirements for SSS services, participants who are students with disabilities, participants who need ESL services, participants receiving services in the STEM fields, participants receiving Teacher Preparation Services, and participants who have served in the armed forces. These different populations need different types of services. Accordingly, the Secretary has determined that projects serving these different populations should be subject to different standards for the minimum number of participants. An applicant may submit more than one application as long as each application proposes to serve a different population. For project types other than a regular SSS project, an applicant must propose to serve 100 percent of the students in the specific project type. IV. Application and Submission Information 1. Application Submission Instructions: Applicants are required to follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at www.govinfo.gov/content/ pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf, which contain requirements and information on how to submit an application. 2. 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. 3. Funding Restrictions: We specify unallowable costs in 34 CFR 646.31. We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program. 4. Recommended 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. We recommend that you (1) limit the application narrative, which includes the budget narrative, to no more than 65 pages and (2) use the following standards: • A ‘‘page’’ is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1’’ margins. PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68917 • Double space all text in the application narrative, and single space titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs. • Use a 12-point font. • Use an easily readable font such as Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. The recommended 65-page limit does not apply to Part I, the Application for Federal Assistance cover sheet (SF 424); Part II, the Budget Information Summary form (ED Form 524); Part III– A, the SSS Program Profile form; Part III–B, the one-page Project Abstract form; or Part IV, the assurances and certifications. The recommended page limit also does not apply to a table of contents, which you should include in the application narrative. You must include your complete response to the selection criteria in the application narrative. We recommend that any application addressing the competitive preference priorities include no more than three additional pages each for priorities 1 and 2, if addressed. Applications that do not follow the page limit and formatting recommendations will not be penalized. V. Application Review Information 1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 646.21 and 34 CFR 75.210. We will award up to 105 points to an application under the selection criteria and up to 5 additional points to an application under the competitive preference priorities, for a total score of up to 110 points. The maximum number of points available for each criterion is indicated in parentheses. (a) Need for the project (24 points). The Secretary evaluates the need for an SSS project proposed at the applicant institution on the basis of the extent to which the application contains clear evidence of— (1) A high number or percentage, or both, of students enrolled or accepted for enrollment at the applicant institution who meet the eligibility requirements of 34 CFR 646.3 (8 points); (2) The academic and other problems that eligible students encounter at the applicant institution (8 points); and (3) The differences between eligible SSS students compared to an appropriate group, based on the following indicators: (i) Retention and graduation rates. (ii) Grade point averages. (iii) Graduate and professional school enrollment rates (four-year colleges only). E:\FR\FM\17DEN1.SGM 17DEN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 68918 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 242 / Tuesday, December 17, 2019 / Notices (iv) Transfer rates from two-year to four-year institutions (two-year colleges only) (8 points). (b) Objectives (8 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality of the applicant’s proposed objectives 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) Retention in postsecondary education (3 points). (2) In good academic standing at grantee institution (2 points). (3) Two-year institutions only. (i) Certificate or degree completion (1 point); and (ii) Certificate or degree completion and transfer to a four-year institution (2 points). (4) Four-year institutions only. Completion of a baccalaureate degree (3 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 institutional community (students, faculty, and staff) of the goals, objectives, and services of the project and the eligibility requirements for participation in the project (3 points). (2) The plan to identify, select, and retain project participants with academic need (3 points). (3) The plan for assessing each individual participant’s need for specific services and monitoring his or her academic progress at the institution to ensure satisfactory academic progress (4 points). (4) The plan to provide services that address the goals and objectives of the project (10 points). (5) The applicant’s plan to ensure proper and efficient administration of the project, including the organizational placement of the project; the time commitment of key project staff; the specific plans for financial management, student records management, and personnel management; and, where appropriate, its plan for coordination with other programs for disadvantaged students (10 points). (d) Institutional commitment (16 points). The Secretary evaluates the institutional commitment to the proposed project on the basis of the extent to which the applicant has— (1) Committed facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel, and other resources to supplement the grant and enhance project services (6 points); (2) Established administrative and academic policies that enhance participants’ retention at the institution VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Dec 16, 2019 Jkt 250001 and improve their chances of graduating from the institution (6 points); (3) Demonstrated a commitment to minimize the dependence on student loans in developing financial aid packages for project participants by committing institutional resources to the extent possible (2 points); and (4) Assured the full cooperation and support of the Admissions, Student Aid, Registrar and data collection and analysis components of the institution (2 points). (e) Quality of personnel (9 points). To determine the quality of personnel the applicant plans to use, the Secretary looks for information that shows— (1) The qualifications required of the project director, including formal education and training in fields related to the objectives of the project, and experience in designing, managing, or implementing SSS or similar projects (3 points); (2) The qualifications required of other personnel to be used in the project, including formal education, training, and work experience in fields related to the objectives of the project (3 points); and (3) The quality of the applicant’s plan for employing personnel who have succeeded in overcoming barriers similar to those confronting the project’s target population (3 points). (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— (1) The applicant’s methods for evaluation— (i) Are appropriate to the project and include both quantitative and qualitative evaluation measures (2 points); and (ii) Examine in specific and measurable ways, using appropriate baseline data, the success of the project in improving academic achievement, retention and graduation of project participants (2 points); and (2) The applicant intends to use the results of an evaluation to make programmatic changes based upon the results of project evaluation (4 points). (h) Quality of the project design (5 points). In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the extent to which the proposed project demonstrates a rationale (as defined in this notice). Note: Under the ‘‘Objectives’’ selection criterion in paragraph (b) above, applicants must address the standardized objectives in 34 CFR 646.21(b)(1) through (4) related to the PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 participants’ academic achievements, including retention, good academic standing, graduation, and transfer rates. The graduation objective should be measured by cohorts of students who become SSS Program participants in each year of the project and should be compared to a relevant and valid comparison group. The graduation, certificate, and transfer rates for two-year institutions should be measured over a fouryear period and that of four-year institutions should be measured over a six-year period. 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 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 (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). For this competition, a panel of nonFederal reviewers will review each application in accordance with the selection criteria in 34 CFR 646.21, 34 CFR 75.210, and the competitive preference priorities. 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 646.22, the Secretary will award prior experience points to applicants that have conducted an SSS Program project within the last three Federal government fiscal years, 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 geographical areas that have been underserved by the SSS Program. 3. Risk Assessment and Specific 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 specific conditions and, in appropriate E:\FR\FM\17DEN1.SGM 17DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 242 / Tuesday, December 17, 2019 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 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. 4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $250,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2), we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS. Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Dec 16, 2019 Jkt 250001 application as part of your binding commitments under the grant. 3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20. 4. 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. 5. Performance Measures: The success of the SSS Program is measured by the percentage of SSS participants that complete a program of postsecondary education. The following performance measures have been developed to track progress toward achieving program success: (a) The percentage of first-time, fulltime freshmen SSS Program participants who are still enrolled at the beginning PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68919 of the next academic year or have earned a degree at a two-year grantee institution or transferred from a twoyear to a four-year institution. (b) The percentage of first-time, fulltime freshmen SSS participants at fouryear institutions who received a bachelor’s degree from the grantee institution (Note: The Department will calculate this measure based both on 100 percent and 150 percent of normal completion time). (c) The percentage of first-time, fulltime SSS participants at two-year institutions who received an associate’s degree and/or transferred to a four-year institution (Note: The Department will calculate this measure based both on 100 percent and 150 percent of normal completion time). (d) The cost per successful outcome. All SSS Program grantees are required to submit an annual performance report documenting the persistence and degree attainment of their participants. Since students take different amounts of time to complete their degrees, multiple years of performance report data are needed to determine the degree completion rates of SSS Program participants. The Department will aggregate the data provided in the annual performance reports from all grantees to determine the overall program accomplishment level. 6. 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. 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. E:\FR\FM\17DEN1.SGM 17DEN1 68920 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 242 / Tuesday, December 17, 2019 / Notices Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. 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 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. Robert L. King, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. [FR Doc. 2019–27115 Filed 12–16–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship Program Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship Program, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.022A. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1840–0005. DATES: Applications Available: December 17, 2019. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: February 18, 2020. ADDRESSES: The addresses pertinent to this competition—including the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application—can be found under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Pamela J. Maimer, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 258–24, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453–6891. Email: ddra@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Dec 16, 2019 Jkt 250001 Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877– 8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The FulbrightHays DDRA Fellowship Program provides opportunities to doctoral candidates to engage in dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. The program is designed to contribute to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the United States. Priorities: This notice contains one absolute priority and two competitive preference priorities. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), the absolute and competitive preference priorities are from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 662.21(d)). Absolute Priority: For FY 2020, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority. This priority is: Specific Geographic Regions of the World. A research project that focuses on one or more of the following geographic areas: Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, South Asia, the Near East, Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and the Western Hemisphere (excluding the United States and its territories). Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2020, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional two points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 1 and three points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 2 (up to 5 additional points possible). These priorities are: Competitive Preference Priority 1— Focus on Less Commonly Taught Languages (2 points). A research project that focuses on any modern foreign language except French, German, or Spanish. Competitive Preference Priority 2— Thematic Focus on Academic Fields (3 points). A research project conducted in the field of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, computer science, education (comparative or international), international development, political science, public health, or economics. Note: Applicants that address Competitive Preference Priority 2 must intend to engage in dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 area studies with a thematic focus on any one of the academic fields referenced above. Program Authority: 22 U.S.C. 2452(b)(6). Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget 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. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 662. Note: The open licensing requirement in 2 CFR 3474.20 does not apply to this program. II. Award Information Type of Award: Discretionary grants redistributed as fellowships to individual beneficiaries. Estimated Available Funds: The Administration’s budget request for FY 2020 does not include funds for this program. However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process before the end of the current fiscal year, if Congress appropriates the funds for this program. Estimated Range of Awards: $15,000– 60,000. Estimated Average Size of Awards: $35,000. Estimated Number of Awards: 100. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: The institutional project period is 18 months. Students may request funding for a period of no less than six months and no more than 12 months. III. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education (IHEs). As part of the application process, students submit individual applications to the IHE. The IHE then officially submits all eligible individual student applications with its grant application to the Department. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching. 3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application. 4. Other: Under 34 CFR 662.22(b), no student applicant may receive a grant E:\FR\FM\17DEN1.SGM 17DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 242 (Tuesday, December 17, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68915-68920]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-27115]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Student Support Services Program

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice 
inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for the 
Student Support Services (SSS) Program, Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance (CFDA) number 84.042A. This notice relates to the approved 
information collection under OMB control number 1840-0017.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: December 17, 2019.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: January 27, 2020.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: March 26, 2020.

ADDRESSES: For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an 
application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to 
Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the 
Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at 
www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lavelle Wright, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 268-24, Washington, DC 20202-
4260. Telephone: (202) 453-7739. Email: [email protected].
    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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the SSS Program is to increase 
the number of disadvantaged, low-income college students, first-
generation college students, and college students with disabilities in 
the United States who successfully complete a program of study at the 
postsecondary level. The support services that are provided should 
increase the retention and graduation rates for these categories of 
students and facilitate their transfer from two-year to four-year 
colleges and universities. The support services should also foster an 
institutional climate that supports the success of students who are 
limited English proficient, students from groups that are historically 
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, and 
other disconnected students. Student support services should also 
improve the financial and economic literacy of students.
    Priorities: This notice contains two competitive preference 
priorities. Competitive Preference Priorities 1 and

[[Page 68916]]

2 are from the Secretary's Notice of Final Supplemental Priorities and 
Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal 
Register on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096) (Supplemental Priorities).
    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 on the SSS Program Profile Form.
    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2020 and any subsequent 
year for which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications 
from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference 
priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up to an additional 
five points to an application, depending on how well the application 
meets these priorities.
    These priorities are:
    Competitive Preference Priority 1--Fostering Flexible and 
Affordable Paths to Obtaining Knowledge and Skills (up to 3 points).
    Projects that are designed to address improving collaboration 
between education providers and employers to ensure student learning 
objectives are aligned with the skills or knowledge required for 
employment in in-demand industry sectors or occupations (as defined in 
section 3(23) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014).
    Competitive Preference Priority 2--Fostering Knowledge and 
Promoting the Development of Skills That Prepare Students To Be 
Informed, Thoughtful, and Productive Individuals and Citizens (up to 2 
points).
    Projects that are designed to address supporting instruction in 
personal financial literacy, knowledge of markets and economics, 
knowledge of higher education financing and repayment (e.g., college 
savings and student loans), or other skills aimed at building personal 
financial understanding and responsibility.

    Note: For both priorities, the Department is sufficiently 
interested in these topics that we may later seek to partner with 
successful applicants to conduct research and evaluation.

    Definitions: The definitions below are from 34 CFR 77.1(c).
    Demonstrates a rationale means a key project component included in 
the project's logic model is informed by research or evaluation 
findings that suggest the project component is likely to improve 
relevant outcomes.
    Logic model (also referred to as a theory of action) means a 
framework that identifies key project components of the proposed 
project (i.e., the active ``ingredients'' that are hypothesized to be 
critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the 
theoretical and operational relationships among the key project 
components and relevant outcomes.

    Note: In developing logic models, applicants may want to use 
resources such as the Regional Educational Laboratory Program's (REL 
Pacific) Education Logic Model Application, available at https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/pacific/elm.asp, to help design their 
logic models. Other sources include: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/pacific/pdf/REL_2014025.pdf, https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/pacific/pdf/REL_2014007.pdf, and https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/northeast/pdf/REL_2015057.pdf.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 20 U.S.C. 1070a-14.
    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 
Office of Management and Budget 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. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 646. (e) 
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 institutions of 
higher education (IHEs) only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: We intend to use an estimated 
$313,849,000 for new SSS awards under this competition. Note: The 
President's Budget for FY 2020 requested $950,000,000 for the 
Administration's proposal to reform the Federal TRIO programs. The 
actual level of funding and changes to the program, if any, depend on 
final congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to 
allow enough time to complete the grant process if Congress 
appropriates funds for the Federal TRIO Programs. Contingent upon the 
availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make 
additional awards in subsequent years from the list of unfunded 
applications from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $149,482-$1,595,544.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $311,977.
    Maximum Award: The maximum award varies based on whether the 
applicant is currently receiving an SSS grant, as well as the type of 
project and number of students served.
    For applicants not currently receiving an SSS Program grant, the 
maximum awards are as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Maximum Amount
                    Type of Proposal                             *
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Regular SSS Proposal Serving a Minimum of 140 Student           $253,032
 Participants...........................................
Regular SSS Proposal Serving a Minimum of 100 Student            253,032
 Participants who are Students with Disabilities........
English as a Second Language (ESL) SSS Proposal Serving          253,032
 a Minimum of 140 Student Participants..................
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)          253,032
 and Health Science SSS Proposal Serving a Minimum of
 120 Student Participants...............................
Teacher Preparation SSS Proposal Serving a Minimum of            253,032
 140 Student Participants...............................
Veterans SSS Proposal Serving a Minimum of 120 Student           253,032
 Participants...........................................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

For applicants proposing to serve fewer than the minimum number of 
student participants specified in the above table, the maximum award is 
an amount equal to: $1,807 per student participant for Regular, ESL, 
and Teacher Preparation proposals; $2,530 per student participant for 
projects serving Students with Disabilities (SWD proposals); and $2,109 
per student participant for STEM (including Health Science) and 
Veterans proposals.

[[Page 68917]]

    For applicants currently receiving an SSS program grant, the 
maximum award amount is the greater of (a) $253,032 or (b) 100 percent 
of the applicant's base award amount for FY 2019.
    For any currently funded applicant that proposes to serve fewer 
students than it served in FY 2019, the maximum award is the amount 
that corresponds with the cost per participant previously established 
for the project in FY 2019.
    Estimated Number of New Awards: 1,069.

    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 or combinations of IHEs.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Section 402D(d)(4) of the HEA requires 
that all successful applicants that use SSS Program funds to provide 
grant aid to students pursuant to section 402D(d)(1) of the HEA must 
provide matching funds, in cash, from non-Federal funds, in an amount 
that is not less than 33 percent of the total amount of the SSS Program 
funds used for this aid. This matching requirement does not apply to a 
grant recipient that is an IHE eligible to receive funds under part A 
or part B of title III or under title V of the HEA.
    3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award 
subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities 
described in its application.
    4. Other: An applicant may submit multiple applications if each 
separate application describes a project that will serve a different 
campus or a different population (section 402A(c)(5) of the HEA).
    Under section 402A(h)(1) of the HEA, the term ``different campus'' 
means a site of an IHE that--(a) is geographically apart from the main 
campus of the institution; (b) is permanent in nature; and (c) offers 
courses in educational programs leading to a degree, certificate, or 
other recognized educational credential.
    Under section 402A(h)(2) of the HEA, the term ``different 
population'' means a group of individuals that an eligible entity 
desires to serve through an SSS grant that is separate and distinct 
from any other population that the entity has applied to serve using 
Federal TRIO Program funds, or, while sharing some of the same needs as 
another population that the eligible entity has applied to serve using 
Federal TRIO Program funds, has distinct needs for specialized 
services. To implement the requirement in section 402A(h)(2) of the HEA 
for this competition, the Secretary is designating the populations to 
be served as: Participants who meet the specific requirements for SSS 
services, participants who are students with disabilities, participants 
who need ESL services, participants receiving services in the STEM 
fields, participants receiving Teacher Preparation Services, and 
participants who have served in the armed forces. These different 
populations need different types of services. Accordingly, the 
Secretary has determined that projects serving these different 
populations should be subject to different standards for the minimum 
number of participants. An applicant may submit more than one 
application as long as each application proposes to serve a different 
population. For project types other than a regular SSS project, an 
applicant must propose to serve 100 percent of the students in the 
specific project type.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: Applicants are required to 
follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of 
Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal 
Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at 
www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf, which 
contain requirements and information on how to submit an application.
    2. 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.
    3. Funding Restrictions: We specify unallowable costs in 34 CFR 
646.31. We reference additional regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    Requirements concerning the content of an application, together 
with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this 
program.
    4. Recommended 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. We recommend 
that you (1) limit the application narrative, which includes the budget 
narrative, to no more than 65 pages and (2) use the following 
standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins.
     Double space all text in the application narrative, and 
single space titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and 
captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a 12-point font.
     Use an easily readable font such as Times New Roman, 
Courier, Courier New, or Arial.
    The recommended 65-page limit does not apply to Part I, the 
Application for Federal Assistance cover sheet (SF 424); Part II, the 
Budget Information Summary form (ED Form 524); Part III-A, the SSS 
Program Profile form; Part III-B, the one-page Project Abstract form; 
or Part IV, the assurances and certifications. The recommended page 
limit also does not apply to a table of contents, which you should 
include in the application narrative. You must include your complete 
response to the selection criteria in the application narrative.
    We recommend that any application addressing the competitive 
preference priorities include no more than three additional pages each 
for priorities 1 and 2, if addressed.
    Applications that do not follow the page limit and formatting 
recommendations will not be penalized.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 34 CFR 646.21 and 34 CFR 75.210.
    We will award up to 105 points to an application under the 
selection criteria and up to 5 additional points to an application 
under the competitive preference priorities, for a total score of up to 
110 points. The maximum number of points available for each criterion 
is indicated in parentheses.
    (a) Need for the project (24 points). The Secretary evaluates the 
need for an SSS project proposed at the applicant institution on the 
basis of the extent to which the application contains clear evidence 
of--
    (1) A high number or percentage, or both, of students enrolled or 
accepted for enrollment at the applicant institution who meet the 
eligibility requirements of 34 CFR 646.3 (8 points);
    (2) The academic and other problems that eligible students 
encounter at the applicant institution (8 points); and
    (3) The differences between eligible SSS students compared to an 
appropriate group, based on the following indicators:
    (i) Retention and graduation rates.
    (ii) Grade point averages.
    (iii) Graduate and professional school enrollment rates (four-year 
colleges only).

[[Page 68918]]

    (iv) Transfer rates from two-year to four-year institutions (two-
year colleges only) (8 points).
    (b) Objectives (8 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality of 
the applicant's proposed objectives 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) Retention in postsecondary education (3 points).
    (2) In good academic standing at grantee institution (2 points).
    (3) Two-year institutions only. (i) Certificate or degree 
completion (1 point); and (ii) Certificate or degree completion and 
transfer to a four-year institution (2 points).
    (4) Four-year institutions only. Completion of a baccalaureate 
degree (3 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 institutional community (students, 
faculty, and staff) of the goals, objectives, and services of the 
project and the eligibility requirements for participation in the 
project (3 points).
    (2) The plan to identify, select, and retain project participants 
with academic need (3 points).
    (3) The plan for assessing each individual participant's need for 
specific services and monitoring his or her academic progress at the 
institution to ensure satisfactory academic progress (4 points).
    (4) The plan to provide services that address the goals and 
objectives of the project (10 points).
    (5) The applicant's plan to ensure proper and efficient 
administration of the project, including the organizational placement 
of the project; the time commitment of key project staff; the specific 
plans for financial management, student records management, and 
personnel management; and, where appropriate, its plan for coordination 
with other programs for disadvantaged students (10 points).
    (d) Institutional commitment (16 points). The Secretary evaluates 
the institutional commitment to the proposed project on the basis of 
the extent to which the applicant has--
    (1) Committed facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel, and other 
resources to supplement the grant and enhance project services (6 
points);
    (2) Established administrative and academic policies that enhance 
participants' retention at the institution and improve their chances of 
graduating from the institution (6 points);
    (3) Demonstrated a commitment to minimize the dependence on student 
loans in developing financial aid packages for project participants by 
committing institutional resources to the extent possible (2 points); 
and
    (4) Assured the full cooperation and support of the Admissions, 
Student Aid, Registrar and data collection and analysis components of 
the institution (2 points).
    (e) Quality of personnel (9 points). To determine the quality of 
personnel the applicant plans to use, the Secretary looks for 
information that shows--
    (1) The qualifications required of the project director, including 
formal education and training in fields related to the objectives of 
the project, and experience in designing, managing, or implementing SSS 
or similar projects (3 points);
    (2) The qualifications required of other personnel to be used in 
the project, including formal education, training, and work experience 
in fields related to the objectives of the project (3 points); and
    (3) The quality of the applicant's plan for employing personnel who 
have succeeded in overcoming barriers similar to those confronting the 
project's target population (3 points).
    (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--
    (1) The applicant's methods for evaluation--
    (i) Are appropriate to the project and include both quantitative 
and qualitative evaluation measures (2 points); and
    (ii) Examine in specific and measurable ways, using appropriate 
baseline data, the success of the project in improving academic 
achievement, retention and graduation of project participants (2 
points); and
    (2) The applicant intends to use the results of an evaluation to 
make programmatic changes based upon the results of project evaluation 
(4 points).
    (h) Quality of the project design (5 points). In determining the 
quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers 
the extent to which the proposed project demonstrates a rationale (as 
defined in this notice).

    Note: Under the ``Objectives'' selection criterion in paragraph 
(b) above, applicants must address the standardized objectives in 34 
CFR 646.21(b)(1) through (4) related to the participants' academic 
achievements, including retention, good academic standing, 
graduation, and transfer rates. The graduation objective should be 
measured by cohorts of students who become SSS Program participants 
in each year of the project and should be compared to a relevant and 
valid comparison group. The graduation, certificate, and transfer 
rates for two-year institutions should be measured over a four-year 
period and that of four-year institutions should be measured over a 
six-year period.

    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 
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 
(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 
646.21, 34 CFR 75.210, and the competitive preference priorities. 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 646.22, the 
Secretary will award prior experience points to applicants that have 
conducted an SSS Program project within the last three Federal 
government fiscal years, 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 geographical areas that have been underserved by the SSS Program.
    3. Risk Assessment and Specific 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 specific conditions and, in 
appropriate

[[Page 68919]]

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.
    4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this 
competition to receive an award that over the course of the project 
period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently 
$250,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2), we must make a judgment about 
your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under 
Federal awards--that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant--before 
we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about 
you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred 
to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System 
(FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may 
review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal 
agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.
    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active 
grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the 
Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity 
information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal 
funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

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. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you 
are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to 
openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in 
part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of 
modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those 
modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent 
that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or 
other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. 
Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant 
funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. 
This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your 
application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional 
information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 
3474.20.
    4. 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.
    5. Performance Measures: The success of the SSS Program is measured 
by the percentage of SSS participants that complete a program of 
postsecondary education. The following performance measures have been 
developed to track progress toward achieving program success:
    (a) The percentage of first-time, full-time freshmen SSS Program 
participants who are still enrolled at the beginning of the next 
academic year or have earned a degree at a two-year grantee institution 
or transferred from a two-year to a four-year institution.
    (b) The percentage of first-time, full-time freshmen SSS 
participants at four-year institutions who received a bachelor's degree 
from the grantee institution (Note: The Department will calculate this 
measure based both on 100 percent and 150 percent of normal completion 
time).
    (c) The percentage of first-time, full-time SSS participants at 
two-year institutions who received an associate's degree and/or 
transferred to a four-year institution (Note: The Department will 
calculate this measure based both on 100 percent and 150 percent of 
normal completion time).
    (d) The cost per successful outcome.
    All SSS Program grantees are required to submit an annual 
performance report documenting the persistence and degree attainment of 
their participants. Since students take different amounts of time to 
complete their degrees, multiple years of performance report data are 
needed to determine the degree completion rates of SSS Program 
participants. The Department will aggregate the data provided in the 
annual performance reports from all grantees to determine the overall 
program accomplishment level.
    6. 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. 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.

[[Page 68920]]

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may 
access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of 
Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. 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 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.

Robert L. King,
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2019-27115 Filed 12-16-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P