FR Doc E9-25389[Federal Register: October 22, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 203)]
[Notices]               
[Page 54554-54558]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr22oc09-41]   

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Office of Postsecondary Education; Overview Information Student 
Support Services (SSS) Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New 
Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.042A

    Dates:
    Applications Available: October 22, 2009.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: December 7, 2009.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: February 4, 2010.

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 provided should increase the 
retention and graduation rates for these students and facilitate their 
transfer from two-year to four-year colleges and universities. The 
support services provided should also foster an institutional climate 
supportive of the success of 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, and 
other disconnected students. Student Support Services should also 
improve the financial and economic literacy of students.
    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 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98 and 99. (b) The regulations for this program in 
34 CFR part 646.

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


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


    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 646 apply to this 
competition except to the extent such regulations conflict with 
Sections 402A and 402D of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as 
amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEA).

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested 
$848,089,000 to fund the Federal TRIO Programs, of which, $268,905,822 
has been allocated for new awards for the SSS Program for FY 2010. The 
actual level of funding, if any, depends 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.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $220,000-$360,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $308,732.
    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding the maximum amount listed for a single budget period 
of 12 months.

For Applicants Not Currently Receiving an SSS Program Grant

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Type of project                      Maximum amount *
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Regular SSS Project Serving a Minimum of 140 Student            $220,000
 Participants........................................
Regular SSS Project Serving a Minimum of 100 Student             220,000
 Participants with Disabilities......................
English as a Second Language (ESL) SSS Project                   220,000
 Serving a Minimum of 140 Student Participants.......
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics                 220,000
 (STEM) SSS Project Serving a Minimum of 120 Student
 Participants........................................
Health Sciences SSS Project Serving a Minimum of 120             200,000
 Student Participants................................
Teacher Preparation SSS Project Serving a Minimum of             220,000
 140 Student Participants............................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\*\Note: For any project that will serve less than the minimum number of
  student participants identified, the maximum award amount that may be
  requested is an amount equal to $1,500 per student participant.

For Applicants Currently Receiving an SSS Program Grant

    The maximum award amount is the greater of:
    (a) $220,000 or
    (b) An amount equal to 103 percent of the applicant's base grant 
award amount for FY 2008 or 2009, whichever is greater.

    Note 1: In calculating the applicant's base grant award amount 
for FY 2009, the one-

[[Page 54555]]

time grant aid supplement awarded in FY 2009 cannot be added to the 
FY 2009 base grant award amount.


    Note 2: For an applicant currently receiving an individual SSS 
Program grant that has merged into another institution of higher 
education that is also receiving an individual SSS Program grant, 
the maximum award amount for the applicant (the merged institution) 
is an amount equal to 103 percent of the combined FY 2008 or FY 2009 
base grant award amounts for both institutions, whichever is 
greater.

    Estimated Number of New Awards: 871.

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

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education or 
combinations of institutions of higher education.
    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 institution of higher education eligible to 
receive funds under Part A or Part B of Title III or under Title V of 
the HEA.
    3. 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 institution of higher education that--(1) is geographically 
apart from the main campus of the institution; (2) is permanent in 
nature; and (3) offers courses in educational programs leading to a 
degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential 
(Section 402A(h)(1) of the HEA).
    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 a 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) for this competition, 
the Secretary is designating the populations to be served as: 
participants who meet the specific requirements for SSS services 
(``regular SSS grants''), participants with disabilities (``disabled 
grants''), participants who need ESL services (``ESL grants''), 
participants receiving services in the STEM fields (``STEM grants''), 
participants receiving services in the Health Sciences fields (``Health 
Sciences grants'') and participants receiving Teacher Preparation 
services (``Teacher Preparation grants''). These different populations 
need different types of services. Accordingly, as noted in the Maximum 
Award section, the Secretary has determined that projects serving these 
different populations should be subject to different maximum award 
amounts and different standards for the minimum number of participants. 
An applicant may submit more than one application as long as each 
application serves a different population. Any applicant who submits 
more than one application must submit a justification as to why the 
different population of participants cannot be served by the project in 
the applicant's other application(s).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: Deborah Walsh, U.S. 
Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Room 7000, Washington, DC 
20006-8510. Telephone: (202) 502-7600 or by e-mail: TRIO@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), 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 computer diskette) 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 (Part III) to no more than 65 pages using the 
following standards:
     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.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions; however, you may 
single space all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     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); SSS Program Profile; the one-page Project 
Abstract narrative; and the assurances and certifications. The page 
limit also does not apply to a table of contents. If you include any 
attachments or appendices, these items will be counted as part of Part 
III, the application narrative, for purposes of the page-limit 
requirement. You must include your complete response to the selection 
criteria, which also includes the budget narrative in Part III, the 
application narrative. We will reject your application if you exceed 
the page limit.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: October 22, 2009.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: December 7, 2009.
    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted 
electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-
Application) accessible through the Department's e-Grants site. For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to Section IV. 6. Other Submission 
Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under For Further Information Contact of Section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

[[Page 54556]]

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: February 4, 2010.
    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 
646.31. We reference additional regulations outlining restrictions in 
the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. 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 Student Support Services 
Program--CFDA Number 84.042A must be submitted electronically using e-
Application, accessible through the Department's e-Grants Web site at: 
http://e-grants.ed.gov.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    While completing your electronic application, you will be entering 
data online that will be saved into a database. You may not e-mail an 
electronic copy of a grant application to us.
    Please note the following:
     You must complete the electronic submission of your grant 
application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. E-Application will not accept an application for this 
program [competition] after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the 
application deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do 
not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application 
process.
     The hours of operation of the e-Grants Web site are 6:00 
a.m. Monday until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday; and 6:00 a.m. Thursday until 
8:00 p.m. Sunday, Washington, DC time. Please note that, because of 
maintenance, the system is unavailable between 8:00 p.m. on Sundays and 
6:00 a.m. on Mondays, and between 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6:00 a.m. 
on Thursdays, Washington, DC time. Any modifications to these hours are 
posted on the e-Grants Web site.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: the 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications. You must attach any narrative sections of your 
application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF 
(Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the 
three file types specified in this paragraph or submit a password 
protected file, we will not review that material.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page 
limit requirements described in this notice.
     Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may 
wish to print a copy of it for your records.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive an automatic acknowledgment that will include a PR/Award number 
(an identifying number unique to your application).
     Within three working days after submitting your electronic 
application, fax a signed copy of the SF 424 to the Application Control 
Center after following these steps:
    (1) Print SF 424 from e-Application.
    (2) The applicant's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.
    (3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the 
hard-copy signature page of the SF 424.
    (4) Fax the signed SF 424 to the Application Control Center at 
(202) 245-6272.
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
other forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of e-Application 
Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically submitting 
your application on the application deadline date because e-Application 
is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically, by mail, or by 
hand delivery. We will grant this extension if--
    (1) You are a registered user of e-Application and you have 
initiated an electronic application for this competition; and
    (2) (a) E-Application is unavailable for 60 minutes or more between 
the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the 
application deadline date; or
    (b) E-Application is unavailable for any period of time between 
3:30 p.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date.
    We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability 
before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to 
confirm our acknowledgment of any system unavailability, you may 
contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under For 
Further Information Contact (see VII. Agency Contact) or (2) the e-
Grants help desk at 1-888-336-8930. If e-Application is unavailable due 
to technical problems with the system and, therefore, the application 
deadline is extended, an e-mail will be sent to all registered users 
who have initiated an e-Application. Extensions referred to in this 
section apply only to the unavailability of e-Application.
    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 e-Application because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
e-Application; and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days; or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application. If you 
mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax 
your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed 
statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

[[Page 54557]]

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Eileen S. Bland, U.S. 
Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Room 7000, Washington, DC 
20006-8510. Fax: (202) 502-7857.
    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 84.042A) LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

    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.

    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 84.042A) 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, 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 selection criteria for this program 
competition are in 34 CFR 646.21 and are listed in the application 
package.

    Note: Under the ``Objectives'' selection criterion, 34 CFR 
646.21 (b), worth eight (8) points, applicants should address the 
standardized objectives in 34 CFR 646.21(a)(3) related to the 
participants' academic achievements, including retention, grade 
point average, graduation, and transfer. Applicants also should note 
that 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: A panel of non-Federal readers 
will review each application in accordance with the selection criteria, 
pursuant to 34 CFR 646.21. The individual scores of the readers will be 
added and the sum divided by the number of readers to determine the 
reader score received in the review process. 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 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.

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). 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: 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 
http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: The success of the SSS Program will be 
measured by the rates of SSS Program participants persisting in and 
completing postsecondary education at the grantee institution. All SSS 
Program grantees will be required to submit an annual performance 
report documenting the persistence and degree attainment of their 
participants. Since students may take different lengths 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 of Education will aggregate the data 
provided in the annual performance reports from all grantees to 
determine the accomplishment level.

VII. Agency Contacts

    For Further Information Contact: Deborah Walsh or, if unavailable, 
contact Lavelle Redmond, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, 
NW., Room 7000, Washington, DC 20006-8510. Telephone: (202) 502-7600 or 
by e-mail: TRIO@ed.gov.

[[Page 54558]]

    If you use a TDD, 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 diskette) on 
request to the program contact person listed under For Further 
Information Contact in Section VII of this notice.
    Electronic Access to This Document: 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) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister.
    To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note:  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 on GPO Access at: 
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.

    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated 
authority to Daniel T. Madzelan, Director, Forecasting and Policy 
Analysis for the Office of Postsecondary Education, to perform the 
functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary 
Education.

    Dated: October 16, 2009.
Daniel T. Madzelan,
Director, Forecasting and Policy Analysis.
[FR Doc. E9-25389 Filed 10-21-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P