FR Doc 2010-24324
[Federal Register: October 26, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 206)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 65711-65803]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr26oc10-11]                                

Download: download files

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

[[Page 65711]]

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

Part II





Department of Education





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



34 CFR Parts 206, 642, 643, et al.



High School Equivalency Program and College Assistance Migrant Program, 
The Federal TRIO Programs, and Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness 
for Undergraduate Program; Final Rule


[[Page 65712]]


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

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Parts 206, 642, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647, and 694

RIN 1840-AD01
[Docket ID ED-2010-OPE-0002]

 
High School Equivalency Program and College Assistance Migrant 
Program, The Federal TRIO Programs, and Gaining Early Awareness and 
Readiness for Undergraduate Program

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education and Office of Elementary and 
Secondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Final regulations.

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

SUMMARY: The Secretary amends the regulations, and establishes new 
regulations, for the High School Equivalency Program and College 
Assistance Migrant Program (HEP and CAMP); the Federal TRIO programs 
(TRIO programs--Training program for Federal TRIO programs (Training), 
Talent Search (TS), Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC), Upward Bound 
(UB), Student Support Services (SSS), and the Ronald E. McNair 
Postbaccalaureate Achievement (McNair) programs); and the Gaining Early 
Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate (GEAR UP) program.
    The purpose of HEP is to help migrant and seasonal farmworkers and 
their immediate family members obtain a general educational development 
(GED) credential, while CAMP assists students from this background to 
complete their first academic year of college and continue in 
postsecondary education. The Federal TRIO programs consist of five 
postsecondary educational opportunity outreach and support programs 
designed to motivate and assist low-income individuals, first-
generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to enter 
and complete secondary and postsecondary programs of study and enroll 
in graduate programs, and a training program for project staff working 
in one or more of the Federal TRIO programs. The purpose of the GEAR UP 
program is to increase the number of low-income students who are 
prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.
    These regulations are needed to implement provisions of the Higher 
Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) by the Higher Education 
Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) that relate to the HEP and CAMP, Federal 
TRIO programs, and GEAR UP program.

DATES: Effective Date: These regulations are effective December 27, 
2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information, Pamela J. 
Maimer, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 8014, 
Washington, DC 20006-8014. Telephone: (202) 502-7704 or via the 
Internet at: Pamela.Maimer@ed.gov.
    For information related to HEP and CAMP issues, Nathan Weiss, U.S. 
Department of Education, Office of Migrant Education, 400 Maryland Ave. 
SW., room 3E-321, Washington, DC 20202-6135. Telephone: (202) 260-7496 
or via the Internet at: Nathan.Weiss@ed.gov.
    For information related to Federal TRIO issues, Frances Bergeron, 
U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 7059, 
Washington, DC 20006-7059. Telephone: (202) 502-7528 or via the 
Internet at Frances.Bergeron@ed.gov.
    For information related to GEAR UP issues, James Davis, U.S. 
Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6109, Washington, DC 
20006-6109. Telephone: (202) 502-7802 or via the Internet at: 
James.Davis@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 this document in an 
accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to any of the contact persons listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 23, 2010, the Secretary published a 
notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the HEP and CAMP, the Federal 
TRIO programs, and the GEAR UP program in the Federal Register (75 FR 
13814). In the preamble to the NPRM, the Secretary discussed on pages 
13816 through 13859 the major changes proposed in that document to 
strengthen and improve the administration of the HEP and CAMP, the 
Federal TRIO programs, and the GEAR UP program authorized under the 
HEA.
    These final regulations implement changes made by the HEOA to 
discretionary grant programs authorized by title IV of the HEA, 
including:
    HEP and CAMP:
     Amending Sec.  206.3(a)(1) for HEP and CAMP to allow 
students to qualify for the program through their own qualifying work, 
or that of an immediate family member, rather than only through their 
own work or that of a parent, as the statute previously held (see 
section 418A(b)(B)(i) of the HEA).
     Amending Sec.  206.5(c) to define the term immediate 
family member to include only individuals who are dependent upon a 
migrant or seasonal farmworker (see section 418A(b)(B)(i) of the HEA).
     Amending Sec.  206.5(c) to revise the definition of the 
term seasonal farmworker to clarify that the individual's primary 
employment in migrant and seasonal farmwork must occur for at least 75 
days within the past 24 months (see section 418A(b)(1)(B)(i) of the 
HEA).
     Amending the authorized HEP services section in Sec.  
206.10(b) to (1) provide that permissible HEP services include 
preparation for college entrance examinations; (2) provide that 
permissible HEP services include all stipends--not only weekly 
stipends--for HEP participants; (3) add transportation and child care 
as examples of essential supportive services; and (4) specify that HEP 
services include other activities to improve persistence and retention 
in postsecondary education (see section 418A(b) of the HEA).
     Amending CAMP services in Sec.  206.10(b)(2) to specify 
that: (1) Permissible CAMP services include supportive and 
instructional services to improve placement, persistence, and retention 
in postsecondary education; (2) these supportive services include 
personal, academic, career, economic education, or personal finance 
counseling as an ongoing part of the program, and (3) permissible CAMP 
services include internships (see section 418A(c)(1) of the HEA).
     Amending Sec.  206.11(b) to specify that follow-up CAMP 
services include: (1) Referring CAMP students to on-campus or off-
campus providers of counseling services, academic assistance, or 
financial aid, and coordinating those services, assistance, and aid 
with other non-program services, assistance, and aid, including 
services, assistance, and aid provided by community-based 
organizations, which may include mentoring and guidance, and (2) for 
students attending two-year institutions of higher education, 
encouraging the students to transfer to four-year institutions of 
higher education, where appropriate, and monitoring the rate of 
transfer of these students (see section 418A(c)(2) of the HEA).
     Amending Sec.  206.20(b)(2) to specify that the Secretary 
must not allocate an amount less than $180,000 for HEP and CAMP grants 
(see section 418A(e) of the HEA).

[[Page 65713]]

     Adding Sec.  206.31 to the HEP and CAMP program 
regulations to specify the criteria the Department considers in 
evaluating prior experience (see section 418A(f) of the HEA).

Federal TRIO Programs

     Amending Sec. Sec.  643.7(b) (TS), 644.7(b) (EOC), 
645.6(b) (UB), 646.7(b) (SSS), and 647.7(b) (McNair) to revise or add 
definitions for different campus and different population, which change 
the prior regulatory definitions of these terms for the SSS program and 
the Department's administrative practice with regard to the number of 
applications an eligible entity may submit under each of the TRIO 
programs (see section 402A(h)(1) and (h)(2) of the HEA).
     Adding new Sec. Sec.  642.11 and 642.12 (Training) and 
amending Sec.  643.4 (TS), part 645 (UB, Upward Bound Math and Science 
(UBMS), and Veterans Upward Bound (VUB)) Sec.  646.4 (SSS), and Sec.  
647.4 (McNair) to specify the services or activities that projects 
funded under the Federal TRIO programs must provide and the services or 
activities that these projects may provide.
     Amending Sec. Sec.  643.7(b) (TS), 644.7(b) (EOC), 
645.6(b) (UB), and 646.7(b) (SSS) to add new categories of participants 
(foster care youth and homeless children and youth) for whom projects 
funded under these programs are to provide services (see section 
402A(e)(3) of the HEA).
     Amending newly redesignated Sec.  642.22 (Training) and 
Sec. Sec.  643.22 (TS), 644.22 (EOC), 645.32 (UB), 646.22 (SSS), and 
647.22 (McNair) to align prior experience determinations with 
statutorily revised outcome criteria (see section 402A(f)(3)(A) of the 
HEA (TS), section 402A(f)(3)(B) of the HEA (UB), section 402A(f)(3)(C) 
of the HEA (SSS), section 402A(f)(3)(D) of the HEA (McNair), and 
section 402A(f)(3)(E) of the HEA (EOC)).
     Adding Sec. Sec.  642.25 (Training), 643.24 (TS), 644.24 
(EOC), 645.35 (UB), 646.24 (SSS), and 647.24 (McNair) to provide a new 
procedure to allow unsuccessful grant applicants to request a review of 
alleged technical, administrative, or scoring errors that affected the 
applicant's application.
     Amending newly redesignated Sec.  642.6(b) (Training) and 
Sec. Sec.  643.7(b) (TS), 644.7(b) (EOC), 645.6(b) (UB), 646.7(b) 
(SSS), and 647.7(b) (McNair) to revise definitions for some terms and 
to add new definitions to implement amendments to the HEA by the HEOA:
     Financial and economic literacy (Sec. Sec.  643.7(b) (TS), 
644.7(b) (EOC), 645.6(b) (UB), 646.7(b) (SSS), and 647.7(b) (McNair)) 
(see section 402B(b)(6) of the HEA (TS), section 402C(b)(6) of the HEA 
(UB), section 402D(b)(4) of the HEA (SSS), section 402E(c)(1) of the 
HEA (McNair)), and section 402F(b)(5) of the HEA (EOC)).
     Foster care youth and homeless children and youth (newly 
redesignated Sec.  642.6(b) (Training) and Sec. Sec.  643.7(b) (TS), 
644.7(b) (EOC), 645.6(b) (UB), and 646.7(b) (SSS)) (see sections 
402A(e)(3) and 402B(c)(7) of the HEA (TS), section 402C(d)(7) of the 
HEA (UB), section 402D(a)(3) and (c)(6) of the HEA (SSS), section 
402F(b)(11) of the HEA (EOC), and section 402G(b)(5) of the HEA 
(Training)).
     Graduate center; groups underrepresented in graduate 
school; and research and scholarly activities (Sec.  647.7(b) (McNair)) 
(see sections 101 and 102 of the HEA and section 402E(d)(2) of the HEA 
(McNair)).
     Individual with a disability (newly redesignated Sec.  
642.6(b) (Training) and Sec. Sec.  643.7(b) (TS), 644.7(b) (EOC), 
645.6(b) (UB), and 646.7(b) (SSS)) (see section 402B(c)(7) of the HEA 
(TS), section 402C(d)(7) of the HEA (UB), section 402D(a)(3) and (c)(6) 
of the HEA (SSS), section 402F(b)(11) of the HEA (EOC), and section 
402G(b)(5) of the HEA (Training)).
     Individual who has a high risk for academic failure and 
veteran who has a high risk for academic failure (Sec.  645.6(b) (UB 
and VUB)) (see sections 402A(f)(3)(B)(iii) and (iv) and 402C(e)(2) of 
the HEA (UB)).
     Institution of higher education (newly redesignated Sec.  
642.6(b) (Training) and Sec. Sec.  643.7(b) (TS), 644.7(b) (EOC), 
645.6(b) (UB), 646.7(b) (SSS), and 647.7(b) (McNair)) (see sections 101 
and 102 of the HEA).
     Regular secondary school diploma and rigorous secondary 
school program of study (Sec. Sec.  643.7(b) (TS) and 645.6(b) (UB)) 
(see section 402A(f)(3)(A)(iii) and (iv) of the HEA (TS) and section 
402A(f)(3)(B) of the HEA (UB)).
     Veteran (newly redesignated Sec.  642.6(b) (Training) and 
Sec. Sec.  643.7(b) (TS), 644.7(b) (EOC), and 645.6 (b) (UB)) (see 
section 402A(h)(5) of the HEA (TS, EOC, and UB)).
    Additionally, the regulations for the TRIO programs were amended to 
reflect other changes made by the HEOA, other amendments to the HEA, 
and established administrative practices. These changes include the 
following:
     Amending the project period for the TRIO programs in newly 
redesignated Sec.  642.4 (Training) and Sec. Sec.  643.5 (TS), 644.5 
(EOC), 645.34 (UB), 646.5 (SSS), and 647.5 (McNair) to define the 
project period as two years for Training and five years for TS, EOC, 
UB, SSS, and McNair (see section 402A(b)(2)(B) and (C) of the HEA).
     Revising the selection criteria related to ``Objectives'' 
for the following TRIO pre-college and college programs: TS (Sec.  
643.21(b)); EOC (Sec.  644.21(b)); UB (Sec.  645.31(b)(1), VUB (Sec.  
645.31(b)(2)); SSS (Sec.  646.21(b)); and McNair (Sec.  647.21(b)) (see 
section 402A(f)(3)(A) of the HEA (TS), section 402A(f)(3)(B) of the HEA 
(UB), section 402A(f)(3)(C) of the HEA (SSS), section 402A(f)(3)(D) of 
the HEA (McNair), and section 402A(f)(3)(E) of the HEA (EOC)).
     Removing the minimum number of participants in the 
regulations for TS, EOC, UB, UBMS, and VUB projects (see sections 
402A(f), 402A(b)(3), 402B (TS), 402C (UB), 402F (EOC) of the HEA). For 
each grant competition, the Department will establish the minimum 
number of participants to be served by a grantee through the Federal 
Register notice inviting applications.
     Amending newly redesignated Sec. Sec.  642.22 and 642.24 
of the TRIO Training regulations to reflect current law and practice 
regarding: (1) The need for the project selection criteria and the 
process for ranking applications by priority; (2) the use of prior 
experience points in the ranking of applications for funding; and (3) 
the number of prior experience points that can be earned (see section 
402G(2) of the HEA).

GEAR UP

     Redesignating Sec.  694.15 as Sec.  694.19 to accommodate 
the proposed addition of other regulatory provisions. Amending newly 
redesignated Sec.  694.19 to provide that the Secretary award 
competitive preference priority points to an eligible applicant for a 
State GEAR UP grant that has both carried out a successful State GEAR 
UP grant prior to August 14, 2008, and demonstrated a prior commitment 
to early intervention leading to college access through collaboration 
and replication of successful strategies; and to specify how the 
Department determines whether a State GEAR UP grant has been 
``successful'' (see section 404A(b)(3) of the HEA).
     Adding Sec.  694.20 to explain when a GEAR UP grantee is 
allowed to provide services to students attending an institution of 
higher education (see section 404A(b)(2) of the HEA).
     Adding new Sec.  694.24 to require grantees that continue 
to provide services to students through their first year of attendance 
at an institution of higher education, to the extent practicable, to 
coordinate with other campus programs in order not to duplicate 
services (see section 404A(b)(2) of the HEA).

[[Page 65714]]

     Amending Sec.  694.7(a)(2) to require that a GEAR UP 
grantee make substantial progress towards meeting the matching 
percentage stated in its approved application for each year of the 
project period. Grantees are no longer required to meet the matching 
requirement each year of the project period (section 404C(b)(1) of the 
HEA).
     Adding new Sec.  694.8 to: (1) Provide authority for the 
Secretary to approve a Partnership applicant's request for a waiver of 
up to 50 or 75 percent of the matching requirement for up to two years 
under certain circumstances; and (2) create a multiple-tiered system 
for different types of waiver requests (see section 404C(b)(2) of the 
HEA).
     Adding new Sec.  694.8(b)(3) to specify that at the time 
of application, the Secretary may provide tentative approval of a 
Partnership applicant's request for a 50-percent waiver for the entire 
project period so that a Partnership applicant that meets the 
conditions for such a waiver has an opportunity to apply for a grant 
without needing to identify additional sources of match funding in the 
later years of the project period (see section 404C(b)(2) of the HEA).
     Adding new Sec. Sec.  694.21 and 694.22 to specify 
required and allowable activities and separate these required and 
allowable activities into multiple regulatory sections (section 404D of 
the HEA).
     Adding new Sec.  694.22(e) to specify that GEAR UP 
grantees may provide activities that support participating students to 
develop graduation and career plans, including career awareness and 
planning assistance as they relate to a rigorous academic curriculum 
(see section 404D(b)(5)(D) of the HEA).
     Adding newly redesignated Sec. Sec.  694.13 and new 694.14 
to clarify that GEAR UP funds may be used to support the costs of 
administering a scholarship program as well as the costs of the 
scholarships themselves (see sections 404E(a)(1) and 404D(b)(7) of the 
HEA).
     Adding new Sec.  694.24 to describe the types of services 
that a grantee may provide to students in their first year of 
attendance at an institution of higher education and listing examples 
of these services (see section 404D of the HEA).
     Amending newly redesignated Sec.  694.13(a) to specify the 
minimum amount of scholarship funding for an eligible student, and 
provide that the State or Partnership awarding the GEAR UP scholarship 
may reduce the scholarship amount if an eligible student who is awarded 
a GEAR UP scholarship attends an institution of higher education on a 
less than full-time basis during any award year (see section 404E(d) of 
the HEA).
     Adding new Sec.  694.14(b) to incorporate the statutory 
definition of the term eligible student (from section 404E(g) of the 
HEA) in the program regulations.
     Clarifying in new Sec.  694.14(c)(2) the amount of funds 
that State grantees that do not receive a waiver of the requirement 
that States must expend at least 50 percent of their GEAR UP funding on 
scholarships must hold in reserve for scholarships and how States must 
use these funds (see section 404E(e) of the HEA).
     Clarifying in newly redesignated Sec.  694.13(c) that 
scholarships must be made to all students who are eligible under the 
definition in Sec.  694.13(d) and that a grantee may not impose 
additional eligibility criteria that would have the effect of limiting 
or denying a scholarship to an eligible student (see section 404E(e) 
and (g) of the HEA).
     Adding new 694.14(e) to specify that States awarding 
scholarships must provide information on the eligibility requirements 
for the scholarships to all participating students upon the students' 
entry into the GEAR UP program (see section 404E(c) of the HEA).
     Adding new 694.14(f) to specify that States must provide 
scholarship funds to all eligible students who attend an institution of 
higher education in the State, and may provide these scholarship funds 
to eligible students who attend institutions of higher education 
outside the State (see section 404E(e) and (g) of the HEA).
     Specifying in new Sec.  694.14(g) that a State or 
Partnership that chooses to participate in the scholarship component in 
accordance with section 404E of the HEA may award continuation 
scholarships in successive award years to each student who received an 
initial scholarship and who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a 
program of undergraduate instruction at an institution of higher 
education (see section 404E of the HEA).
     Amending newly redesignated Sec.  694.15 to specify that a 
GEAR UP Partnership that does not participate in the GEAR UP 
scholarship component may provide financial assistance for 
postsecondary education using non-Federal funds, and those funds may be 
used to comply with the program's matching requirement (see section 
404C(b) of the HEA).
     Adding new Sec.  694.16 to specify the requirements for 
the return of scholarship funds. Specifically, (1) providing that 
scholarship funds held in reserve by States under Sec. Sec.  
694.12(b)(1) or 694.12(c) or by Partnerships under section 404D(b)(7) 
of the HEA that are not used by an eligible student within six years of 
the student's scheduled completion of secondary school may be 
redistributed by the grantee to other eligible students; (2) requiring 
the return of remaining Federal funds within 45 days after the six-year 
period for expending the scholarship funds expires; (3) requiring 
grantees to annually furnish information, as the Secretary may require, 
on the amount of Federal and non-Federal funds reserved and held for 
GEAR UP scholarships and the disbursement of those funds to eligible 
students until these funds are fully expended or returned to the 
Secretary; and (4) providing that a scholarship fund under the GEAR UP 
program is subject to audit or monitoring by authorized representatives 
of the Secretary throughout the life of the fund (see section 
404E(e)(4) of the HEA).
     Adding new Sec.  694.25 to require grantees that receive 
initial grant awards after the passage of the HEOA to continue to serve 
students from a previous grant received by the grantee (see section 
404A(b)(3)(B) of the HEA).
     Adding new Sec.  694.25(a) to clarify whom a grantee must 
serve if not all students in the cohort attend the same school after 
the cohort completes the last grade level offered by the school at 
which the cohort began to receive GEAR UP services (see section 404B(d) 
of the HEA).
     Amending newly redesignated Sec.  694.18 to specify that 
21st Century Scholarship Certificates are to be provided by the 
grantees (rather than by the Secretary to the grantees), and must 
indicate the estimated amount of any scholarship that a student may be 
eligible to receive.

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    The regulations in this document were developed through the use of 
negotiated rulemaking. Section 492 of the HEA requires that, before 
publishing any proposed regulations to implement programs under title 
IV of the HEA, the Secretary must obtain public involvement in the 
development of the proposed regulations. After obtaining advice and 
recommendations, the Secretary must conduct a negotiated rulemaking 
process to develop the proposed regulations. The negotiated rulemaking 
committee did not reach consensus on the proposed regulations that were 
published on March 23, 2010. The Secretary invited comments on the 
proposed regulations by April 22, 2010. In response to the Secretary's 
invitation in the NPRM to the proposed

[[Page 65715]]

regulations, 455 parties submitted comments on the proposed 
regulations. An analysis of the comments and of the changes in the 
regulations since publication of the NPRM follows.
    We group major issues according to subject, with appropriate 
sections of the regulations referenced in parentheses. We discuss other 
substantive issues under the sections of the regulations to which they 
pertain. Generally, we do not address technical and other minor 
changes, suggested changes that the law does not authorize the 
Secretary to make, or comments pertaining to issues that were not 
within the scope of the NPRM.

Part 206--Special Educational Programs for Students Whose Families Are 
Engaged in Migrant and Other Seasonal Farmwork--High School Equivalency 
Program (HEP) and College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)

Who May Benefit From HEP and CAMP? (34 CFR Part 206)

    Comment: One commenter inquired as to whether HEP would only 
benefit farm workers and their families and stated that there were 
others, not necessarily in that group, who could potentially be helped 
by this program.
    Discussion: We appreciate the commenter's view that HEP could 
potentially help individuals who are not migrant and seasonal 
farmworkers. However, section 418A of the HEA, which authorizes both 
HEP and CAMP, requires that program activities focus on migrant and 
seasonal farmworkers and their immediate family. The Department does 
not have the authority to expand this statutorily prescribed 
requirement.
    Changes: None.

Types of Services for CAMP Projects (Sec.  206.10(b)(2))

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: In our review of Sec.  206.10(b)(2), we realized that 
Sec.  206.10(b)(2)(iv) contained a typographical error and we have 
corrected it.
    Changes: In Sec.  206.10(b)(2)(iv), we have removed the word 
``student'' and added, in its place, the word ``students'' to correct a 
typographical error.

Prior Experience in HEP and CAMP (Sec.  206.31(a))

    Comment: One commenter suggested that the Department revise the 
wording of a note that was included in the NPRM's preamble discussion 
of prior experience under HEP and CAMP. Specifically, the commenter 
suggested deleting the phrase ``for the priority'' from the following 
note, which appeared on page 13820 of the NPRM (75 FR 13814, 13820):

    ``Note: The TRIO programs have had a longstanding requirement 
that only applicants with an expiring TRIO project are eligible for 
the priority for prior experience. Consequently, in providing the 
same degree of consideration for prior experience as provided under 
the Federal TRIO programs, we view this aspect of proposed Sec.  
206.31(a) to be statutorily required.''

    Discussion: We appreciate the commenter's concern for clarifying 
this language from the preamble of the NPRM. In this notice of final 
regulations, we make changes, if appropriate, to the regulations 
themselves, not language from the preamble of the NPRM. Moreover, we do 
not believe that any change to the regulations themselves is necessary 
because Sec.  206.31(a) refers only to the Secretary considering the 
applicant's experience in implementing an expiring HEP project; it does 
not use the phrase ``for the priority''.
    Changes: None.

Federal TRIO Programs--34 CFR Parts 642 (Training Program for Federal 
TRIO Programs), 643 (Talent Search), 644 (Educational Opportunity 
Centers), 645 (Upward Bound Program), 646 (Student Support Services 
Program), 647 (Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program)

    Section 403(a) of the HEOA amended section 402A of the HEA to 
include a number of new requirements that apply across the Federal TRIO 
programs (i.e., the Talent Search (TS), Upward Bound (UB), Student 
Support Services (SSS), Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement 
(McNair), Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC), and Staff Development 
Activities (Training) programs). Additionally, section 403(b) through 
(g) of the HEOA amended sections 402B, 402C, 402D, 402E, 402F, and 
402G, to make specific changes to the TS, UB, SSS, McNair, EOC, and 
Training programs, respectively.
    We have organized the discussion of comments received on and 
responses to the proposed changes to the specific Federal TRIO program 
regulations by first addressing crosscutting issues by subject matter 
and then discussing program-specific issues on a program-by-program 
basis.
    Our discussion of comments applicable to specific programs follows 
the order of the Department's regulations for those programs (i.e., 34 
CFR parts 642 (Training), 643 (TS), 644 (EOC), 645 (UB), 646 (SSS), and 
647 (McNair)).

Number of Applications an Eligible Entity May Submit To Serve Different 
Campuses and Different Populations

    Comment: One commenter expressed concern that an applicant that 
submitted a TRIO Program grant application to provide services to one 
of the different populations identified by the Secretary in the Federal 
Register notice inviting applications for one fiscal year competition 
would be ineligible to submit an application for a new grant award to 
continue the existing project if the population served by the existing 
project was not designated as an eligible population in the notice 
inviting applications for the next competition. The commenter suggested 
that the Department include language in the regulations to ensure that 
an applicant with an expiring grant will be eligible to apply for a new 
grant in a subsequent competition to serve the same population of 
students.
    Discussion: As part of the HEOA, Congress significantly revised the 
definition of ``eligible population'' in section 402A(h)(2) of the HEA. 
To implement this statutory change, the regulations specify that, for 
each competition, the Department will designate in the Federal Register 
notice inviting applications for the competition, the different 
populations for which an entity may submit a separate application (see 
Sec. Sec.  642.7 (Training) \1\, 643.10(b) (TS), 644.10(b) (EOC), 
645.20(b) (UB), 646.10(b) (SSS), and 647.10(b) (McNair).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ For the Training Program, the Federal Register notice 
inviting applications will include the statutory and other 
priorities that applicants must address for the competition. 
Training program grantees will provide training on the topics 
identified in the published priorities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Under these regulations, therefore, an entity that previously 
received a grant to serve a particular population would be eligible to 
submit an application for a new grant to continue serving the same 
population if that population is included as a designated population in 
the Federal Register notice inviting applications for the new 
competition. If the population served by the grantee is not designated 
for the new competition, the entity would not be eligible to apply for 
a grant to continue to serve the same population it served under the 
expiring grant. While an entity with an expiring grant serving another 
population could apply for a grant to serve one of the populations 
designated in the notice inviting applications for the new competition, 
the entity would not be eligible for PE points based on its expiring 
grant.
    Changes: None.

[[Page 65716]]

Designating Different Populations in the Federal Register Notice 
Inviting Applications

    Comment: One commenter questioned whether designating different 
populations for each competition was consistent with the TRIO programs' 
goals. The commenter believed that this approach would politicize the 
application process because it would force applicants to constantly 
change the focus of their projects to meet the changing requirements of 
the times. Ultimately, the commenter expressed concern that the 
proposed approach would destabilize the programs because it would 
reduce the effectiveness of the grantees.
    Discussion: We do not agree that the designation of different 
populations to be served for each competition will politicize the 
application process or reduce the effectiveness of the TRIO programs 
because most of the projects funded under any competition will be for 
traditional TRIO projects (i.e., projects that provide services to 
eligible participants--low-income, first-generation college students, 
and students with disabilities--but that do not focus services on a 
specific population). For example, during the FY 2010 SSS grant 
competition only a small percentage of the applicants proposed projects 
to serve different populations that had distinct needs for specialized 
services that could not be addressed through a regular SSS project. As 
discussed in the NPRM, 75 FR at 13821-22, the designation of different 
populations for each competition will give the Department the 
flexibility to address changing national needs and to ensure that 
Federal funds are targeted to areas or populations most in need. The 
Secretary believes that it is appropriate to change the focus of the 
TRIO programs if the national needs change. That said, this does not 
mean that the Department will change the designated populations for 
each new competition.
    Changes: None.

Clarification of the Term ``Designated Different Population''

    Comment: One commenter asked for clarification regarding what 
qualifies as a designated different population.
    Discussion: Section 402A(c)(5) of the HEA, as amended by section 
403(a)(2)(C) of the HEOA, provides that the Secretary may not limit the 
number of applications submitted by an eligible entity under any 
Federal TRIO program if the additional applications describe programs 
serving different populations or different campuses. Section 402A(h)(2) 
of the HEA defines ``different population'' as a group of individuals 
that an eligible entity desires to serve using a Federal TRIO grant and 
that is separate and distinct from any other population that the entity 
has applied to serve, or that, while sharing some of the same needs as 
another population, has distinct needs for specialized services. The 
definition sections of each of the TRIO program regulations will 
include the new statutory definition for ``different population'' for 
each program to which the term applies. In addition, each of the TRIO 
program regulations provide that the Secretary will designate, in the 
Federal Register notice inviting applications and other published 
application materials for each competition, the different populations 
for which an eligible entity can submit separate applications. 
Therefore, what qualifies as a designated different population for each 
grant competition will be determined by the Department and described in 
the Federal Register notice inviting applications for that competition. 
For example, under the FY 2010 SSS grant competition, the Secretary 
designated projects that serve five different populations: Individuals 
with disabilities, individuals for whom English is a second language, 
individuals pursing science, technology, engineering and math 
disciplines, individuals pursuing teacher preparation, and individuals 
pursuing health sciences.
    Changes: None.

Definitions Applicable to More Than One Federal TRIO Program Definition 
of Financial and Economic Literacy (Sec. Sec.  643.7, 644.7, 645.6, 
646.7, 647.7)

    Comment: One commenter suggested that providing education or 
counseling services designed to improve financial and economic literacy 
should be a required service for all TRIO programs. Multiple commenters 
noted that EOC projects do not have enough time or resources to provide 
education or counseling services to improve participants' knowledge 
about all of the examples of personal financial decision-making listed 
in the definition of financial and economic literacy.
    Discussion: Under these regulations, all Federal TRIO programs--
other than the Training program--include as a mandatory or permissible 
activity providing education or counseling services designed to improve 
the financial and economic literacy of participants (see Sec. Sec.  
643.4(a)(6) TS),\2\ 644.4(e) (EOC), 645.11(a)(6) (UB), 646.4(a)(4) 
(SSS), and 647.4(b)(1) (McNair)). The definition of financial and 
economic literacy is consistent across programs. We intended the 
proposed definition to include a non-exhaustive list of examples of the 
types of knowledge that comprise knowledge about personal financial 
decision-making. We have made minor changes to this definition to make 
clear that the list of examples is not exhaustive and is not a list of 
mandatory activities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ In the case of the TS program, projects must provide 
connections for participants to education or counseling services 
designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of the 
participants or the participants' parents, including financial 
planning for postsecondary education.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Changes: For clarity we have changed the phrase ``including but not 
limited to'' to ``which may include but is not limited to'' in order to 
emphasize that the list of types of knowledge that may constitute 
knowledge about personal financial decision-making is not exhaustive 
and is not a list of mandatory activities.
    Comment: A number of commenters recommended changes to the language 
used for some of the examples included in the definition of the term 
financial and economic literacy. One commenter suggested changing the 
reference to ``secondary education'' in Sec.  646.7 (SSS) to 
``postsecondary education''. Other commenters suggested that we add the 
term ``postbaccalaureate'' after the reference to ``postsecondary'', 
that we change the words ``scholarship, grant and loan education'' to 
``financial assistance education,'' and that we include the word 
``assistanceships'' in the definition of financial and economic 
literacy.
    Discussion: We generally agree with these requested changes because 
we believe that they help to clarify the types of knowledge one should 
have to be financially and economically literate. Therefore, we have 
revised Sec. Sec.  643.7, 644.7, 645.6, 646.7, 647.7 to make these 
changes. With respect to the request to add the words ``financial 
assistance education,'' we agree with the concept behind the comment 
but believe it is more appropriate to refer to ``financial assistance'' 
because it is knowledge about financial assistance, not financial 
assistance education, that is relevant.
    Changes: In the definition of financial and economic literacy in 
Sec.  646.7 (SSS), we have changed the reference to ``secondary 
education'' to ``postsecondary education''. In addition, in the 
definition of financial and economic literacy included in the 
regulations for the TS, EOC, UB, and McNair programs, we have added the 
term ``postbaccalaureate'' after the reference to ``postsecondary'', 
replaced the words ``scholarship, grant and loan education'' with the 
words ``financial

[[Page 65717]]

assistance,'' and included ``assistanceships'' as an example.

Definition of Homeless Children and Youth (Sec. Sec.  642.6, 643.7, 
644.7, 645.6, 646.7)

    Comment: Multiple commenters asked for clarification of the 
definition of ``youth''. These commenters stated that the McKinney-
Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines the age of children and youth as 
ending prior to being college aged. The commenters expressed concern 
that this definition would limit the services that TRIO programs could 
offer to these students. One commenter asked if homeless children and 
youth will be a separate group of eligible participants like first-
generation or low-income students.
    Discussion: The McKinney-Vento Act defines ``homeless children and 
youths'' in terms of what qualifies the individual as homeless, not by 
age.\3\ Therefore, there is no cut-off age for the definition of 
``youth'' in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Subtitle B of Title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless 
Assistance Act defines ``homeless'' as follows:
    The term ``homeless children and youths''--
    (A) Means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate 
nighttime residence (within the meaning of section 103(a)(1)); and
    (B) includes--
    (i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other 
persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar 
reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping 
grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are 
living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in 
hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
    (ii) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence 
that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily 
used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (within 
the meaning of section 103(a)(2)(C));
    (iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public 
spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train 
stations, or similar settings; and
    (iv) migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 
of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify 
as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children 
are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Those TRIO programs that provide pre-college programs assist 
students who are individuals covered by the definition of homeless 
children and youth in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. In 
the SSS program, however, assistance for securing temporary housing 
during breaks in the academic year may be provided to students who are 
homeless children and youths or formerly homeless children or youths 
(see Sec.  646.30(j)).
    Finally, while section 402A(c)(6) of the HEA requires TRIO 
projects, as appropriate, to make services available to homeless 
children and youths, homeless children and youths are not a separate 
group of eligible participants. Therefore, homeless children and youths 
are only eligible if they also meet the program's participant 
eligibility criteria (e.g., low-income, first-generation).
    Changes: None

Definition of Individual With a Disability (Sec. Sec.  642.6, 643.7, 
644.7, 645.6, and 646.7)

    Comment: Multiple commenters requested that we broaden the 
definition of the term individuals with disabilities to mirror the 
language used in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Another 
commenter requested clarification on whether the inclusion of the term 
``individual with disabilities'' means that a student with a documented 
disability or individualized education plan could participate in a TRIO 
project even if he or she does not meet one of the other eligibility 
criteria.
    Discussion: The ADA, as revised by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, 
defines the term ``disability'' to mean, with respect to an individual, 
(A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or 
more major life activities of such an individual, (B) a record of such 
an impairment or (C) being regarded as having such an ``impairment.'' 
This definition also applies under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation 
Act of 1973, as amended (Section 504). We agree that it is appropriate 
to use a definition of an individual with a disability that 
incorporates the ADA's definition of ``disability.'' Accordingly, we 
have changed the definition of individual with disabilities to be a 
definition of the term individual with a disability and we define 
individual with a disability to mean a person with a disability, as 
that term is defined in section 12102 of the ADA (42 U.S.C. 12101 et 
seq.).
    With respect to the comment seeking clarification on whether the 
inclusion of the term individual with disabilities in these regulations 
means that a student with a documented disability or individualized 
education program could participate in a TRIO project even if he or she 
does not meet one of the other eligibility criteria, we note that--
except under the SSS program--being an individual with a disability is 
not a separate and additional eligibility criterion, such as being a 
first-generation or low-income student. Therefore, under all but SSS, 
being an individual with a disability does not, on its own, make an 
individual eligible to participate in a TRIO project. It is important 
to note that adopting the ADA's definition of an individual with a 
disability does not mean that grant funds under these programs may be 
used to pay for services required by the ADA that are not directly 
related to the goals of the TRIO programs. However, this prohibition 
would not relieve the institution of their obligations under the ADA or 
Section 504. For example, it would not be appropriate to use SSS 
program funds to pay for a sign language interpreter for a student who 
is hard of hearing to participate in his or her Calculus class as 
required by the ADA or Section 504.
    Changes: In Sec. Sec.  642.6, 643.7, 644.7, 645.6, and 646.7 of the 
final regulations, we define individual with a disability to mean a 
person with a disability, as that term is defined in section 12102 of 
the ADA (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).

Definition of Veteran (Sec. Sec.  643.7, 644.7, and 645.6)

    Comment: One commenter suggested that the proposed definition of 
veteran be modified to include National Guard veterans who served on 
active duty in Iraq and/or Afghanistan given that a large number of 
these individuals were called to duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and 
served for long tours of duty.
    Discussion: National Guard veterans who served on active duty in 
Iraq and/or Afghanistan are included in the definition of veteran. 
These individuals qualify as veterans under the last two paragraphs of 
that definition (i.e., the individual was a member of a reserve 
component of the Armed Forces of the United States and was called to 
active duty for a period of more than 30 days, or the individual was a 
member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States 
who served on active duty in support of a contingency operation on or 
after September 11, 2011).
    Changes: None.

Evaluating Prior Experience--Outcome Criteria Definition of ``High 
Quality Service Delivery'' (Sec. Sec.  642.20(b), 643.20(a)(2)(i), 
644.20(a)(2)(i), 645.30(a)(2)(i), 646.20(a)(2)(i), 647.20(a)(2)(i))

    Comment: Several commenters expressed concerns about the proposed 
regulations that would provide that the Secretary would consider an 
applicant's prior experience of ``high quality service delivery'' in 
deciding which new grants to make. Some commenters recommended that the 
phrase ``high quality service delivery'' be defined to provide projects 
with clear expectations and performance standards. Other commenters 
stated that, because the phrase ``high quality service delivery'' is

[[Page 65718]]

not defined, it should not be included in the regulations. One 
commenter argued that because project performance data is strictly 
quantitative in nature, a determination of a grantee's quality of 
service cannot be made.
    Discussion: We disagree with the commenters' suggestion that the 
term ``high quality service delivery'' needs to be defined in the 
regulations. We also disagree that a grantee's quality of service 
cannot be determined based on project performance. As stated in section 
402A(f)(1) of the HEA and in these regulations, the determination of an 
applicant's prior experience of ``high quality service delivery'' will 
be based on the outcome criteria for the specific program. Therefore, a 
grantee that met or exceeded its approved project objectives for its 
expiring grant would be considered to have delivered high quality 
services. The Department will use data provided by the grantee in the 
APR, as well as audit findings, site visit reports, and any other 
information received by the Department to determine if the grantee met 
or exceeded these objectives.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: None.
    Discussion: In reviewing proposed Sec. Sec.  643.20(a)(2)(i), 
644.20(a)(2)(i), 645.30(a)(2)(i), 646.20(a)(2)(i), 647.20(a)(2)(i)), we 
determined that it would be clearer to have these sections refer to 
``outcome criteria'' rather than to ``criteria'' only. This change 
aligns the regulatory language more closely with section 402A(f) of the 
HEA, which refers to the specific outcome criteria to be used to 
determine an entity's prior experience (PE) points under the TS, UB, 
SSS, McNair, and EOC programs.
    Changes: We have amended Sec. Sec.  643.20(a)(2)(i), 
644.20(a)(2)(i), 645.30(a)(2)(i), 646.20(a)(2)(i), 647.20(a)(2)(i)) by 
adding the word ``outcome'' before the word ``criteria''.
    Comment: None.
    Discussion: Upon further review of Sec. Sec.  643.20(a)(2)(i), 
644.20(a)(2)(i), 645.30(a)(2)(i), 646.20(a)(2)(i), we determined that 
technical changes were needed in these sections. Because the HEA now 
permits entities to submit multiple applications to serve different 
populations, campuses, or both, it is important that the regulations 
clarify the conditions under which an entity may receive PE points for 
applications for new grants (depending on whether the new grant will 
serve the different populations, campuses, or both served under an 
expiring grant). The Department has revised these regulations to 
clarify that PE points are awarded only to the application for a new 
grant that proposes to continue to serve substantially the same 
populations and campuses that the applicant is serving under an 
expiring grant. Therefore, an entity will not receive PE points for (a) 
applications to serve different populations, even if the different 
populations are on the same campus as the population or populations 
served by the existing grant, or (b) applications to serve a different 
campus altogether.
    Changes: We have amended Sec. Sec.  643.20(a)(2)(i), 
644.20(a)(2)(i), 645.30(a)(2)(i), and 646.20(a)(2)(i) by replacing the 
word ``or'' after the words ``same populations'' with the word ``and.''

Incorrect Annual Performance Report (APR) Data (Sec. Sec.  
642.22(a)(3), 643.22(a)(3), 644.22(a)(3), 645.32(a)(3), 646.22(a)(3), 
647.22(a)(3))

    Comment: The Department received numerous comments on the proposed 
regulatory language that would permit the Secretary to adjust a PE 
score or decide not to award PE points if other information indicates 
that the APR data used to calculate the applicant's PE are incorrect. 
Several commenters requested that the regulations be revised to take 
into consideration projects that knowingly provide fraudulent 
information and those that act in good faith but inadvertently provide 
data containing errors, so that the Department does not penalize 
projects for honest mistakes. Several commenters stated that Department 
officials have acknowledged that numerous projects have made data 
errors in their APRs, and these commenters believe that it is in the 
best interest of the Department and the projects to work to correct 
these errors, rather than not to award PE points to these projects.
    Discussion: We understand the commenters' concern about data 
reporting errors potentially resulting in the loss of PE points for an 
applicant. The Department does not intend to use this authority to 
penalize applicants that make reporting errors despite their ``good 
faith'' efforts. However, because the Department cannot always tell 
whether an applicant intentionally provides false data or if the 
applicant made a mistake in data reporting, we believe it is 
appropriate for the Department to have the flexibility to address 
issues of concern in audit findings, site visits, or other information 
that identifies problems in a grantee's efforts to meet the established 
objectives on a case-by-case basis. For this reason, we decline to make 
any changes to the regulations to distinguish between projects that 
knowingly provide fraudulent information and those that act in good 
faith but inadvertently provide data containing errors.
    Changes: None.

Notification of PE Points Awarded (Sec. Sec.  642.22, 643.22, 644.22, 
645.32, 646.22, 647.22)

    Comment: Many commenters requested that the Department notify 
grantees of their PE points earned each project year within a certain 
amount of time (e.g., 60 to 90 days) after the end of the grant period. 
They also recommended that the Department provide relevant comments to 
grantees that score less than the maximum 15 PE points, to assist the 
grantees in improving their projects in future years.
    Discussion: We appreciate the commenters' suggestions on how to 
improve communication about project performance between the Department 
and grantees. The Department provides applicants with standardized 
objectives for the relevant TRIO program in the application materials 
for each TRIO competition. Applicants then must specify their 
performance targets, and grantees report on their progress in achieving 
approved objectives in their APR. At the conclusion of each 
competition, grantees receive a summary of the PE scoring by 
standardized objective for each of the three years assessed. Moreover, 
the APR for each program is designed so that grantees should be able to 
calculate their own annual PE scores. However, the Department will 
continue to perfect its assessment of PE and find ways to provide 
timely feedback to grantees on their projects' performance.
    Changes: None.

PE Points for Financial and Economic Literacy (Sec. Sec.  642.22, 
643.22, 644.22, 645.32, 646.22, 647.22)

    Comment: The Department received several comments recommending that 
PE points be granted for experience providing services to improve 
participants' financial and economic literacy as well as financial aid 
application support. Some commenters offered this recommendation for 
only a specific TRIO program. These commenters argued that services 
related to financial and economic literacy and financial aid support 
are required by the HEA, have been incorporated into certain of the 
TRIO programs' purposes, and are pivotal to helping participants 
prepare for college. Some commenters also noted that it makes sense to 
provide PE points for these services, because project staff spend a 
substantial amount of time engaged in these services.

[[Page 65719]]

    Discussion: The Secretary acknowledges that the HEA emphasizes the 
importance of providing or connecting participants to services related 
to improving a participant's financial and economic literacy. However, 
the HEA does not list this activity as one of the outcome criteria to 
be used for PE points. To remain consistent with the statute, which 
requires that the Secretary determine an entity's prior experience 
based on the statutory outcome criteria, the Secretary is not adding PE 
criteria not included in section 402A(f) of the HEA.
    Changes: None.

Timeline for Earning PE Points--Postsecondary Completion (Sec. Sec.  
643.22(d)(6) (TS), 645.32(e)(1)(vi) and (e)(2)(v) (UB))

    Comment: Several commenters sought clarification on the timeframe 
in which UB and TS grantees will be eligible to earn the PE points 
associated with meeting their approved objectives for postsecondary 
degree completion, particularly if the criterion is evaluated after the 
second, third, and fourth program years, given the length of time it 
typically takes a student to complete a postsecondary degree. Some 
commenters requested an explanation of whether participants under an 
entity's expired or expiring grant may be counted toward meeting 
approved objectives for this criterion. One commenter recommended that 
grantees earn PE points for this criterion based on either 
postsecondary academic progress (persistence) or completion.
    Discussion: We understand the commenters' concern that applicants 
may not be eligible for all the PE points available for each 
competition, due to the amount of time it takes to track enrollment in 
and completion of postsecondary education of the participants served in 
the applicants' expired or expiring grants. Under the UB program, some 
applicants would be eligible to earn PE points for participants they 
served under earlier grants who attain a postsecondary degree within 
the number of years specified in the approved objective. Because the 
Department has been collecting individual participant data through the 
UB APRs for several years, the Department will be able to match 
participant data from prior years to determine the extent to which UB 
participants completed programs of postsecondary education.
    However, under the TS program, we have not been collecting data on 
the academic progress of TS participants through postsecondary 
completion as this is a new outcome criterion for this program. 
Therefore, the Department will not be able to match participant data 
from prior years to assess the extent to which TS participants 
completed programs of postsecondary education. Going forward, the 
Department will work with grantees to develop a new APR for the TS 
program that will capture the data needed to award PE points for 
postsecondary completion. The Department acknowledges that TS projects 
will not be eligible for the PE points for postsecondary completion for 
several years.
    Finally, we have not accepted the commenter's suggestion that we 
award PE points under the postsecondary completion criteria based on 
the extent to which project participants were either still persisting 
in or had completed a program of postsecondary education because the 
requirement of the HEA is postsecondary completion, not progress or 
completion.
    Changes: None.

Years Considered in PE Assessment (Sec. Sec.  643.20(a)(2)(iii), 
644.20(a)(2)(iii), 645.30(a)(2)(iii), 646.20(a)(2)(iii) 
647.20(a)(2)(iv))

    Comment: Multiple commenters expressed concern regarding the 
proposed regulation that would provide that the Secretary will 
designate in the Federal Register notice inviting applications and 
other published application materials for a competition which three 
years of the expiring five year grant period will be considered in the 
PE assessments for new awards. Several commenters stated that the 
regulations should specify which three years will be used, while a few 
others suggested clarifying that the middle three years (i.e., years 
two through four) of the grant cycle would be considered. These 
commenters contended that including this information in the regulations 
would reduce confusion among grantees as to the timeframe evaluated for 
purposes of determining PE points. One commenter recommended using data 
for the four years preceding the date of application for the new 
competition. This commenter noted that such an approach would be 
consistent with the Department's current system in which the average 
rates of achievement for the preceding three years are used. Similarly, 
other commenters had concerns that the proposed use of three years of 
project data will fail to take into consideration two project years' 
worth of a project's performance.
    Discussion: The HEA now provides that all TRIO grants will be 
awarded for five years, but the Secretary has determined that PE points 
should be assessed for only three of the five year project period. In 
making this determination, the Secretary took several factors into 
consideration. First, the Department's experience has demonstrated 
that, for a number of reasons, many first-time or new grantees do not 
meet their approved objectives for the first year of funding. Not using 
the first year of the grant cycle for PE points, therefore, will give 
new grantees time to effectively implement the project prior to having 
its performance evaluated for purposes of assessing PE. Second, 
evaluating performance from the last year of a project period to 
determine PE points for new awards presents a number of challenges. 
Applications for new grants are due about a year prior to the end of 
the current grant period and new awards are announced several months 
prior to the end of the grant period. Thus, it is not possible to 
consider a project's performance in the fifth year of an expiring grant 
prior to making funding decisions for the new grant competition because 
the APR data for the last year of the expiring grant would not be 
available for calculating PE points until several months after the new 
grant period begins.
    For these reasons, we do not think it is appropriate or possible to 
use the first and fifth years of the expiring grant cycle to assess PE 
points for new competitions. Generally, we expect that the published 
application materials will designate the three middle years of the 
expiring grant (i.e., project years two through four). However, 
designating the specific years to be considered in the application 
materials, rather than in the regulations, will give the Secretary 
flexibility to address unique situations on a competition-by-
competition basis. For example, there may be situations when some 
grantees started their expiring grant period a year or more later than 
other grantees. In such a situation, the applicant's performance during 

the first three years, instead of the middle three years, of the 
expiring grant would be used to award PE points. The published 
application materials would designate the project years that would be 
used for PE (e.g., 2007-08, 2008-09, and 2009-10) for all applicants in 
the competition.
    Changes: None.

Use of Approved Versus Actual Number of Participants Served (Sec. Sec.  
645.32(d), 646.22(d), 647.22(d))

    Comment: Some commenters expressed concerns about the proposal that 
the Secretary will use the approved number of participants, or the 
actual number of participants served in a given

[[Page 65720]]

year if that number of participants is greater than the approved 
number, as the denominator in calculating whether the applicant has met 
its approved objectives under its expiring grant to earn PE points for 
the new grant application. A few commenters argued that a grantee who 
does not serve the approved number of participants is penalized in two 
ways: First, by not receiving PE points for the criterion measuring 
whether the approved number was served, and, second, by not receiving 
any PE points at all if at least 90 percent of the approved number was 
not served. These commenters stated that using the approved number 
instead of actual number as the denominator in PE calculations is 
unnecessarily punitive. Furthermore, one commenter recommended that 
either the actual number of participants should be used as the 
denominator or the number of PE points associated with serving the 
approved number of participants should be reduced. This commenter 
argued that the number of points assigned to this criterion, combined 
with the proposed use of the approved number as the denominator, makes 
the penalty for projects that do not serve their approved number too 
severe. The commenter stated that this concern particularly applies to 
small projects, for which the commenter notes that one or two students 
can affect an objective by two or more percentage points.
    Discussion: Grant award amounts and performance targets are based 
largely on the number of participants a project is funded to serve each 
year of the grant period. Therefore, we believe that, for those PE 
criteria applicable to all participants served in the project year, the 
denominator should be the greater of the approved number of 
participants to be served or the actual number of participants served. 
PE points are rewards, and give projects a competitive advantage in a 
subsequent grant competition. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect a 
grantee to meet the performance targets it proposed and that were 
approved through the grant process to earn the maximum number of PE 
points. Therefore, we do not accept the commenters' suggestion not to 
use the approved number as the denominator for calculating PE points 
for some objectives or to reduce the PE points a project can earn for 
serving its approved number of participants.
    Changes: None.

PE Criterion Related to Number of Participants (Sec. Sec.  642.22(d) 
and (e)(1); 643.22(c) and (d)(1); 644.22(c) and (d)(1); 645.32(c), 
(e)(1)(i), and (e)(2)(i)); 646.22(c) and (e)(1); 647.22(c) and (e)(1))

    Comment: Several commenters expressed concern that the phrase 
``approved number of participants'' in the proposed regulations means 
that a grantee would not receive PE points if the project served more 
than their approved number of participants. These commenters argued 
that it is difficult to ensure that a project only serves the exact 
number of participants that were proposed, as projects often accept 
more participants than they are funded to serve to ensure that at least 
the minimum number is met throughout the year. Two commenters further 
noted that the phrase ``met or exceeded the entity's objectives'' is 
used in several areas of the HEOA, suggesting that the spirit of the 
law is for projects to serve at least the funded number. Several 
commenters requested that the criterion be revised to reflect that the 
Department will examine whether the applicant provided services to ``at 
least the approved number of participants'' or to ``no less than the 
approved number of participants.''
    One commenter suggested that PE points for serving the approved 
number of participants should be commensurate with the percentage of 
the approved number that was served. Two commenters suggested that the 
regulatory provision that states that the Secretary does not award PE 
points to a grantee that does not serve at least 90 percent of the 
approved number of participants conflicts with the separate regulatory 
provision that states that the Secretary does not award PE points for 
the criterion measuring whether the grantee served the approved number 
if the approved number is not served.
    Discussion: The Department agrees that the use of the words 
``approved number'' in the ``Number of participants'' PE criterion 
regulations may be confusing. We did not intend for this provision to 
imply that a project could not serve more than the approved number of 
participants. Therefore, we have accepted the commenters' 
recommendations to revise the regulatory language to make it clear that 
a project can serve more than the approved number of participants.
    We note, however, that for a grantee to receive PE points for this 
criterion, the project must meet or exceed the approved number that it 
has been funded to serve; no partial credit will be given for this 
criterion to a grantee that served fewer than the approved number.
    The commenters' concern that the PE criteria conflict with each 
other is based on a misunderstanding. The two criteria are 
complementary. First, to be eligible to receive any PE points for a 
given year, a grantee must have served at least 90 percent of the 
participants it was funded to serve. For example, if a project was 
funded to serve 100 participants but only served 85 participants (85 
percent of the approved number), the grantee would receive no PE points 
for that project year because it did not serve at least 90 percent of 
its funded number. Second, if a grantee serves at least 90 percent of 
the number of participants it was funded to serve but did not serve 100 
percent of the approved number of participants (e.g., project was 
funded to serve 100 participants but only served 98 participants), the 
grantee would not receive any points for the ``Number of participants'' 
criterion. However, the grantee would be eligible to earn up to 12 PE 
points based on whether or not the project achieved its other PE 
objectives.
    Changes: We have amended Sec. Sec.  642.22(d); 643.22(c); 
644.22(c); 645.32(c); 646.22(c); 647.22(c)) to clarify that the 
Secretary does not award PE points if the applicant did not serve at 
least the approved number of participants. In addition, we have amended 
the Number of participants criterion in Sec. Sec.  642.22(e)(1), 
643.22(d)(1), 644.22(d)(1), 645.32 (e)(1)(i) and (e)(2)(i); 
646.22(e)(1); and 647.22(e)(1) to clarify that the award of PE points 
for that criterion is based on whether the applicant provided services 
to no less than the approved number of participants.

Review Process for Unsuccessful Federal TRIO Program Applicants 
Percentage of Funds Set Aside for Secondary Review Competition 
(Sec. Sec.  642.25(d) (Training), 643.24(d) (TS), 644.24(d) (EOC), 
645.35(d) (UB), 646.24(d) (SSS), and 647.24(d) (McNair))

    Comment: Several commenters requested clarification of some of the 
procedures and processes proposed for the second review of unsuccessful 
grant applications. Several commenters wanted to know the percentage of 
competition funds that would be reserved for the second review or how 
the Department would determine the percentage of funds set aside for 
grants after the second review. Commenters also expressed concern that 
some of the funds reserved for awards after the second review might not 
be awarded and recommended that the regulations

[[Page 65721]]

be modified to allow for and explain the equitable disbursement of 
unused reserved funds.
    Discussion: To implement the new statutory requirement that 
unsuccessful applicants may request a second review of their 
applications under certain conditions, the Department proposed and, 
through these final regulations, adopts a two-slate process. After the 
peer review of applications and the awarding of PE points, as 
applicable, the Department will rank all the applications. The 
Department then will establish a funding band to determine the 
percentage of the total funds allotted for the competition that will be 
set aside for the second review (for example, we might set aside six 
percent of the total funds allotted for the competition). The 
determination of the percentage of funds to be reserved for the second 
review and the applications to be included in the funding band will be 
based on the distribution of application scores. For example, we expect 
to include in the funding band all applications that scored within two 
or three points below the initial cut-off score.
    The funding band for each competition will include all of the 
applications with a rank-order score that is below the lowest score of 
applications funded after the first review and that would be funded if 
the Secretary had 150 percent of the funds that were set aside for the 
second review (e.g. nine percent of funds).
    The first slate of new awards will be made based on the rank-order 
of the applications using the amount of funds available for the 
competition minus the amount of funds set aside for the second review 
of unsuccessful applications (e.g., six percent).
    Only those unsuccessful applicants whose applications scored within 
the funding band will be eligible for the second review. In addition, 
those applicants eligible for the second review will have to provide 
evidence demonstrating that the Department, an agent of the Department, 
or a peer reviewer made an administrative or scoring error (as defined 
in the regulations) in the review of its application.
    If the Department determines that there was an administrative error 
in the review of an application (which includes mathematical errors in 
the calculation of PE points or assigning the earned PE points or the 
peer reviewers' scores to the wrong application) the Department will 
correct the error and adjust the score assigned to the application as 
appropriate. If the adjusted score assigned to the application would 
place the application above the cut-off score for funding under the 
first slate, the application will be funded (if funds are available) 
prior to the re-ranking of applications based on the second peer review 
of unsuccessful applications.
    If there is an error in how the peer reviewers scored an 
application (see Sec. Sec.  642.25(b)(3) (Training); 643.24(b)(3) (TS); 
644.24(b)(3) (EOC); 645.35(b)(3) (UB); 646.24(b)(3) (SSS); and 
647.24(b)(3) (McNair)), a second peer review panel will review the 
application. After all of the second reviews are completed, a second 
rank-order slate of applications in the funding band will be prepared. 
The rankings in the second slate will be based on the new reviewers' 
score for those applications that were read by a second peer review 
panel; any applicant in the funding band that did not request or 
receive a second review will be ranked based on its original score. 
Applications in the funding band will be funded based on the second 
rank order slate until all the available funds are committed.
    The decision to use a funding band and the specific parameters for 
the funding band are based on the Department's experience. In the past, 
adjustments for administrative and scoring errors have resulted in a 
score increase of no more than two or three points; therefore, under 
these regulations, the funding band will include only those 
applications that have a reasonable chance of being funded if the 
second review of the application resulted in an adjustment to the 
score. By selecting those applications with an original score that is 
most likely to have a chance of being funded after a second review, the 
Department will be better able to effectively manage the grant 
competition and make timely funding decisions.
    The funding band approach to the second review process ensures that 
eligible applicants have a meaningful opportunity to request a second 
review while ensuring that the Department can provide timely notice of 
grant awards.
    It is important to note that not every application selected for 
inclusion in the funding band will be awarded a grant. As discussed 
elsewhere in this preamble, we will put aside an appropriate amount of 
funds for grants awarded after the second review, but those funds will 
not be sufficient to provide funding for all applicants in the funding 
band. However, this process will ensure that we obligate all of the 
funds available for new grants and that there is no lapse of funds.
    Changes: None.

Number of Days To Prepare and Submit a Written Request for a Second 
Review (Sec. Sec.  642.25(c)(5) and (6)(Training), 643.24(c)(5) and 
(c)(6)(TS), 644.24(c)(5) and (c)(6) (EOC), 645.35(c)(5) and (c)(6) 
(UB), 646.24(c)(5) and (c)(6) (SSS), and 647.24(c)(5) and (c)(6) 
(McNair))

    Comment: Several commenters recommended that the Department revise 
the proposed regulations by increasing the 15 calendar days to prepare 
a written request for a second review to 30 to 45 calendar days. These 
commenters stated that 15 days is not enough time for unsuccessful 
applicants to receive and review the reader's evaluations and prepare 
an appropriate request for a secondary review to the Department. Five 
commenters expressed concern that the amount of time it takes to 
deliver and receive mail, especially for applicants in the Pacific, 
would reduce the amount of time applicants would have to respond and 
request a secondary review. Other commenters gave examples of 
circumstances that could interfere with an applicant's ability to 
respond within the proposed 15 day period, such as the need to get 
appropriate signatures, delays resulting from the institution being 
closed for vacations or furloughed days, or delays in getting the peer 
reviewers' comments and the assessments of PE points. Another commenter 
suggested that the Department provide a grantee with its PE score 
annually to provide more time in which to do the research needed to 
appeal the assigned PE score. One commenter also noted that the 
regulations seemed contradictory in providing that the applicant will 
have 15 calendar days to submit a written request but then also stating 
that the written request for a second review must be received by the 
Department by the due date and time established by the Secretary.
    Discussion: We understand the time constraints institutions may 
face in submitting their request for a second review and supporting 
information in a timely manner. However, the statutory requirement for 
a second review process adds several new steps to the competition 
schedule. Consequently, we must compress many stages of the competition 
to incorporate these new procedures into the competition schedule so 
that we meet our legal obligation to commit all appropriated funds by 
the end of the fiscal year.
    The Department will establish internal procedures to ensure that 
applicants in the funding band receive at least 15 days after receiving 
notification that their applications were not funded in which to submit 
a written

[[Page 65722]]

request for a second review. At the time of notification, these 
applicants will receive copies of the peer reviewers' written 
evaluations and, if applicable, a report detailing how the PE score was 
calculated. We will use multiple notification methods (e.g., electronic 
mail, overnight mail) to ensure applicants will have at least 15 days 
from receipt of the notification in which to respond. Applicants will 
also be permitted to submit their responses electronically. Further, 
our Web site will provide applicants with updated information as to 
when funding decisions might be announced and the proposed schedule for 
the second review so applicants can ensure that staff are available to 
prepare a request for a second review, if appropriate.
    In establishing a due date and time for receipt of the applicant's 
written request for a second review, the Department will give 
applicants at least 15 days in which to respond.
    Changes: We have amended Sec. Sec.  642.25(c)(5), 643.24(c)(5), 
644.24(c)(5), 645.35(c)(5), 646.24(c)(5), and 647.24(c)(5) to clarify 
that unsuccessful applicants who are within the funding band will have 
at least 15 calendar days in which to submit a written request for a 
second review.

Technical or Administrative Errors (Sec. Sec.  642.25(a)(3) (Training), 
643.24(a)(3) (TS), 644.24(a)(3) (EOC), 645.35(a)(3) (UB), 
646.24(a)(3)(SSS), and 647.24(a)(3) (McNair))

    Comment: Three commenters suggested that if a technical or 
administrative error by the Department or a peer reviewer results in an 
application not being reviewed, the applicant should automatically 
receive a grant even if program funds are not available.
    Discussion: We cannot accept the suggestion made by the commenters. 
If correcting a technical or administrative error results in the 
application receiving a score above the cut-off score for funding under 
the first slate, the application would be funded prior to the re-
ranking of applications based on the second peer review of unsuccessful 
applications. Therefore, we do not anticipate a situation in which 
funds would not be available to fund these applications. However, we do 
not have the legal authority to commit funds that we do not have and 
the regulations must include the statement ``provided funds are 
available''.
    Changes: None.

Criteria for Scoring Errors on Applications That Were Reviewed 
(Sec. Sec.  642.25(b)(3) (Training), 643.24(b)(3) (TS), 644.24(b)(3) 
(EOC), 645.35(b)(3) (UB), 646.24(b)(3)(SSS), and 647.24(b)(3) (McNair))

    Comment: One commenter argued that the criteria proposed in the 
regulations for demonstrating scoring errors in the evaluation of the 
application are too narrow and should include other criteria that take 
into account possibilities such as human error on the part of the 
reader. Another commenter asserted that the reader's professional 
judgment should be considered as a type of scoring error in determining 
whether or not an application is eligible for a secondary review. This 
commenter expressed the opinion that readers do not have the 
appropriate knowledge to adequately judge whether or not an applicant 
can meet the objectives set forth in the application. Another commenter 
was concerned about readers who may misread or misinterpret information 
provided in the application.
    Discussion: We do not agree with these comments. We believe that 
the regulations appropriately define the type of error that should be 
considered a technical, administrative or scoring error and would 
warrant a second review of an application. We disagree with the 
suggestion that the professional judgment of the peer reviewers should 
be subject to review as a scoring error. The HEA requires that each 
application be reviewed by a panel of non-Federal peer reviewers. These 
experts have programmatic knowledge and experience in serving low-
income, first-generation students and in administering student 
assistance programs. As required by Congress, we rely on their 
expertise to make judgments about the quality of the applications under 
review. The readers appropriately exercise their judgment in providing 
scores on the applications and a low score is not evidence of an error 
by the reviewer. We also do not agree that the reader's interpretation 
of an application should be a basis for review. It is the applicant's 
responsibility to make sure the information provided in the application 
is clear and understandable.
    Changes: None.

Timely Notification of Applications Determined To Be Ineligible Because 
of a Technical or Administrative Error (Sec. Sec.  642.25(a) 
(Training), 643.24(a) (TS), 644.24(a) (EOC), 645.35(a) (UB), 646.24(a) 
(SSS), and 647.24(a) (McNair))

    Comment: One commenter asserted that the regulations should require 
the Secretary to provide timely notification to an applicant whose 
application was not reviewed because it was determined to be 
ineligible, so that the applicant would have sufficient time to appeal 
the decision prior to the conduct of the peer review process.
    Discussion: To the extent feasible, the Department notifies 
applicants who were determined to be ineligible in writing prior to the 
start of the peer review of applications or as soon as possible 
thereafter. Under these regulations, if it is determined that the 
Department or the Department's agent made a technical or administrative 
error, as defined in the regulations, in making that determination the 
application will be evaluated and scored. If the total score assigned 
the application would have resulted in the funding of the application 
during the competition and the program has funds available, the 
application will be funded prior to the re-ranking and funding of 
applications after the second review.
    Changes: None.

Final Decision (Sec. Sec.  642.25(e) (Training), 643.24(e) (TS), 
644.24(e) (EOC), 645.35(e) (UB), 646.24(e) (SSS), and 647.24(e) 
(McNair))

    Comment: Two commenters expressed concern that scoring errors also 
could occur during the secondary review process. For this reason, the 
commenters suggested that applicants be allowed to appeal the decision 
of the secondary review process.
    Discussion: The Secretary disagrees with the suggestion that an 
applicant should be permitted to appeal the decision of the secondary 
review process. The second review provides a formal process for 
addressing scoring errors made during the first review that might 
impact the funding of an application. Appealing the decision of the 
second review is beyond the requirements of the statute and would 
interfere with the timely awarding of grants under the competition.
    Changes: None.

Eliminate the Second Review (Sec. Sec.  642.25 (Training), 643.24 (TS), 
644.24 (EOC), 645.35 (UB), 646.24 (SSS), and 647.24 (McNair))

    Comment: One commenter requested that we remove from the 
regulations the

[[Page 65723]]

entire section on the review process for unsuccessful applicants 
because it would increase the Department's administrative burden and 
would increase administrative costs, resulting in fewer projects being 
funded and fewer students being served.
    Discussion: The HEA requires the creation of the second review 
process for unsuccessful applications. The Department does not have the 
authority to eliminate this statutorily required process.
    Changes: None.

Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs (34 CFR part 642) What is 
the Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs? (Sec.  642.1)

    Comment: One commenter expressed concern that it is difficult for 
Training Program grantees to meet the minimum requirements for the 
number of TRIO professionals that they must train. The commenter 
suggested making awards in a way that allows grantees to structure 
training sessions to be more focused, such as training for specific 
programs (e.g., for only Upward Bound staff or Talent Search staff), 
only new directors or staff, or only seasoned staff, to reduce the 
competition among grantees for the same audiences. In addition, the 
commenter urged the Department to ensure that TRIO professionals are 
able to take advantage of training opportunities by requiring directors 
to send staff to the trainings.
    Discussion: Section 402G(b) of the HEA requires Training Program 
grantees to offer training annually for new directors of TRIO projects 
as well as annual training on topics specified in the statute and other 
topics chosen by the Secretary. If grantees are offering training to 
the same audiences and are unable to attract appropriate numbers of 
participants, rather than changing the requirements on the number of 
project staff a Training grant must serve, the Secretary may consider 
reducing the number of grants available under this program while still 
ensuring that training is available throughout the Nation. Although the 
Secretary hopes that TRIO professionals will be able to take advantage 
of these training opportunities, the Secretary does not want to require 
their participation. It is the responsibility of each TRIO director to 
determine which staff could benefit from the offered training and how 
much of the project budget should be used for this purpose and to make 
decisions about staff participation in trainings under the TRIO 
Training program accordingly.
    Changes: None.

What activities does the Secretary assist? (Sec.  642.11)

    Comment: One commenter suggested that the Department remove the 
requirement that Training Program projects offer training covering 
strategies for recruiting and serving hard-to-reach populations, as 
reflected in Sec.  642.11(b)(5). The commenter maintained that it does 
not make sense to include this requirement because some of the TRIO 
programs, such as McNair and Upward Bound Math-Science (UBMS), are not 
required to serve these populations. The commenter suggested that the 
Department make this a permissible training topic that could be 
combined with other topics.
    Discussion: In section 402G(b)(5) of the HEA, as amended by section 
403(g) of the HEOA, Congress added training on strategies for 
recruiting and serving hard to reach populations to the list of 
required training that must be offered annually. Therefore, we do not 
have the authority to remove this requirement or to make it a 
permissive topic. The Federal Register notice inviting applications 
will provide applicants with additional guidance regarding the types of 
TRIO staff that should be offered training on this topic.
    Changes: None.

How does the Secretary evaluate an application for a new award? (Sec.  
642.20)

    Comment: One commenter suggested that, in making awards under the 
Training Program, the Department should take into consideration the 
diversity of training topics and the opportunities for TRIO 
professionals to attend training. The commenter also suggested that the 
Secretary make only one award for each major training topic to ensure 
that comprehensive training is available for TRIO staff.
    Discussion: For each competition for grants under the Training 
Program, the notice inviting applications will identify the training 
priorities (from the list of priorities in Sec.  642.24) for the 
competition and the expected number of Training projects to be funded 
under each priority. Under section 402G(b) of the HEA, training must be 
offered each year for new project directors and for each of the topics 
listed in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(5) of that section and in Sec.  
642.11. The required topics provide the appropriate diversity and 
opportunities for training.
    Changes: None.

What are the Secretary's priorities for funding? (Sec. Sec.  642.7 and 
642.24)

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: Upon further departmental review of Sec.  642.7 and 
newly redesignated Sec.  642.24, we have determined that the provisions 
should be clearer with regard to the implementation of the Secretary's 
authority to select and designate training priorities. Proposed Sec.  
642.7 stated that an applicant may submit more than one application for 
Training grants as long as each application described a project that 
addresses a different absolute priority designated in the Federal 
Register notice inviting applications. The absolute priorities are from 
the list of training priorities in newly redesignated Sec.  642.24. We 
have made a change to Sec.  642.24 to make this clearer. In addition, 
while Sec.  642.7 states that the Secretary designates the absolute 
priorities in the Federal Register notice inviting applications, newly 
redesignated Sec.  642.24, as proposed, did not include corresponding 
language. For the sake of clarity, therefore, we have added language to 
Sec.  642.24 that states that the Secretary designates one or more of 
the priorities in Sec.  642.24 in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications for the competition.
    Changes: We have added language to Sec.  642.7 to clarify that the 
absolute priorities designated in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications are from the list of training priorities in Sec.  642.24. 
We also have added paragraph (c) to newly redesignated Sec.  642.24 to 
clarify that, for each competition, the Secretary designates one or 
more training priorities in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications.
    Comment: Multiple commenters advocated expanding the Secretary's 
list of priorities for the Training Program to include additional 
priorities, such as the provision of counseling services designed to 
improve financial and economic literacy. The commenters argued that 
additional priorities should be included as priorities in Sec.  642.24 
to reflect the emphasis on these activities in the HEA.
    Discussion: Section 642.11(b) reflects the list of training topics 
required by section 402G(b) of the HEA. Section 642.24 reflects the 
Secretary's statutory authority to designate--in a notice inviting 
applications for a competition--one or more subjects as training 
priorities for grantees. In exercising the authority provided in Sec.  
642.24, the Secretary may consider the priorities suggested by the 
commenters for future competitions.
    Changes: None.

Talent Search (TS) Program (34 CFR Part 643)

    The Secretary has changed the current TS Program regulations to 
implement

[[Page 65724]]

the changes made to the program by sections 403(a) and (b) of the HEOA. 
The HEOA made changes to the goals and purposes of the TS program 
through the addition of statutory outcome criteria and required 
activities. These HEOA changes require TS grantees to provide more 
intensive academic interventions than they have in the past.
    As we discuss subsequently under the applicable sections of the 
regulations, the Department received many comments and questions about 
the new TS program requirements, particularly with regard to the 
requirements relating to a rigorous secondary school program of study. 
Numerous commenters expressed concerns that funding levels would be 
insufficient to provide the required services and activities to the 
number of students currently being served and recommended that, if 
additional funding were not available for TS, grantees should be 
permitted to reduce the number of students to be served. Some 
commenters suggested that the proposed regulations would require 
grantees to implement a two-tiered program of service delivery--the 
first tier would support participants completing a rigorous curriculum 
and the second tier would provide college preparatory education for 
those participants not taking a rigorous secondary school program of 
study.
    The Department also received comments requesting additional 
guidance regarding the Department's expectations for the cost-effective 
delivery of services for students in a rigorous program of study.
    As discussed in the NPRM, in light of the changes made to the HEA, 
the Department has removed from the regulations the requirement that a 
TS grantee must serve a specific minimum number of participants. 
Instead, the Secretary will identify the minimum number of participants 
a TS grantee must serve each year of a grant cycle in the Federal 
Register notice inviting applications for the grant competition. This 
approach will give the Department the flexibility to establish the 
minimum number of participants to be served based on the available 
resources and other priorities for each competition, and to adjust 
these numbers for subsequent competitions based on experience, changing 
priorities, and cost analyses.
    Further, the Department acknowledges that some of the proposed 
regulations with regard to the rigorous program of study would impose a 
significant burden on grantees and could not be fully implemented 
without substantial increases in program funding or large reductions in 
the number of participants served. Therefore, as discussed in more 
detail in the following sections, we have revised many of the proposed 
regulations related to the rigorous program of study. For example, 
instead of requiring TS grantees to provide many of the services a 
participant may need to complete a rigorous program of study, the 
Department is encouraging all TS projects to work in a coordinated, 
collaborative, and cost-effective manner with the target schools or 
school system and other programs for disadvantaged students to provide 
TS participants with access to and assistance in completing a rigorous 
secondary school program of study.
    The Department also plans to provide additional guidance to 
applicants on how to respond to the new program requirements and 
outcome criteria in the published application materials. In addition, 
the Department will conduct 10 pre-application workshops to assist 
persons interested in applying for TS grants and will post a list of 
frequently asked questions on the TRIO Programs Web site at: http://
www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/index.html.

What is the Talent Search program? (Sec.  643.1)

    Comment: Several commenters expressed dissatisfaction with the 
language that the Secretary proposed to add to this section. The 
commenters expressed concern that it appeared that the TS program is no 
longer focused on its historically targeted audiences of middle and 
high school students because TS projects are now expected to also 
``encourage'' persons who have not completed postsecondary education to 
``complete such programs.'' The commenters argued that working with 
persons to complete a program of postsecondary education is beyond the 
scope of the TS program.
    Discussion: We do not have the discretion to make the changes 
suggested by the commenters because the regulatory language at issue is 
required by section 402B(a)(3) of the HEA.
    Changes: None.

Who is eligible for a grant? (Sec.  643.2)

    Comment: Many commenters questioned the practicality or need to 
include secondary schools and community-based organizations as eligible 
grantees for the TS program and suggested that the regulations be 
modified to exclude these entities from being eligible applicants.
    Discussion: We cannot make the changes required by the commenters. 
Congress amended section 402A(b)(1) of the HEA to eliminate the 
limitation on the eligibility of secondary schools and to include 
community-based organizations in the definition of public and private 
agencies that are eligible for the TS program.
    Changes: None.

Who is eligible to participate in a project? (Sec.  643.3)

    Comment: Several commenters recommended that the regulations retain 
the requirement, reflected in current Sec.  643.3(a)(3)(ii) that a 
participant have the ability to complete a program of postsecondary 
education. Some commenters requested that the participant eligibility 
requirements concerning individuals receiving support to complete a 
rigorous secondary school program of study be removed from Sec.  
643.3(b). A majority of the comments on Sec.  643.3 concerned the 
requirement that an individual is eligible to receive support to 
complete a rigorous secondary school program of study only if the 
individual is accepted into the TS program by the end of the first term 
of the tenth grade. Some of these commenters recommended that this 
provision be changed to allow individuals who are accepted into the TS 
program by the end of the 10th grade academic year. Another one of 
these commenters suggested that identifying students for a rigorous 
secondary school program of study in the 9th grade presents a challenge 
due to the mobility and attrition issues that TS projects encounter, 
which make it difficult to identify a cohort of students to follow for 
four years. This commenter noted that projects in rural States, in 
particular, have these challenges because the number of schools in 
which services can be provided would be small. The commenter suggested 
that we amend the regulations to identify an overall percentage of the 
total number of high school students served by a project who will 
complete a rigorous secondary school program of study by the end of 
their senior year. Other commenters also stated that this provision was 
too restrictive and recommended that TS projects be given more 
flexibility to recruit, select, and provide additional services for 
students among all grade levels. Some commenters argued that using TS 
funds for a rigorous secondary school program of study is a misplaced 
priority and that funds would be better utilized providing services 
aimed at the 6th through 8th grade population.
    Discussion: We have not accepted the commenters' recommendation 
with regard to retaining Sec.  643.3(a)(3)(ii) because we amended this 
provision to comply with the changes made by

[[Page 65725]]

section 403(b)(1)(B) of the HEOA to section 402B(a)(3) of the HEA.
    However, in response to other comments, we have decided not to 
include in these final regulations the participant eligibility 
requirements for the rigorous secondary school program of study that 
were reflected in proposed Sec.  643.3(b). We have been convinced by 
the commenters that this provision would have imposed a significant 
burden on grantees by adding additional participant eligibility 
criteria for those participants needing assistance in completing a 
rigorous secondary school program of study. Also, after considering the 
comments, we have decided that TS projects should encourage all 
participants, not just those in high school, to undertake a rigorous 
secondary school program of study and should coordinate and collaborate 
with the target schools or school system and other programs for 
disadvantaged students to provide all TS participants with access to 
and assistance in completing a rigorous secondary school program of 
study.
    In response to the comment that using TS funds for a rigorous 
secondary school program of study is a misplaced priority and that 
funds would be better utilized providing services aimed at the 6th 
through 8th grade population, we note that section 402A(f)(3)(A)(iv) of 
the HEA now requires TS grantees to assist participants in completing a 
rigorous program of study; therefore, we require this assistance in the 
regulations. However, these final regulations reflect changes we have 
made to the proposed regulations that should help reduce the costs to 
the TS project of providing these services. Encouraging participants to 
pursue a rigorous program of study should be part of the services a TS 
project provides to participants in the 6th through 8th grades.
    Changes: We have amended the regulations by removing proposed Sec.  
643.3(b). As a result, current Sec.  643.3(b), which would have been 
redesignated as Sec.  643.3(c), remains unchanged as Sec.  643.3(b) in 
these final regulations.

What services does a project provide? (Sec.  643.4)

    Comment: The majority of individuals who commented on Sec.  643.4 
suggested that the required services listed in Sec.  643.4(a) were too 
burdensome, time intensive, cost prohibitive, or impractical for TS 
grantees and should be eliminated. One commenter suggested that these 
services should be allowable but not required. One commenter requested 
that we revise section Sec.  643.4(b) to clarify that grantees may 
provide additional activities that are not included in the list of 
permissible services from the TRIO statute provided that these 
activities meet the goals of the TS program.
    Discussion: Section 643.4(a) includes the list of ``Required 
Services'' for a TS project, as mandated by section 402B(b) of the HEA. 
We do not have the discretion to eliminate these required services or 
to make them permissible. However, a grantee may provide the required 
services itself or through linkages with other organizations. Moreover, 
while a grantee must make all of the required services listed in Sec.  
643.4(a) available to its participants, not all TS participants may 
need all of the services or may choose not to take advantage of them. 
We did not intend for the regulations to prohibit grantees from 
offering additional services to meet the goals of the program; grantees 
may offer additional services not explicitly mentioned as required or 
permissible. Therefore, we have revised Sec.  643.4(b) to reflect that 
intent more clearly.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  643.4(b) by adding paragraph (b)(8), 
which clarifies that a TS project may provide services other than those 
specified in Sec.  643.4(b)(1) through (b)(7) that are designed to meet 
the purposes of the TS program.

What definitions apply? (Sec.  643.7)

Regular Secondary School Diploma

    Comment: Several commenters suggested that the definition for the 
term regular secondary school diploma be removed from the TS 
regulations because the assumption would otherwise be that any 
secondary school diploma would be a regular diploma. Many commenters 
asked what criteria the Secretary will use to determine whether a 
diploma constitutes a regular secondary school diploma under this 
definition. Other commenters suggested that we revise Sec.  643.7 to 
define the term regular secondary school diploma with more specificity. 
Several commenters indicated that beginning in 2014 a ``regular'' 
diploma within their State will be the same as a diploma for completing 
the State's rigorous secondary school program of study.
    In addition, several commenters requested that the definition for 
the term regular secondary school diploma be revised to include a 
timeline for the ``standard number of years'' in which participants 
would complete secondary school. A number of the commenters suggested 
that there was some confusion as to whether the phrase ``standard 
number of years,'' as used in Sec. Sec.  643.21(a)(3) (selection 
criteria) and 643.22(d)(3) (criteria for calculating PE points) would 
be considered to end at the conclusion of the academic year or at the 
conclusion of a summer session. The commenters indicated that this 
difference would be significant due to the fact that some States 
require exit examinations. In these States, if a student does not 
graduate at the end of the academic year, he or she still has the 
opportunity to pass the examination during the summer. These commenters 
argued, therefore, that if the meaning of the phrase ``standard number 
of years'' includes the summer period, a project would be able to 
include as graduates those students who pass the examination in the 
summer. The commenters asked the Department to revise the definition of 
regular secondary school diploma to clarify whether to meet this 
definition a diploma must be obtained within the academic year.
    Discussion: Because we recognize that State policies concerning the 
requirement for a regular secondary school diploma may differ, we 
proposed a regulatory definition for this term that is broad enough to 
encompass varying requirements for a regular secondary school diploma. 
We do not agree with the commenters' suggestion that this definition be 
removed; we believe that the definition clarifies for grantees that 
their respective State standards should be used to determine whether a 
participant has attained a regular secondary school diploma.
    With regard to the comments concerning the meaning of the phrase 
``standard number of years,'' we acknowledge that there are a variety 
of State policies concerning graduation requirements, including exit 
examinations. We also appreciate that some States may not define what 
timeframe constitutes a ``standard number of years'' for high school 
graduation with a regular secondary school diploma; and, therefore, we 
should establish a consistent point of measurement for determining a 
grantee's performance under the outcome criterion for high school 
graduation with a regular secondary school diploma. The National Center 
for Education Statistics (NCES) generally measures ``on time'' high 
school graduation (i.e., graduating within the standard number of 
years) as receiving a regular diploma within four years of entering 
ninth grade, which is consistent with the general approach to 
measurement and with high school graduation rates determined under the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA).

[[Page 65726]]

    The Department interprets the standard number of years for high 
school graduation with a regular secondary school diploma generally to 
be one grade per year from the beginning of high school, which is 
usually ninth grade. Further, consistent with the ESEA regulations, in 
34 CFR 200.19(b)(1)(iii), a student who passes the exit examinations 
for a regular high school diploma during the summer after the senior 
year would be considered to have graduated within the standard number 
of years. Finally, a student who graduates prior to the conclusion of a 
student's fourth (or final) year of high school would also be 
considered to have graduated within the standard number of years.
    Changes: None.

Definition of Rigorous Secondary School Program of Study

    Comment: Several commenters suggested that a dual enrollment 
program should be considered as meeting the TS definition of a rigorous 
secondary school program of study. The commenters also recommended that 
this definition be revised to include as a rigorous secondary school 
program of study a secondary school program in which a student 
completed at least two dual enrollment courses for which the student 
received a grade of ``B-'' or better and college credit. Another 
commenter suggested adding to the type of rigorous secondary school 
program of study described in paragraph (3)(iii) of the definition the 
requirement that students must successfully complete, at minimum, 
courses in Anatomy/Physiology, Physical Science, and Environmental 
Science. Another commenter asked whether the language in paragraph (3) 
of the definition that provides that a rigorous secondary school 
program of study include one year of a language other than English 
would be satisfied by computer science coursework.
    Several commenters asked whether the types of programs described in 
paragraphs (3) and (4) of the definition of rigorous secondary school 
program of study are redundant. The commenters stated that the State 
Scholars Initiative of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher 
Education (WICHE) requires the same coursework as that listed in the 
type of program described in paragraph (3) of the definition.
    Therefore, under the WICHE standards, any student who completes a 
rigorous secondary school program of study under paragraph (4) of the 
definition would also have completed a rigorous secondary school 
program of study that satisfies paragraph (3) of the definition. 
Several commenters suggested that the definition of a rigorous 
secondary school program of study be amended to provide a common single 
definition instead of including several types of programs that meet 
this definition, so grant applications can be judged and scored using a 
common definition. Other commenters indicated that they believed that 
the presentation of the six types of programs that would meet the 
definition of a rigorous secondary school program of study suggests 
that an individual program of study would have to meet all six options 
to meet the definition. They suggested that the definition be clarified 
by including the word ``or'' after each of the first five paragraphs. 
Another commenter suggested that the Department add the words ``one of 
the following'' to the definition to clarify that any one of the listed 
options meets the definition of rigorous secondary school program of 
study.
    Discussion: The Secretary disagrees with the commenters who 
suggested that completion of either a dual enrollment program or a 
secondary school program that includes two dual enrollment courses with 
a grade of B- or better should qualify as a rigorous secondary school 
program of study. We do not believe all dual enrollment programs or 
courses are rigorous enough to support either of these approaches. Of 
course, a dual enrollment program or secondary school program that 
includes dual enrollment courses that otherwise meets one of the 
criteria in the definition in the regulations would qualify as a 
rigorous secondary school program of study.
    The Secretary also does not agree with the suggestion to add 
additional required coursework to the definition or with the suggestion 
to provide a single definition of a rigorous program of study. These 
suggestions would make the definition overly restrictive and might 
limit the States' authority to establish curricular standards.
    A project, if using the criteria for a rigorous secondary school 
program of study in paragraph (3), cannot substitute a computer science 
course for one year of a language other than English. However, the 
specific course requirements for a rigorous secondary school program of 
study in paragraphs (1), (2), (4), (5), and (6) may differ from those 
in paragraph (3).
    Further, we believe that the criteria provided in paragraphs (3) 
and (4) in the definition of a rigorous secondary school program of 
study are sufficiently different in content and should not be combined 
into a single criterion. While some programs may meet both paragraphs 
(3) and (4), this will not always be the case. We note, for example, 
that the WICHE course requirements are more specific than those 
described in paragraph (3) of the definition. Under paragraph (3) of 
the definition, a program of study must include three years of science, 
including one year each of at least two of the following courses: 
Biology, chemistry, and physics; in contrast, under WICHE requirements, 
a program of study must require that students complete courses in all 
three of these subjects. A program of study that meets paragraph (4) of 
the definition, therefore, will also meet the criteria under paragraph 
(3) of the definition, but the reverse is not true. Finally, we do not 
believe it is necessary to add the word ``or'' after each criterion in 
this definition. The definition provides that a program meeting any one 
of paragraphs (1) through (6) would satisfy the definition of rigorous 
secondary school program of study.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: Several commenters noted that the term ``rigorous 
secondary school diploma'' was not defined in the TS regulations.
    Discussion: We inadvertently referred to ``rigorous secondary 
school diploma'' in the amendatory language when we meant ``rigorous 
secondary school program of study,'' and have corrected this 
typographical error.
    Change: We have corrected the typographical error in the amendatory 
language describing the changes to Sec.  643.7(b).
    What assurances must an applicant submit? (Sec.  643.11(a))
    Comment: Some commenters objected to the proposed change, reflected 
in proposed Sec.  643.11(a), that would have required a project to 
provide an assurance that at least two-thirds of the subset of 
participants receiving support to complete a rigorous secondary school 
program of study must be low-income individuals who are potential 
first-generation college students. The commenters argued that the 
requirement was an unnecessary burden and would be costly for TS 
projects, which serve large numbers of participants, because it would 
require the project to monitor the eligibility and services provided to 
this subset of participants separately.
    Discussion: After reviewing the information provided by the 
commenters, the Secretary agrees that tracking the eligibility of 
participants in a rigorous secondary school program of study separately 
from other TS participants may be overly burdensome and costly to 
grantees so we have decided not to adopt the revisions we proposed for 
Sec.  643.11(a).

[[Page 65727]]

    Changes: In these final regulations, Sec.  643.11(a) will not 
include the proposed addition of the words ``, and at least two-thirds 
of the participants selected to receive support for a rigorous 
secondary school program of study.'' Instead, Sec.  643.11(a) will 
remain substantively unchanged from current Sec.  643.10(a).

Coordination Among Outreach Programs Serving Similar Populations (Sec.  
643.11(b))

    Comment: The Department received many comments regarding the 
language in proposed Sec.  643.11(b), which would have required 
applicants to provide an assurance that individuals receiving project 
services will not receive the same services from another TRIO project, 
a GEAR UP project, or other programs serving similar populations. 
Several commenters argued that this provision goes beyond the statutory 
language and will restrict collaboration among programs. The commenters 
stated that collaboration is essential in the current economic climate.
    Several commenters also expressed concerns about how this provision 
would be implemented. The commenters stated that participants may 
receive the same service from two programs, but at different times of 
the year or on different days of the week. Some commenters expressed 
concerns that the provision could negatively affect individuals who 
already participate in more than one program and who may have to stop 
receiving certain services. Many commenters argued that it would be 
difficult, if not impossible, for projects to track and record all of 
the services that participants may receive from other programs. Some 
commenters noted that, as proposed, Sec.  643.11(b) could prevent 
participants from receiving specialized services, and that often 
services that appear duplicative can actually serve to reinforce 
important concepts. One commenter suggested that this provision could 
create competition among programs. A few commenters also suggested that 
this provision could impede a project's ability to comply with other 
sections of the HEA, such as exposing participants to institutions of 
higher education, cultural events, or academic programs.
    In light of these concerns, many commenters recommended that the 
Department delete Sec.  643.11(b) in its entirety. Others recommended 
striking the words ``a GEAR UP project under 34 CFR part 694'' and ``or 
other programs serving similar populations.'' Some commenters noted 
that projects should consult with other programs to ensure minimal 
overlap of services and suggested that the language in this section be 
revised to permit a participant to enroll in one or more programs as 
long as the programs document which program will provide which 
services.
    Discussion: We intended Sec.  643.11(b) to help ensure that the 
limited funds available under the TRIO, GEAR UP, and other programs for 
disadvantaged students are used effectively and efficiently by 
minimizing the duplication of services. Because many of the same 
services are provided by TS, UB, GEAR UP, and other pre-college 
preparation programs, coordination of activities is essential to ensure 
that these programs reach as many students as possible.
    Grantees are encouraged to share ideas and coordinate services and 
activities with other Federal and non-Federal programs serving similar 
populations, as long as each project maintains fiscal practices that 
ensure that funds are not comingled and that services provided are 
appropriately documented. For example, a TS project and a UB project 
may jointly conduct a field trip to a college campus for participants 
from both projects while assigning costs to each project based on the 
number of its participants and staff who attended.
    To ensure effective coordination of services, we recommend that a 
project, when selecting target schools, determine if there is another 
TRIO, GEAR UP, or similar program at the school; and, if additional 
services are needed at the school, the project should develop 
collaboration plans to avoid duplication of services and competition 
among projects for participants. In selecting project participants, a 
project should also ask the student whether he or she is involved in 
similar college readiness programs so services can be coordinated.
    Based on the comments, the Secretary has determined that proposed 
Sec.  643.11(b) may be difficult to implement. Accordingly, we have 
revised the regulatory provision to address implementation problems 
like those raised by the commenters.
    Changes: We have amended Sec.  643.11(b) to require applicants to 
submit assurances that the project will collaborate with other Federal 
TRIO projects, GEAR UP projects, or programs serving similar 
populations that are serving the same target schools or target area to 
minimize the duplication of services and promote collaborations so that 
more students can be served.

What selection criteria does the Secretary use? Need for the project. 
(Sec.  643.21(a))

    Comment: We received a number of comments on the requirement that, 
for certain criteria in Sec.  643.21(a), the applicant provide data for 
``the most recent year for which data is available.'' These commenters 
suggested that the Department revise Sec.  643.21 to require applicants 
to submit data for multiple years or to reinstate the current 
regulatory language requiring the applicant to provide the required 
data for the preceding three years to substantiate the basis of need.
    Discussion: To reduce the burden on TS applicants, these final 
regulations only require a grantee to provide data on high school 
persistence (see Sec.  643.21(a)(2)), graduation (see Sec.  
643.21(a)(3)), and postsecondary enrollment (see Sec.  643.21(a)(4)) 
for the most recent year for which data are available. Based on our 
experience, these data remain fairly consistent over a three year 
period; therefore, we believe the most recent year's data should be 
sufficient for the peer reviewers to assess the extent of the need for 
the project.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that Sec.  643.21(a)(1) should 
focus on students ``enrolled in'' or ``participating in'' the free or 
reduced price lunch program, as described in sections 9(b)(1) and 
17(c)(4) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, rather 
than students ``eligible for'' this program. This commenter also noted 
that applicants from areas such as the Republic of the Marshall 
Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and other outlying areas 
would not be able to respond to the criterion regarding eligibility for 
free or reduced price lunch.
    Discussion: We used the words ``eligible for'' free or reduced 
priced lunch because reporting only on those ``enrolled or 
participating'' in this program may undercount the number of low-income 
students in the target schools because many secondary school students 
choose not to participate in the free or reduced priced lunch program. 
In responding to the selection criterion in Sec.  643.21(a)(1), 
applicants may choose to report either the number or percentage of low-
income families residing in the target area (see paragraph (a)(1)(i) of 
this section) or the number or percentage of students attending the 
target schools who are eligible for free or reduced priced lunch (see 
paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section). Therefore, applicants from areas 
that do not have the free and reduced priced lunch

[[Page 65728]]

program may satisfy this criterion by providing data on the number or 
percentage of low-income families residing in the target area.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter stated that the TS program is critical to 
increasing high school persistence and postsecondary enrollment rates 
in target schools but argued that the criteria for determining the need 
for the project in Sec.  643.21(a) worked against this goal. The 
commenter argued that these criteria penalize TS projects that are 
successful in helping the target schools increase their high school 
persistence and postsecondary enrollment rates when these projects 
apply for a new grant to continue to serve these schools. The commenter 
expressed concern that as the performance of these target schools 
improves, the need for the TS project, as defined in these criteria, 
diminishes. The commenter acknowledged the Department's need to 
establish the postsecondary enrollment and high school persistence 
rates for the purposes of benchmarking objectives, but recommended 
that: (1) The Need criteria for low postsecondary enrollment and high 
school persistence rates be removed from the Need section; and (2) that 
the points assigned for low high school persistence and postsecondary 
enrollment rates be redistributed among the other Need criteria.
    Another commenter requested guidance on how applicants in States 
where attrition rates are not reported should respond to the high 
school persistence criterion in Sec.  643.21(a)(2). Other commenters 
stated that data on graduation rates are not collected by their school 
districts and, therefore, are not available at the target schools, 
which would penalize applicants from those areas.
    Several commenters suggested that the high school persistence and 
high school graduation criteria disadvantage projects serving rural 
schools that do not have high dropout rates and do not have low high 
school graduation rates but have low postsecondary enrollment rates and 
little access or low participation in courses needed to complete 
rigorous secondary school programs of study.
    One commenter expressed concern about the criterion on low rates of 
students in the target schools who graduated high school with a regular 
secondary school diploma reflected in Sec.  643.21(a)(3). The commenter 
believes TS applicants would be discouraged from selecting target 
schools that had high rates of students who graduated with a regular 
secondary school diploma as these schools would not demonstrate high 
need. Another commenter noted that in the commenter's State, the 
minimum graduation requirements almost guarantee a rigorous secondary 
school program of study for all graduates. This commenter expressed 
concern that TS applicants in areas that have these rigorous graduation 
requirements would be allowed fewer points for project need under Sec.  
643.21(a)(5) and that this result would be unfair to the students in 
those areas or States that have been proactive by setting high 
standards for high school graduation. Another commenter questioned the 
use of the term ``regular'' diploma noting that, beginning in 2014, a 
``regular'' diploma in the commenter's State would be the same as a 
diploma for completing the State's rigorous curriculum. Those students 
not taking a rigorous secondary school program would receive a 
``modified'' diploma. The commenter stated that by using the term 
``regular'' in the regulations, all TS students in the State would have 
to meet the rigorous curriculum standards.
    Discussion: The proposed criteria for evaluating the need for a TS 
project reflect the changes made by sections 403(a)(5) and 403(b)(1) of 
the HEOA to sections 402A(f)(3)(A) and 402B(a) of the HEA, 
respectively. The new criteria reflected in Sec.  643.21(a) align with 
the purpose of the TS program and with the new statutory outcome 
criteria for the program. Therefore, we do not have the discretion to 
revise Sec.  643.21(a) as requested by the commenter.
    The selection criteria require the applicant to provide in the 
application the data the peer reviewers need to assess the extent to 
which an applicant's designated target area and target schools need the 
services of a TS project. Further, the data provided in the Need 
section of the application provide baseline data that the peer 
reviewers use to evaluate the appropriateness of the applicant's 
proposed project objectives (see Sec.  643.21(b)) and the quality of 
the applicant's plan of operation for addressing the identified needs 
(see Sec.  643.21(c)).
    In responding to the selection criteria, an applicant is expected 
to present the required data and discuss how the data support the need 
for a TS project in the proposed target area and target schools. With 
regard to selection criteria for which the target schools do not 
collect the required information, the applicant, to the extent 
appropriate, may use other data sources (e.g., State or census data) 
and describe how these data relate to the criteria and demonstrate a 
need for a TS project in the target area and target schools. Although 
some applicants may have difficulty securing certain data, all 
applicants should be able to provide the data required for most of the 
criteria. The Department believes that it is the responsibility of 
applicants to judge the need for TS services among potential target 
schools and to present data that supports the need for a TS project in 
the proposed target schools.
    We do not believe the Need criteria will disadvantage an applicant 
providing services in rural communities because the applicant can 
justify the need for a TS project by presenting their data in the 
context of the geographic area in which it is providing services. 
Further, the applicant does not need to compare its data with data from 
other geographic areas (e.g., urban schools).
    The Secretary commends those States that have set high standards 
for high school graduation and the Need criteria in the TS regulations 
do not conflict with such standards. Under Sec.  643.21(a)(5), an 
applicant can demonstrate a need for a TS project by providing data on 
the extent to which the target secondary schools do not offer their 
students the courses or academic support to complete a rigorous 
secondary school program of study or have low participation by low-
income or first-generation students in such courses. Therefore, an 
applicant can show the need for a TS project in schools that have high 
academic standards for high school graduation if TS eligible students 
are not taking rigorous courses. The Secretary also believes that the 
extent to which TS eligible students succeed in completing rigorous 
courses is an important indicator of need. Therefore, we have added the 
extent to which low-income or first generation students in target 
secondary schools succeed in rigorous secondary school program of study 
courses as an indicator of need.
    With regard to the commenter's concern about the use of the term 
``regular diploma,'' we do not have the discretion to change the 
regulatory language at issue because it is required by sections 
402A(f)(3)(A)(iii) and (f)(3)(A)(iv) of the HEA, which mandate that the 
TS program include the following two measures: (1) The extent to which 
participants graduate from secondary school with a regular secondary 
school diploma in the standard number of years; and (2) the extent to 
which participants complete a rigorous secondary school program of 
study.
    Changes: The Secretary has amended proposed Sec.  643.21(a)(5) by 
adding the words ``or low success'' after the word ``participation.''
    Comment: One commenter expressed concern that the Need criteria do 
not

[[Page 65729]]

adequately consider students' achievement and performance in their 
target schools. The commenter stated that proposed Sec.  643.21(a) does 
not reflect the purpose of the TS program, which he believes is to 
promote equal educational access and to eliminate barriers to higher 
education for low-income students. The commenter suggested that 
persistence and graduation rates are not an accurate reflection of 
student performance and achievement within schools in the lowest income 
communities. The commenter suggested that in addition to the points 
awarded for low high school persistence, graduation, and college 
completion, points also should be given for low student achievement and 
low standardized test scores in the target schools or areas.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenter that low academic 
achievement and low standardized test scores of students in the target 
schools are other indicators of need for a TS project. Therefore, we 
have revised the criteria in Sec.  643.21(a)(6) to make these changes. 
We have also redistributed the points assigned to the Need criteria to 
better reflect the relative importance of each of the criteria.
    Changes: We have revised the criteria in Sec.  643.21(a)(6) to 
include low academic achievement and low standardized test scores of 
students enrolled in the target schools as examples of other indicators 
of need for a TS project. We have also reduced the number of points 
assigned to the criteria in Sec.  643.21(a)(1)--high number or 
percentage of low-income families residing in the target area or low-
income students attending the target schools--from six points to four 
points. Finally, we have increased the number of points assigned to the 
criteria in Sec.  643.21(a)(6) from four points to six points.

What selection criteria does the Secretary use? Objectives. (Sec.  
643.21(b))

    Comment: Several commenters suggested that proposed Sec.  
643.21(b)(4) and (b)(5), which would require grantees to track 
participants through postsecondary completion is not within the scope 
or purpose or the TS program. These commenters asserted that the HEA 
only requires projects to encourage and prepare participants for 
``enrollment'' into postsecondary programs. Some commenters also 
suggested that the tracking requirement for this criterion is 
unrealistic based on the high number of participants that are served by 
a TS project.
    Several commenters requested clarification regarding whether 
grantees will need to track all graduates through postsecondary 
completion or just those who participated in a rigorous secondary 
school program of study. Several commenters suggested that grantees 
only be required to include in the random selection process for 
tracking postsecondary completion seniors that graduate from high 
school during the project year. Several commenters requested that a 
more feasible requirement would be to request postsecondary acceptance 
rates or ``college going rates'' because they believe that the 
criterion regarding tracking postsecondary enrollment and completion 
discriminates against high schools that do not track these outcomes and 
that there is no reasonable method to collect this data accurately.
    Other commenters suggested that projects should not be held 
responsible for students' postsecondary degree attainment, which 
requires tracking for four to six years after each graduating class and 
will require projects to follow the academic progress of these students 
once they enter college even though the TS program is not providing any 
services during this time. These commenters expressed concern that this 
criterion does not consider the many factors that determine whether or 
not students will be successful in postsecondary education.
    One commenter requested that we consider revising the regulations 
to avoid imposing mandatory, inefficient, and unreasonable tracking and 
sampling methods. Specifically, the commenter recommended that, because 
sampling and other tracking methods will increase the burden on 
programs, we should eliminate the sampling requirement altogether and 
instead limit tracking of postsecondary completion to only current year 
participants who complete secondary school during the current project 
year.
    Discussion: Section 402A(f)(3)(A)(vi) of the HEA, as amended by 
section 403(a)(5) of the HEOA, requires the Department to use 
postsecondary education completion, if practicable, in evaluating the 
quality and effectiveness of a TS project. Because TS projects serve 
relatively large numbers of participants, we recognize that it may be 
difficult for the project to track all participants through completion 
of postsecondary education. Therefore, a TS project may track a 
randomly selected sample of its participants. The purpose of Sec.  
643.22(d)(6) is to reduce, not increase, the burden on grantees. A 
grantee, however, is not required to use a sample but may choose to 
track all participants that complete secondary schools and enroll in 
postsecondary education.
    The Secretary plans, subject to meeting the requirements of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, to establish standard objectives 
related to postsecondary completion and provide the sampling parameters 
in the Federal Register notice inviting applications and the 
application package for the TS program.
    Changes: None.

What selection criteria does the Secretary use? Plan of Operation: The 
plan to identify and select eligible project participants. (Sec.  
643.21(c)(2))

    Comment: Some commenters requested that Sec.  643.21(c)(2), 
regarding the applicant's plan for identifying and selecting eligible 
participants, be revised to track current Sec.  643.21(c)(2), which 
requires applicants to have a plan to identify and select eligible 
participants and ensure their participation without regard to race, 
color, national origin, gender, or disability.
    Discussion: In developing proposed Sec.  643.21(c)(2), the 
Department elected not to retain the selection criterion requiring 
applicants to have a plan to ensure participants' participation without 
regard to race, color, national origin, gender or disability because we 
believed that this language was duplicative of other regulations. Every 
applicant for Federal financial assistance must submit an assurance to 
the Department that it will comply with the Federal civil rights laws 
(see 34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). Further, grantees 
under the TRIO programs and other programs funded by the Department are 
required to comply with Federal laws that prohibit discrimination on 
the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, or age (see 
34 CFR 75.500, Sec.  643.6(a)(2)).
    Changes: None.

What selection criteria does the Secretary use? Plan of Operation: The 
plan to identify and select eligible project participants, and the plan 
regarding a rigorous secondary school program of study. (Sec.  
643.21(c)(2) and (4)) and Number of Participants (Sec.  643.32(b))

    Comment: Some commenters applauded the Secretary for proposing to 
include in the selection criteria the requirement that applicants have 
a plan to identify and select eligible participants and to provide TS 
services for individuals who need them to complete a rigorous secondary 
school program of study. The commenters requested guidance from the 
Department on its expectations regarding the number or percentage of

[[Page 65730]]

participants that would have to be served in a rigorous program under 
these selection criteria.
    Some commenters expressed concern that the selection criteria 
requiring grantees to assist students to complete a rigorous curriculum 
(Sec.  643.21(c)(4)) would place grantees serving rural areas at a 
serious disadvantage in comparison to those serving urban areas. The 
commenters argued that in order to serve the required number of 
participants, a TS project serving a rural area typically serves more 
target schools and a larger geographic area, which increases project 
costs, particularly staff travel costs. Further, the commenters noted 
that many small rural schools do not offer all the courses a student 
would need to complete a rigorous secondary school program of study.
    Many commenters expressed concern that requiring grantees to assist 
students to complete a rigorous curriculum would add costs for a 
grantee. These commenters stated that providing these services would 
require grantees to hire staff with special skills needed to recruit, 
monitor, and track students in a rigorous curriculum program. The 
commenters suggested that, at the current funding level for this 
program, for a grantee to provide these types of rigorous curriculum 
services to at least 10 percent of the participants, it would need to 
reduce the number of participants from 600 (the currently required 
minimum) to 450. Other commenters noted that the increased costs of 
assisting students taking a rigorous curriculum under Sec.  
643.21(c)(4) and the new requirement to follow participants through 
postsecondary education in Sec.  643.21(c)(5) would force current TS 
projects to serve fewer students than currently being served or reduce 
services.
    Some commenters suggested that the selection criteria in Sec.  
643.21(c)(2) and (c)(4) will require projects to implement a two-tiered 
program of service delivery--the first tier would support the 
participants completing a rigorous curriculum and the second tier would 
provide college preparatory education for those participants not taking 
a rigorous secondary school program of study. The commenters argued 
that this two-tiered approach would force current projects to change 
their participant recruitment and selection strategies, hire additional 
staff, and reduce the number of students currently being served. These 
commenters also contended that, given the current budget crisis in 
local school districts, some projects would not be able to assist 
participants in completing a rigorous secondary school of study under 
Sec.  643.21(c)(4) due to the unavailability of the curriculum and 
other resources.
    Other commenters noted that the proposed changes requiring projects 
to provide intensive services appear to be very similar to the 
requirements of the Upward Bound program. Several commenters requested 
guidance regarding the delivery of services for students in a rigorous 
secondary school program of study who have different educational and 
developmental needs compared to traditional TS students.
    Discussion: In amending the HEA, Congress substantially changed the 
purpose and goals of the TS program. By including in section 
402A(f)(3)(A) of the HEA several new outcome criteria for evaluating 
the quality and effectiveness of TS projects, Congress effectively 
required all TS projects to expand the types of services provided. 
Prior to enactment of the HEOA, the statute did not prescribe any 
specific performance measures for TS projects; the current measures 
were established through regulations (see current Sec.  643.22). The 
new statutory outcome criteria for assessing the success of a TS 
project include the following two new measures, which are not included 
in the current regulations: (1) The completion by participants of a 
rigorous secondary school program of study; and (2) to the extent 
practicable, completion by participants of postsecondary education. In 
addition, Congress amended section 402B of the HEA to require TS 
grantees to provide certain services; previously the HEA included only 
a list of ``permissible'' services that a grantee could choose to 
provide to participants. These final TS regulations appropriately 
reflect these statutory changes.
    The Department acknowledges that many rural schools and low 
achieving high schools may not offer all of the courses needed to 
complete a rigorous secondary school program of study and recognizes 
that there will probably be some participants that will need more 
costly and intensive services, such as tutoring or tuition assistance 
to complete the requirements of a rigorous secondary school program of 
study.
    In recognition of the additional costs that grantees likely will 
incur in providing the new services required by the HEOA, including the 
increased costs of assisting students taking a rigorous curriculum and 
following participants through postsecondary education, the Secretary 
revised Sec.  643.32(b) by removing the requirement that grantees serve 
a specified minimum number of participants. Section 643.32(b) specifies 
that the Department will identify the minimum and maximum grant award 
amounts and the minimum number of participants a TS project must serve 
each year of the grant cycle in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications for a competition. This practice will give the Department 
the flexibility to establish the minimum number of participants to be 
served based on the available resources and other priorities for each 
competition and to adjust these numbers for subsequent competitions 
based on our experience, changing priorities, and cost analyses.
    The Department acknowledges that not all TS eligible students may 
be ready for a rigorous secondary school program of study. Therefore, 
the Secretary has revised proposed Sec.  643.21(c)(4), which would have 
specified that we evaluate a TS applicant on a plan to provide services 
sufficient to enable TS participants to succeed in a rigorous program 
of study. Instead, the final regulations specify that we will evaluate 
a TS applicant on a plan to work in a coordinated, collaborative, and 
cost-effective manner as part of an overarching college access strategy 
with the target schools or school system and other programs for 
disadvantaged students to provide participants with access to and 
assistance in completing a rigorous secondary school program of study. 
We expect TS grantees to work with their target schools, students, and 
parents to explain the eligibility requirements for participation, and 
the services and activities that will be provided by the TS project and 
those services that will be provided through the target school or by 
other programs.
    Further, because all TS participants will be encouraged to complete 
a rigorous curriculum, the Secretary has also revised proposed Sec.  
643.21(c)(2) by removing the requirement that an applicant present a 
plan for selecting individuals who would receive support to complete a 
rigorous secondary school program of study.
    Although the new statutory outcome criteria for the TS program are 
somewhat similar to those for the UB program and will require new 
project goals and objectives for the TS program, the Department does 
not believe that Congress intended for the TS program to replicate or 
duplicate UB. For example, section 402C(c) of the HEA requires UB 
projects to provide instruction in mathematics through precalculus, 
laboratory science, foreign language, composition, and literature while 
TS projects need only provide ``connections'' to high quality academic 
tutoring services (section 402B(b)(1) of the HEA). The regulations 
properly reflect the differences between the programs.

[[Page 65731]]

    Regarding the comment about students in a rigorous secondary school 
program of study who have different educational and developmental needs 
compared to traditional TS students, we recognize that students in a 
rigorous secondary school of study may have different educational and 
developmental needs than traditional TS students, most of whom have 
needed assistance in completing admission and financial aid 
applications, not academic support. Applicants for TS grants must 
design and implement new service delivery models that are consistent 
with the new statutory requirements and that balance intensity of 
services with strategic coordination with schools and other programs to 
carry out projects that are cost efficient and that best meet students' 
needs, including the needs of students in rigorous secondary school 
program of study.
    Changes: We have amended proposed Sec.  643.21(c)(2) to remove the 
selection criterion requiring an applicant to provide a plan for 
identifying and selecting participants for a rigorous secondary school 
program of study. Thus, final Sec.  643.21(c)(2) requires only that an 
applicant provides a plan for identifying and selecting participants.
    We also have removed the proposed criterion in Sec.  643.21(c)(4) 
and replaced it with a criterion that requires an applicant to present 
a plan to work in a coordinated, collaborative, and cost-effective 
manner as part of an overarching college access strategy with the 
target schools or school system and other programs for disadvantaged 
students to provide participants with access to and assistance in 
completing a rigorous secondary school program of study.
    In Sec.  643.21(c)(5) we have removed from the proposed criterion 
the words ``coordination with other programs for disadvantaged youth'' 
to eliminate duplication of the provision we are adding to Sec.  
643.21(c)(4).
    Finally, we have revised Sec.  643.32(b) to specify that for each 
year of the project period, a grantee must serve at least the number of 
participants that the Secretary identifies in the Federal Register 
notice inviting applications for a competition, and to state that 
through this notice, the Secretary provides the minimum and maximum 
grant award amounts for the competition.

What selection criteria does the Secretary use? Plan of Operation: The 
plan to follow former participants as they enter, continue in, and 
complete postsecondary education. (Sec.  643.21(c)(6))

    Comment: Some commenters objected to the proposed criteria in Sec.  
643.21(c)(6) that would require TS applicants to have a plan to follow 
former participants as they progress in postsecondary education. These 
commenters suggested that it is not reasonable, practicable, or 
economically feasible for the Department to judge the success and 
effectiveness of a TS project on the basis of the degree to which 
participants enter, continue in, and complete postsecondary programs 
when the project cannot provide retention services during the 
participants' college years.
    Discussion: Section 402A(f)(3)(A)(v) and (f)(3)(A)(vi) of the HEA 
includes the enrollment in and completion of postsecondary education as 
an outcome criterion for the TS Program. To implement these statutory 
requirements, Sec.  643.21(c)(6) requires applicants to have a plan to 
achieve goals in these areas.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: Some commenters requested that we define the phrase 
``complete postsecondary education,'' as it is used in Sec.  
643.21(c)(6). In particular, these commenters asked if completion of 
vocational and technical degree programs and/or other community college 
degrees would constitute completion of postsecondary education under 
this selection criterion. The commenters suggested that if the standard 
is the completion of a four-year degree, a project could not count TS 
participants enrolling in and completing community and junior colleges 
and career technology programs.
    Discussion: For purposes of Sec.  643.21, the Secretary considers 
programs of postsecondary education to include vocational and technical 
degree programs, associate degree programs, as well as bachelor degree 
programs. Because TS participants may enroll in all types of 
postsecondary programs, the project should present a plan to follow a 
sample of former participants through completion of their programs of 
postsecondary education.
    Changes: None.

What selection criteria does the Secretary use? Applicant and Community 
Support: Resources secured through written commitments. (Sec.  
643.21(d)(2))

    Comment: Several commenters requested clarification of the 
selection criteria requiring that TS applicants get commitments from 
the community. Some commenters asked if an applicant that is an 
institution of higher education must get commitments from institutions 
other than the host institution. Other commenters expressed concern 
that secondary schools would not be interested in becoming educational 
partners with university-based projects because secondary schools are 
now eligible to apply for TS grants. The commenters stated that 
secondary school applicants would have an unfair advantage in a TS 
competition, because they could operate a TS project without getting 
commitments from colleges and universities while an applicant that is 
an institution of higher education or community-based organization 
would need commitments from the secondary schools to effectively serve 
the secondary school students participating in the TS project. The 
commenters recommended that secondary schools be held to the same 
selection criteria as higher education institutions and other eligible 
entities.
    Discussion: The intent of Sec.  643.21(d)(2) is to ensure a fair 
and equitable competition by requiring that all applicants secure 
commitments from various entities within the community. The Secretary 
believes that schools and community organizations should secure 
commitments from institutions of higher education so that these 
organizations have the full scope of partners necessary to implement a 
successful TS program. The Secretary does not agree with the contention 
that possible applicants in the secondary school systems would not be 
interested in partnering with higher education institutions, community 
organizations, or others. Nonetheless, based on the comments received, 
the Secretary believes that the wording of proposed Sec.  643.21(d)(2) 
may be unclear. For this reason, we have made clarifying changes to 
this provision.
    Changes: We have revised proposed Sec.  643.21(d)(2) to state that: 
(i) An applicant that is an institution of higher education must 
include in its application commitments from the target schools and 
community organizations; (ii) an applicant that is a secondary school 
must include in its application commitments from institutions of higher 
education, community organizations, and as appropriate, other secondary 
schools and the school district; and (iii) an applicant that is a 
community organization must include in its application commitments from 
the target schools and institutions of higher education.

[[Page 65732]]

How does the Secretary evaluate prior experience? (Sec.  643.22)

    Comment: Some commenters asked that we revise Sec.  643.22 to 
clarify the meaning of the term ``prior participants'' for purposes of 
the PE evaluation in Sec.  643.22(d)(3) through (d)(5). These 
commenters requested that TS projects not be required to track prior 
participants through postsecondary completion. The commenters stated 
that a requirement to track prior participants after they participate 
in the program is an undue burden on a TS project given the number of 
students served and the amount of funding per participant. The 
commenters argued that grantees should not be required to track non-
active participants who graduated from the program years earlier.
    Several commenters also asked that Sec.  643.22(d)(5) be changed to 
permit participants' postsecondary enrollment to be by the ``fall or 
spring'' term immediately following the school year, instead of by the 
``fall'' term immediately following the school year because some 
participants may need to delay enrollment in postsecondary education.
    Discussion: As noted earlier in this preamble, with the enactment 
of the HEOA, the HEA includes new outcome criteria for the TS program, 
including: Graduation from secondary school with a regular secondary 
school diploma in the standard number of years; the completion of a 
rigorous secondary school program of study; and postsecondary 
enrollment. The Department is required to use these criteria to assess 
the success of a TS project. However, the Department acknowledges that 
TS projects serve large numbers of participants each year and may not 
have the resources needed to track prior participants through high 
school and into postsecondary education. Therefore, the Department is 
revising Sec.  643.22(d)(3), (d)(4), and (d)(5) by removing the 
requirement to track prior participants and clarifying, in Sec.  
643.22(d)(3) and (d)(4), that grantees must track participants served 
during the project year.
    Further, we have decided to revise the outcome criterion in Sec.  
643.22(d)(5) to focus on participants' enrollment in programs of 
postsecondary education within the time period specified in the 
approved objective rather than stating in the regulation the time frame 
for measurement. The Secretary will, subject to meeting the 
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, include in the 
application package for the TS programs a standard objective related to 
postsecondary enrollment that includes the time frame for measuring 
postsecondary enrollment. This will give the Secretary the flexibility 
to change the period of measurement for each grant competition based on 
changing situations.
    We have also revised the outcome criterion in Sec.  643.22(d)(6) to 
clarify that a grantee must track the postsecondary completion for only 
those participants who enrolled in a program of postsecondary 
education. The option to use a randomly selected sample of participants 
to track this postsecondary completion should reduce the reporting 
burden on grantees.
    For consistency with the regulatory language used in Sec.  
643.22(d)(2), (d)(3) and (d)(6), we have deleted the words ``the 
percentage of'' in Sec.  643.22(d)(4) and (d)(5). In addition, we have 
revised Sec.  643.22(d)(4) by removing the words ``who enrolled in 
and'' before the words ``completed a rigorous secondary school program 
of study'' to be consistent with the changes we have made to Sec. Sec.  
643.3(b), 643.11(a), 643.21(c)(2) and (c)(4) and 643.32(b)(5), which 
now include additional participant eligibility and recordkeeping 
requirements for students in a rigorous program of study.
    Changes: We have changed proposed Sec.  643.22(d)(3), (d)(4), and 
(d)(5) by removing the reference to prior participants in each of these 
three provisions. In Sec.  643.22(d)(3) and (d)(4), we have clarified 
that current participants are ``participants served during the project 
year.'' In addition, in Sec.  643.22(d)(4) and (d)(5), we have removed 
the words ``the percentage of'' and in Sec.  643.22(d)(4) we have also 
removed the words ``enrolled in and.''
    Further, we have changed proposed Sec.  643.22(d)(5) by replacing 
the words ``by the fall term immediately following the school year'' 
with the words ``within the time period specified in the approved 
objective'' and have revised Sec.  643.22(d)(6) by replacing the words 
``regarding the completion of'' with the words ``project participants 
who enrolled in and completed.''
    Comment: Some commenters stated that the 1.5 PE points in Sec.  
643.22(d)(6) for postsecondary completion should be reduced because 
there are many variables outside the control of the TS project that 
could affect this outcome. The commenters recommended that only one-
half of one point (0.5 point) be assigned to this criterion because the 
participants' postsecondary completion may not be based on direct 
services the project provides to participants.
    Discussion: The Secretary does not agree with the commenters' 
suggestion to reduce the points allocated to the postsecondary-
completion criterion. The Secretary believes that one-half of one point 
is a negligible amount, which goes against the spirit of the HEA. The 
1.5 points for this criterion in Sec.  643.22(d)(6) represents only 10 
percent of the total PE points a project could earn.
    Changes: None.

What are allowable costs? (Sec.  643.30)

    Comment: A number of commenters suggested including several 
additional costs to the list of allowable costs for the TS program in 
Sec.  643.30. Some commenters recommended that we add as an allowable 
cost, participant meals while on field trips, in tutoring sessions, or 
at other events because many participants cannot afford to pay for 
meals while on field trips or at other project sponsored events. Some 
commenters recommended that we add transportation and meals for parents 
to attend certain workshops and college visits.
    Other commenters suggested that we add an allowable cost provision 
for cultural events, including associated transportation, meals, and 
admission fees, because cultural events are permitted under Sec.  
643.4(b)(4) and TS participants would benefit from exposure to these 
events. Commenters also recommended that costs associated with hiring 
instructional staff, evening and weekend staff, or retraining or 
renegotiating contracts with current staff to provide tutoring for 
rigorous coursework, financial literacy programming, or college 
entrance exam preparation be allowable.
    Commenters also suggested that testing fees, including general 
educational development (GED) exam fees, should be allowable, as these 
costs are increasing and TS projects are not always able to attain fee 
waivers.
    Some commenters requested clarification regarding the Department's 
addition of the word ``project'' before the word ``staff'' in Sec.  
643.30(a). These commenters noted that the provision now appears to 
prohibit projects from paying meals and lodging for chaperones and 
part-time summer staff.
    Discussion: Section 643.30(a) permits a project to pay 
transportation, meals, and, if necessary, lodging, for participants and 
staff in a number of situations, including for field trips to observe 
and meet with persons employed in various career fields. However, the 
TS program is a low cost per participant program and we do not believe 
adding meals as an allowable cost for all field trips, tutoring 
sessions, or other events, or adding transportation and meals for 
parents to attend certain workshops and college visits would be the 
best use of limited resources.

[[Page 65733]]

    Section 643.30(c) establishes the conditions upon which a TS 
project may pay for college applications or entrance examinations. We 
have revised Sec.  643.30(c) to include fees that are required for 
alternative education examinations, including the GED. Further, as one 
of the required services, a TS project must assist participants in 
preparing for college entrance examinations; however, because the TS 
program is a low cost per participant program, we do not believe it is 
reasonable for a TS project to pay a third party for college entrance 
exam preparation for individual participants.
    Regarding an allowable cost provision for cultural events, the 
Department believes that field trips and campus visits, which are 
allowable costs, may have cultural benefits for participants. While we 
encourage grantees to incorporate cultural events into these types of 
trips, we do not agree that cultural events should be added to the 
regulations as a separate allowable cost category. While the Department 
understands the value of cultural events, we believe that adding them 
as an allowable cost would divert scarce resources away from direct 
college-access services. Connections to tutoring and financial and 
economic literacy services are required services of the TS program; 
therefore, costs associated with providing these services would be 
allowable, including hiring or retraining staff members to provide 
these services.
    Nonetheless, the Department encourages grantees to seek low cost 
alternatives to hiring instructional staff, such as seeking connections 
to existing tutoring or financial literacy services for TS 
participants. Further, TS grantees should coordinate with the target 
schools and other organizations in the community to ensure that 
participants have access to the full range of services required for 
success.
    Finally, the term project staff, as used in Sec.  643.30(a), 
includes part-time staff, including summer staff, and volunteers 
responsible for chaperoning TS participants on field trips and campus 
visits; therefore project funds may be used to pay for these 
individuals' meals and lodging.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  643.30(c) to include examination 
fees for alternative education programs if a waiver of the fee is 
unavailable and the fee is paid by the grantee to a third party on 
behalf of a participant.
    Comment: One commenter noted that transportation costs for 
participants in a rigorous curriculum in rural areas would be costly 
and may use up limited TS funds. The commenter argued that level 
funding has damaged a TS project's ability to provide additional 
transportation costs, particularly in light of the costs of the fringe 
benefits required to be provided to TS staff as mandated by most State 
institutions. Other commenters argued that projects do not have 
sufficient funding to provide tuition for participants. Some commenters 
also noted that payment of tuition for a few participants may be 
perceived as discriminatory by participants pursuing regular secondary 
school diplomas.
    Discussion: We appreciate the commenter's concern that the costs 
associated with transportation of participants in rural areas and 
payment of tuition would use up limited TS funding. We also appreciate 
commenters' concern that payment of tuition for a few participants may 
be perceived as discriminatory. On the other hand, during the 
negotiated rulemaking sessions, some non-Federal negotiators argued 
that allowing grantees to use grant funds for this purpose was 
necessary to meet the goals of the statute. As discussed earlier in 
this preamble, one of the new statutory outcome criteria for the TS 
program requires that TS projects report data on the completion by 
participants of a rigorous secondary school program of study that would 
make them eligible for grants under the Academic Competitiveness Grants 
(ACG) Program. Some non-Federal negotiators recommended that TS 
grantees be authorized to pay transportation and tuition costs for 
participants who are trying to complete a rigorous program, when 
courses required for the program are not offered at the secondary 
school the participant attends or at another local school. The 
Department decided to allow grantees to use program funds for this 
purpose. The regulations do not require TS grantees to provide tuition 
or transportation costs for participants but authorizes this expense as 
an allowable cost to assist students in completing a rigorous secondary 
school program of study.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: Some commenters suggested allowing TS program funds to be 
used to pay for ``service agreements'' for computer systems and related 
technology because many technology systems may require service 
agreements to cover repairs and software packages.
    Discussion: We agree with the suggestion made by the commenters.
    Changes: We have amended Sec.  643.30(f) and (g) to include service 
agreements as an allowable cost.
    Comment: A few commenters recommended that we revise Sec.  
643.30(h)(3) to allow TS funds to be used to pay for tuition costs for 
accredited courses offered online because the availability of online 
courses has increased and allowing TS funds to be used for these 
courses could increase student access to rigorous curriculum study. One 
commenter recommended revising Sec.  643.30(h)(3) to allow TS funds to 
be used to pay for coursework that may be offered by a college at sites 
other than the college campus, such as online or at a secondary school 
campus. Other commenters suggested allowing costs for Advanced 
Placement (AP) and the Idaho Digital Learning Academy coursework as 
these options may be available at participants' high schools and may 
cost less than postsecondary tuition.
    Some commenters noted that in the commenters' State, students must 
earn a grade of ``C'' or better in a series of courses to complete a 
rigorous secondary school program of study. Due to budget constraints, 
however, many high schools will not allow students to repeat a course 
in which the student earned a ``D,'' since the student would still 
receive credit for the course. Despite receiving credit in this case, 
the student would not be eligible to complete a rigorous secondary 
school program of study, unless the student was able to repeat the 
course and earn a grade of ``C'' or better. The commenter recommended 
that projects be allowed to provide tuition assistance for participants 
under this circumstance.

    One commenter noted that one reason participants may not have 
access to rigorous coursework is that available slots in the courses 
are full due to overcrowding in the district. This commenter noted that 
under the current regulations, TS projects may only use TS funds to pay 
tuition for participants if ``the course or a similar course is not 
offered at the secondary school that the participant attends or at 
another school within the participant's school district,'' which would 
not allow projects to assist participants who are not able to take a 
course due to overcrowding. The commenter recommended that the 
regulations permit projects to provide tuition assistance for these 
participants to take the needed courses elsewhere.
    One commenter requested clarification as to whether text books and 
lab fees are allowable costs. Another commenter requested clarification 
on whether all eight criteria listed in the regulations must be met for 
a project to provide tuition assistance.
    Discussion: We agree with the proposal to revise Sec.  643.30(h)(3) 
to allow TS grantees to pay for courses taken through an accredited 
institution

[[Page 65734]]

of higher education, including online courses and courses provided at a 
site other than the institution's campus, such as at a secondary school 
campus, provided the course meets all the conditions in Sec.  
643.30(h). Section 643.30(h)(3) does not authorize TS grantees to pay 
for courses provided by accredited institutions at the secondary 
school's campus if the course is generally available to students at the 
target schools through an arrangement between the school district and 
the institution of higher education (e.g., dual enrollment courses).
    We do not agree that TS grant funds should be used to pay for 
Advanced Placement (AP) and other courses available through the 
participant's high school, for students to repeat courses to receive a 
higher grade, or for participants to enroll elsewhere in cases of 
overcrowded courses that are already offered at their schools or in 
their school districts. The purpose of Sec.  643.30(h) is to allow 
grantees to pay the costs of courses that are part of a rigorous 
secondary school program of study only in exceptional situations in 
which a participant does not have access to a course or courses through 
his or her high school.
    Furthermore, while we recognize that districts may face 
overcrowding for enrollment in some secondary school courses, we 
believe that applicants should partner closely with target schools and 
the school districts during pre-grant planning efforts to mitigate 
enrollment hurdles, to the extent practicable. We do not believe that 
limited project funds should be used to pay tuition for courses that 
are already offered in a participant's school or district. As part of 
the collaboration with the target schools, institutions of higher 
education and other community organizations, TS participants should be 
provided the same opportunities and access to rigorous courses as other 
students in the target schools.
    Finally, project funds may be used to cover tuition and required 
textbooks and lab fees only if all eight criteria listed in Sec.  
643.30(h) have been met.
    Changes: We have amended proposed Sec.  643.30(h)(3) to authorize 
the use of TS funds to pay for courses taken through an accredited 
institution of higher education.
    Comment: A few commenters recommended allowing TS projects to pay 
stipends to students in a rigorous secondary school program of study to 
help defray transportation costs when a student has to stay after 
school or obtain additional tutoring. The commenters requested that 
participant stipends be added to the list of allowable costs so that TS 
will offer benefits comparable to those in other programs such as GEAR 
UP and Upward Bound.
    Discussion: The cost for transportation for participants to receive 
instruction, tutoring, or other services provided by the project that 
is part of a rigorous secondary school program of study is an allowable 
cost in Sec.  643.30(a)(4). We do not agree with the proposal to 
authorize the use of TS funds to pay stipends to participants. Stipends 
are only permitted in the TRIO programs when they are specifically 
authorized by statute. The HEA does not authorize stipends in the TS 
program.
    Changes: None.

What other requirements must a grantee meet?

Number of Participants

    Comment: We received three comments on the proposal to remove the 
minimum number of participants from the regulations. One commenter 
noted that the provision would favor newer, smaller projects while 
another commenter expressed concern about the possible fluctuation in 
participant numbers from one grant cycle to the next which might 
jeopardize relationships with the target schools if the project had to 
reduce the number of student services. Another commenter hoped that the 
Department would consider the higher costs of providing services to 
participants taking a rigorous program of study and the varying cost of 
living indexes throughout the country in determining the minimum number 
of participants for a competition.
    Discussion: In recognition of the additional costs that grantees 
likely will incur in providing the new services required or permitted 
by the HEOA, including the increased costs of assisting students taking 
a rigorous curriculum and following participants through postsecondary 
education, the Secretary is not including in Sec.  643.32(b) the 
requirement that grantees serve a specified minimum number of 
participants. Instead, as discussed elsewhere in this preamble, we 
believe it is appropriate for the Secretary to identify the minimum and 
maximum grant award amounts and the minimum number of participants a TS 
project must serve each year of the grant cycle in the Federal Register 
notice inviting applications for a competition. This practice will give 
the Department the flexibility to establish the minimum number of 
participants to be served based on the available resources and 
priorities for each competition and to adjust these numbers for 
subsequent competitions based on our experience, changing priorities, 
and cost analyses.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  643.32(b) to clarify that a grantee 
must serve at least the number of participants that the Secretary 
identifies in the application notice for the competition.

List of Courses Taken by Participants (proposed Sec.  643.32(b)(5))

    Comment: Commenters expressed concerns about proposed Sec.  
643.32(b)(5), which would have required TS grantees to maintain a list 
of courses taken by participants that receive support to complete a 
rigorous secondary school program of study. The commenters argued that 
this requirement would impose an additional burden on grantees and 
increase the costs of staff time for recordkeeping and the utilization 
of office resources.
    Discussion: The Secretary agrees with the commenters that the 
requirement for a list of courses would impose a significant 
recordkeeping burden that would outweigh the benefits of the practice 
and, therefore, has deleted proposed Sec.  643.32(b)(5).
    Changes: The Secretary is not including proposed Sec.  643.32(b)(5) 
in these final regulations.
    Comment: None.
    Discussion: Based on comments we received regarding proposed Sec.  
643.11(b), we have revised the required assurance in Sec.  643.11(b). 
Because of the change to Sec.  643.11(b), we believe it is necessary to 
add a new Sec.  643.32(c)(5) to require that for each TS participant, 
the grantee, to the extent practicable, must maintain a record of any 
services the participant receives during the project year under other 
TRIO or federally funded programs that serve populations similar to 
those served under the TS program. This provision has been added to 
help ensure that the limited funds available under TRIO, GEAR UP, and 
other programs for disadvantaged students are used effectively and 
efficiently by minimizing the duplication of services through 
coordination of activities.
    Change: A new Sec.  643.32(c)(5) has been added, requiring grantees 
to maintain a record of any services TS participants receive during the 
project year from another TRIO program or federally funded program that 
serves populations similar to those served under the TS program.

Project Director (proposed Sec.  643.32(c))

    Comment: Many commenters suggested that proposed Sec.  643.32(c), 
which restricts a grant program director from administering more than 
three programs, was confusing. One commenter also suggested that the

[[Page 65735]]

Department strike the words ``one or two,'' so that project directors 
may administer more than three programs in order to foster 
collaboration and cost savings.
    Discussion: The Secretary agrees that proposed Sec.  643.32(c)(3) 
may have been confusing and has clarified the regulation. The 
Secretary, however, does not agree with the recommendation to permit a 
project director to administer more than three programs without 
receiving a waiver. We acknowledge that permitting a project director 
to administer more than one program encourages collaboration among the 
programs and may provide cost savings. However, project directors 
responsible for more than three programs may not be able to effectively 
manage each of the programs. In situations in which a grantee wants the 
project director to administer more than three TRIO or similar 
programs, the grantee must submit a detailed justification to the 
Secretary for approval.
    Changes: We have revised proposed Sec.  643.32(c)(3) (final Sec.  
643.32(d)(3)) to clarify the standard the Secretary will use to 
consider requests for a waiver of the restriction on the number of 
programs a project director may administer.

Educational Opportunity Centers (34 CFR Part 644)

    Section 403(f) of the HEOA made changes to the requirements for the 
Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) program in section 402F of the 
HEA. The HEA now includes a requirement that EOC projects be designed 
``to improve the financial literacy and economic literary of students'' 
and education and counseling services ``designed to improve the 
financial and economic literacy of students'' as services an EOC 
project may provide.
    The Department received several comments and questions about this 
new program requirement. The commenters expressed concern that EOC 
projects do not have sufficient time with participants to ``improve'' 
their financial and economic literacy, in addition to meeting all other 
programmatic requirements and needs of participants. Another commenter 
was concerned that the additional services required of EOC projects, in 
addition to the new populations to be served, will not be supported by 
increased funding. One commenter expressed the belief that the proposed 
regulations would require EOC grantees to focus on fully preparing 
adult participants for postsecondary education programs, where 
previously the program focused on simply providing information about 
opportunities to attend college and to assist participants with college 
admission and financial aid applications.
    We address specific comments on the changes to the EOC program 
regulations in the following section. The Department also plans to 
provide applicants with additional guidance on the new program 
requirements through the published application materials. In addition, 
the Department will conduct 10 pre-application workshops to assist 
entities interested in applying for EOC grants and will post a list of 
frequently asked questions on the TRIO Programs Web site at: 
http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/index.html.

Educational Opportunity Centers (34 CFR Part 644)

What is the Educational Opportunity Centers program? (Sec.  644.1)

    Comment: Several commenters stated that Sec.  644.1 should be 
revised to specifically mention that EOC projects provide assistance 
for individuals who have dropped out of secondary schools because 
projects are assessed, in the objectives and prior experience sections, 
on their success in assisting participants without a secondary school 
diploma or its equivalent. Some commenters also expressed concerns that 
EOC projects do not have sufficient time with participants to 
``improve'' their financial and economic literacy. These commenters 
suggested that the word ``improve'' in Sec.  644.1 be changed to 
``provide.''
    Discussion: To ensure consistency between the statutory language in 
section 402F(a) of the HEA, which describes the program authority and 
services to be provided under the EOC program, and Sec.  644.1, we 
decline to make the changes requested by the commenters.
    Changes: None.

Who is eligible for a grant? (Sec.  644.2)

    Comment: Several commenters questioned the fact that Sec.  644.2 
now includes secondary schools as eligible applicants. Specifically, 
they expressed concern that because the target population of EOC 
participants is adults, secondary schools would be less capable of 
operating an EOC project than organizations that serve primarily adult 
populations, such as immigrant education programs, employment agencies, 
or postsecondary institutions. Two commenters suggested that secondary 
schools should be allowed to receive an EOC grant only if there are no 
similar projects in the area designed to assist adult students.
    Discussion: We do not have the authority to remove secondary 
schools from the list of eligible applicants or to limit their 
eligibility under this program because section 402A(b)(1) of the HEA 
specifically includes secondary schools among the entities eligible to 
receive EOC grants.
    Changes: None.

What services may a project provide? (Sec.  644.4)

    Comment: Some commenters expressed concern about Sec.  644.4(e), 
which includes education and counseling services designed to improve 
the financial and economic literacy of participants as a permissible 
service for EOC grantees. One commenter wanted to know whether 
participants must be tested on their financial literacy to determine 
whether they have benefitted from the training. Another commenter 
expressed concern that the additional services for the new populations 
listed in Sec.  644.4(k) would not be supported by increased funding.
    Discussion: Section 644.4 reflects the statutory changes made to 
the list of services that an EOC project may provide, as specified in 
section 402F(b) of the HEA. An EOC project may, but is not required, to 
provide these services listed in Sec.  644.4. While an EOC project may 
provide education and counseling services designed to improve the 
financial and economic literacy of participants, there is no 
requirement that participants be tested to determine if they benefitted 
from the services.
    Changes: None.

What selection criteria does the Secretary use? (Sec.  644.21)

Objectives (Sec.  644.21(b))

    Comment: A number of commenters stated that they believed that the 
point value assigned to the first two objectives in proposed Sec.  
644.21(b) (i.e., (a) enrollment of participants who do not have a 
secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent in programs 
leading to a secondary school diploma or its equivalent and (b) 
postsecondary enrollment) should be weighted less than or equal to the 
second two objectives (i.e., financial aid assistance and college 
admissions assistance) because EOC staff spend most of their resources 
and time assisting participants with financial aid and college 
admission assistance. One commenter recommended reducing the points for 
the postsecondary enrollment objective to three points and increasing 
the points for financial assistance and college admission assistance 
objectives to one and one half points each.

[[Page 65736]]

    One commenter expressed concern that the weighting of the points 
for the objective on enrollment in secondary education was less than 
for postsecondary enrollment and that this strongly suggested that 
working with persons without a secondary education diploma or its 
equivalent has a lesser value than focusing on postsecondary enrollment 
of participants. The commenter further stated that it would appear more 
equitable if greater value were placed on efforts to assist persons in 
continuing and completing their secondary education and to assist those 
same persons in enrolling in a postsecondary program. Therefore, the 
commenter recommended that we provide four points for enrolling in 
programs that lead to a secondary degree or its equivalent and two 
points for postsecondary enrollment.
    Several commenters recommended that we revise the postsecondary 
enrollment objective in Sec.  644.21(b)(2) and the related PE criterion 
in Sec.  644.22(d)(2) by eliminating the restriction that the 
participants be secondary school graduates before enrolling in 
postsecondary education. The commenters recommended these changes 
because, they argued, many postsecondary institutions with open 
enrollment policies accept individuals who have not first obtained a 
high school diploma or its equivalent. Some commenters expressed 
concern that it would be difficult for projects to fulfill the 
postsecondary enrollment objective because many adult education 
programs are overbooked and underfunded, resulting in EOC participants 
being placed on waiting lists to either participate in adult education 
classes or take the GED exam.
    Numerous commenters recommended that the word ``student'' in 
Sec. Sec.  644.21(b)(3) and (b)(4) be replaced with the word 
``participant'' to better reflect the population assisted by EOC 
grantees. One commenter also recommended that EOC grantees be evaluated 
on how many participants applied for financial aid, rather than how 
many participants were assisted with applications for financial aid, 
and on how many participants actually applied for admission, rather 
than how many participants were assisted with college applications.
    Discussion: The objectives for an EOC project in Sec.  644.21(b) 
and the related PE criterion in Sec.  644.22(d) generally reflect the 
statutory outcome criteria in section 402A(f)(3)(E) of the HEA. With 
regard to the postsecondary enrollment objective in Sec.  644.21(b)(2) 
and the related PE criterion in Sec.  644.22(d)(2), the language 
referenced is in section 402A(f)(3)(E) of the HEA and cannot be changed 
as the commenters requested.
    The Secretary agrees with the commenters' recommendation to 
increase the number of points assigned to the student financial aid and 
the college admission objectives, but we do not agree that the points 
assigned to these two criteria should be equal to or greater than the 
points assigned to the postsecondary enrollment criterion. Further, we 
do not agree with the commenter that the points for the secondary 
school diploma objective should be equal to or greater than the 
postsecondary enrollment objective since postsecondary enrollment is 
the primary goal of the program. Nonetheless, we have reduced the 
number of points assigned to the postsecondary enrollment objective and 
increased the points assigned to the financial aid and college 
admission objectives. While we agree that assisting participants in 
completing financial aid and college admission applications are 
valuable services of the program, they are not the ultimate goal of 
EOC. We believe that educational attainment is the mission of the 
program and, that secondary school completion and postsecondary 
enrollment are the more important performance measures for the program 
and should be rewarded accordingly.
    The objectives for an EOC project in Sec.  644.21(b) and the 
related PE criterion in Sec.  644.22(d) generally reflect the language 
used for the statutory outcome criteria in section 402A(f)(3)(E) of the 
HEA. With regard to the postsecondary enrollment objective in Sec.  
644.21(b)(2) and the related PE criterion in Sec.  644.22(d)(2), the 
language referenced is in section 402A(f)(3)(E) and cannot be changed 
as the commenters requested.
    We have responded to the comment about eliminating the restriction 
that the participants be secondary school graduates before enrolling in 
postsecondary education in the preamble discussion section for comments 
on Sec.  644.22(d)(2) through (d)(5) later in this preamble.
    Finally, the Secretary agrees with the suggestion to change Sec.  
644.21(b)(3) and (b)(4) to better reflect the intent of the objective, 
which is to measure the extent to which participants completed 
financial aid and college admission applications. This change is 
consistent with the statutory language in section 402A(f)(3)(E)(iv) of 
the HEA.
    Changes: The Secretary has revised the wording of the proposed 
objectives in Sec.  644.21(b)(1) through (b)(5) to refer to: (1) 
Secondary school diploma or equivalent, (2) Postsecondary enrollment, 
(3) Financial aid applications, and (4) College admission applications. 
The Secretary has also revised Sec.  644.21(b) by reducing the number 
of points assigned to the postsecondary enrollment objective to three 
points (see paragraph (b)(2)) and increasing the number of points for 
the financial aid applications and the college admission applications 
to 1.5 points each (see paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4), respectively).

What selection criteria does the Secretary use? Applicant and community 
support Sec.  644.21(d)

    Comment: All of the comments regarding our proposed changes to 
Sec.  644.21(d) recommended that we not require EOC applicants to 
obtain commitments from secondary schools. The commenters argued that 
because most EOC participants are adults, most EOC projects do not work 
with secondary schools; therefore, it does not make sense to require 
EOC projects to secure commitments from secondary schools.
    Discussion: The Secretary agrees with the commenters and has 
decided not to specifically evaluate the extent to which the applicant 
secures commitments of support from secondary schools. Further, the 
Secretary has decided that current Sec.  644.21(d)(2) remains 
appropriate for the EOC program. The Department believes that this 
provision is appropriate because it allows, but does not require, the 
Secretary to consider the extent to which an applicant secures 
commitments from entities that may include secondary schools or 
institutions of higher education. We continue to believe that secondary 
schools and institutions of higher education may be able to offer 
assistance and resources to help an EOC project achieve its goals. For 
example, a secondary school or college may make its computer lab 
available for adult students to use in the evenings. Therefore, the 
Secretary encourages each EOC project to solicit commitments from many 
organizations within the community it serves, including, if 
appropriate, secondary schools.
    Changes: We are not including the proposed changes to Sec.  
644.21(d) in the final regulations.

How does the Secretary evaluate prior experience?--Secondary school 
diploma; Postsecondary enrollment; Financial Aid Applications; College 
Admission Applications (Sec.  644.22(d)(2) through (d)(5))

    Comment: A number of commenters expressed concern that awarding PE 
points for the number of participants

[[Page 65737]]

who receive a secondary school diploma conflicts with the selection 
criteria that focuses on the enrollment of participants in programs 
leading to a secondary school diploma or its equivalent. In addition, 
some commenters stated that it would be difficult for projects to meet 
this objective because many adult education programs are overbooked and 
underfunded, resulting in EOC participants being placed on waiting 
lists to participate in adult education classes and to take the GED 
exam.
    Some commenters noted that while some postsecondary institutions 
permit attendance without a high school diploma, students who enroll 
this way cannot be counted as EOC successes if the project is only 
permitted to measure the number of participants who enroll ``in 
programs leading to a secondary school diploma or its equivalent.'' The 
commenters suggested that the prior experience criterion in Sec.  
644.22(d)(2) be changed to refer to the number of participants who 
enroll in a continuing education program, so that the criterion 
includes participants without a high school diploma who enroll in 
secondary or postsecondary education. Alternatively, one commenter 
recommended that the Department eliminate this criterion entirely. 
Other commenters noted that Sec.  644.22(d)(2) prevents projects from 
counting a participant who enrolls in postsecondary education prior to 
attaining a high school diploma as a success under the postsecondary 
enrollment, financial aid assistance, or college admission assistance 
criteria, which would use high school graduation or its equivalent in 
their calculations
    Regarding the postsecondary enrollment criterion in Sec.  
644.22(d)(3), one commenter expressed concern that the phrase 
``secondary school graduates'' in this criterion would preclude 
projects from counting a student who directly enrolls in postsecondary 
education, prior to attaining a high school diploma, as a success under 
the criterion. Several other commenters recommended extending the time 
period specified in this criterion (i.e., the fall term immediately 
following the school year) in which a participant must enroll in a 
program of postsecondary education. Specifically, the commenters 
thought the period used to calculate this criterion consider the 
following factors: Many EOC participants enroll in community colleges, 
which are currently deferring admissions to the spring semester because 
of overcrowding; EOC participants enroll in nontraditional programs 
with rolling admissions dates that are not necessarily in the fall; and 
EOC participants often have greater burdens than the typical TRIO 
participants and, as a result, take longer to get into postsecondary 
programs than do low-income, first-generation students who did not drop 
out of high school.
    Some commenters argued that the point value assigned to the 
postsecondary enrollment criterion in Sec.  644.22(d)(3) should be less 
than or equal to the other objectives. A number of commenters also 
argued that the point value assigned to the financial aid and college 
admission criteria in Sec.  644.22(d)(4) and (d)(5) should have the 
same or greater value than the other criteria because financial aid and 
college admissions assistance are key services and EOC staff spend the 
majority of their time assisting participants in these areas.
    One commenter suggested that the Department change the point value 
assigned to the postsecondary enrollment criterion in Sec.  
644.22(d)(3) to four points and increase the point value for financial 
aid and college admissions assistance in Sec.  644.22(d)(4) and (d)(5) 
to two and one half points each.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenters that the proposed 
secondary school graduation objective criterion, under the selection 
criteria in Sec.  644.21(b), should be changed to align with the PE 
outcome measures. (See the discussion and changes for Sec.  644.21(b) 
earlier in this preamble.) We do not, however, agree with the 
commenters' suggestion that the Department remove or substantively 
revise the outcome criterion in Sec.  644.22(d)(3) because this outcome 
criterion reflects the criterion described in section 402A(f)(3)(E)(ii) 
of the HEA.
    While we sympathize with the concerns of the commenters who find 
that it is more difficult for the populations served by EOC projects to 
achieve educational goals because of the many barriers they face, the 
purpose of PE points is to reward the applicants who have met or 
exceeded their approved objectives. Applicants are expected to propose 
objectives that are ambitious and attainable given the plan they 
develop to address the needs of the target population in their 
application. The applicant's objectives should take into consideration 
known barriers to success, such as waitlists for participation in adult 
education programs in the applicant's target area.
    Section 402A(f)(3)(E)(ii) of the HEA specifies that, for the 
postsecondary enrollment criterion, participants must be secondary 
school graduates. However, the financial aid and college admission 
applications criteria in the statute (see section 402A(f)(3)(E)(iv) of 
the HEA) do not require participants to be secondary school graduates; 
therefore, a project may count individuals who are not secondary school 
graduates for the purposes of these objectives.
    In response to the comment about extending the time period in Sec.  
644.22(a)(3), the Department has decided to change the wording in Sec.  
644.22(d)(2) by adding after the word ``equivalent'' the words ``within 
the time period specified in the approved objective'' and, in Sec.  
644.22(d)(3), by removing the words ``by the fall term immediately 
following the school year'' and adding, in their place, the words 
``within the time period specified in the approved objective.'' The 
Secretary plans, subject to meeting the requirements of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995, to establish standard objectives for completion 
of secondary school and postsecondary enrollment that will include the 
time frame for measurement.
    Recipients of regular secondary school diplomas or other equivalent 
degrees or certificates, including GEDs, are considered secondary 
school graduates for purposes of Sec.  644.22(a)(3).
    We agree with the commenters' recommendation to redistribute the 
weights for the PE criteria by reducing the number of points assigned 
to postsecondary enrollment and increasing the points assigned to 
financial aid assistance and college admission assistance. However, we 
do not agree that the points assigned to the financial aid assistance 
and college admission assistance criteria should be equal to or greater 
than the points assigned to the postsecondary enrollment criterion. As 
we mentioned earlier in this preamble, while assisting participants in 
completing financial aid and college admission applications is a 
valuable service of the program, it is not the ultimate goal of EOC. We 
believe that educational attainment is the mission of the program and 
therefore we believe secondary school completion and postsecondary 
enrollment are the most important performance measures for the program 
and should be rewarded accordingly. We have reduced the number of 
points for the postsecondary enrollment criterion in Sec.  644.22(d)(3) 
to five points and increased the points assigned to the financial aid 
assistance and college admission assistance criteria in Sec.  
644.22(d)(4) and (d)(5) to two points each.
    Further, to be consistent with the changes we made to the 
objectives in Sec. Sec.  644.21(b)(3) and (b)(4), we have

[[Page 65738]]

revised the PE criteria related to financial aid and college admission 
assistance in Sec.  644.22(d)(4) and (d)(5). Because EOC projects will 
report on program outcomes annually, in Sec.  644.22(d)(2) and (d)(3), 
we have clarified that the objective applies only to ``participants 
served during the project year.'' In Sec.  644.22(d)(2) we have revised 
the wording of the criterion to clarify that we will be measuring the 
extent to which participants receive a secondary school diploma.
    Changes: We have modified Sec.  644.22(d)(2) to provide that we 
will consider whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved 
objective with regard to participants served during the project year 
who do not have a secondary school diploma or its equivalent who will 
receive a secondary school diploma or its equivalent within the time 
period specified in the approved objective.
    In Sec.  644.22(d)(3), we have changed the weight from 6 points to 
5 points. We also have changed this section to provide that we will 
consider whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective 
with regard to the secondary school graduates served during the project 
year who enroll in programs of postsecondary education within the time 
period specified in the approved objective.
    In Sec.  644.22(d)(4), we have changed the weight from 1.5 points 
to 2 points. We also have revised this section to provide that we will 
consider whether the applicant met or exceeded its objective regarding 
participants applying for financial aid.
    Finally, in Sec.  644.22(d)(5), we have changed the weight from 1.5 
points to 2 points. We also have amended Sec.  644.22(d)(5) to provide 
that we will consider whether the applicant met or exceeded its 
objective regarding participants applying for college admission.

What are allowable costs? (Sec.  644.30)

    Comment: One commenter suggested adding admissions fees to the 
allowable costs in Sec.  644.30(a) and removing the requirement that a 
grantee obtain specific prior approval from the Secretary from this 
provision. The commenter argued that EOC project directors, like 
project directors in other TRIO programs, should have the authority to 
use EOC funds to pay for transportation, meals, admissions fees, and 
lodging when they determine these expenses are necessary and 
appropriate. One commenter suggested that we add service agreements as 
an allowable cost in Sec.  644.30(f) because many technology systems 
may require service agreement to cover repairs and software packages. 
Several commenters argued that testing fees and the cost of tutoring 
for the general education development (GED) exam should be allowable 
costs for the program.
    Discussion: Because EOC is a very low cost per participant program, 
the Secretary does not agree with the commenter's suggestion to include 
admissions fees as an allowable cost. The other allowable costs in 
Sec.  644.30(a)--transportation, meals, and, with specific prior 
approval of the Secretary, lodging--are only allowable under the 
specific circumstances listed in the regulation. Furthermore, we do not 
agree with the commenter's recommendation to remove the provision that 
requires grantees to receive prior approval from the Secretary to use 
project funds to pay for lodging. Because payments for lodging divert 
scarce resources from direct college access services to participants, 
we believe that the expense is only justified in exceptional 
circumstances.
    Section 644.30(c) establishes the conditions upon which an EOC 
project may pay for college applications or entrance examinations. In 
response to public comments, we have revised Sec.  643.30(c) to include 
examination fees for alternative education programs. We also agree with 
the suggestion to include a service agreement as an allowable cost in 
Sec.  644.30(f).
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  644.30(c) to include examination 
fees for alternative education programs as an allowable cost if a 
waiver of the fee is unavailable. We have also revised Sec.  644.30(f) 
to include a service agreement as an allowable cost.

What other requirements must a grantee meet?

Number of Participants

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: As discussed in the preamble discussion regarding 
number of participants for the TS program, we believe it is appropriate 
for the Secretary to identify the minimum and maximum grant award 
amounts and the minimum number of participants a project must serve 
each year of the grant cycle in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications for a competition. We believe this is true for EOC 
projects (along with UB, SSS and McNair projects) as well. This 
practice will give the Department the flexibility to establish the 
minimum number of participants to be served based on the available 
resources and other priorities for each competition and to adjust these 
numbers for subsequent competitions based on our experience, changing 
priorities, and cost analyses.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  644.32(b) to clarify that a grantee 
must serve at least the number of participants that the Secretary 
identifies in the Federal Register notice inviting applications for the 
competition, and to state that through this notice, the Secretary 
provides the minimum and maximum grant award amounts for the 
competition.

Coordination Among Outreach Programs Serving Similar Populations (new 
Sec.  644.32(c)(4))

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: Based on comments we received on proposed Sec.  
643.11(b) for the Talent Search program, we have added a provision 
regarding the coordination of efforts necessary for students served by 
more than one TRIO or other federally funded program to the additional 
requirements a grantee must meet under Sec.  644.32(c)(4). Accordingly, 
Sec.  644.32(c)(4) now requires an EOC grantee, to the extent 
practicable, to maintain a record of any services an EOC participant 
receives during the project year from another Federal TRIO program or 
other federally funded program serving similar populations. This change 
will help ensure that the limited funds available under TRIO and other 
programs for disadvantaged populations are used effectively and 
efficiently by minimizing the duplication of services through 
coordination of activities.
    Change: A new Sec.  644.32(c)(4) has been added to require grantees 
to maintain a record of any services EOC participants receive during 
the project year from another Federal TRIO program or other federally 
supported program serving similar populations.

Project Director (final Sec.  644.32(d)(3))

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: For the reasons discussed in the preamble section on 
Project Director under the TS program (proposed Sec.  643.32(c)(3), 
final Sec.  643.32(d)(3)), we have revised proposed Sec.  644.32(c)(3) 
(final Sec.  644.32(d)(3)).
    Changes: We have revised proposed Sec.  644.32(c)(3) (final Sec.  
644.32(db)(3)) to clarify the standard the Secretary will use to 
consider requests for a waiver of the restriction on the number of 
programs a project director may administer.

[[Page 65739]]

Upward Bound (UB) Program (34 CFR Part 645)

Who is eligible for a grant? (Sec.  645.2)

    Comment: Several commenters expressed concerns about the 
eligibility of secondary schools to apply for UB funding and the impact 
this change would have on the UB program. Specifically, commenters were 
concerned with how secondary schools might use UB funding. For example, 
some commenters questioned whether secondary schools would be able to 
fully implement an UB project for the intended population of students 
and expressed concern that secondary schools would try to use the UB 
funds to support activities and services for students not eligible for 
UB or to fund programs or initiatives previously supported with State 
or local funding. One commenter recommended making a secondary school 
eligible only if there is no institution of higher education that is 
interested in and capable of conducting a UB program in the target 
area. The commenter argued that this proposal would allow some 
secondary schools to be eligible for grants but would retain the 
current program structure in which UB grants are awarded primarily to 
postsecondary institutions.
    Discussion: The Department does not have the authority to make the 
changes recommended by the commenters because the HEOA amended section 
402A(b)(1) of the HEA to eliminate the restriction on the eligibility 
of a secondary school to receive UB grants. The commenters' suggestions 
are inconsistent with the HEA.
    Changes: None.

Who is eligible to participate in an Upward Bound Project? (Sec.  
645.3)

    Comment: One commenter noted that, to reflect the HEA, Sec.  645.3 
should be amended to include as eligible participants individuals who 
are at high-risk of academic failure. One commenter also noted that 
although section 402C(e)(5) of the HEA states that no student will be 
denied participation in an UB project because he or she will enter the 
project after the ninth grade, Sec.  645.3(d) still includes the 
requirement that a participant, at the time of initial selection, must 
not have entered the twelfth grade. In addition, one commenter 
suggested adding ``not currently enrolled in postsecondary education'' 
to the participant eligibility criteria for VUB participants to clarify 
that veterans currently enrolled in postsecondary education are not 
eligible project participants.
    Discussion: We agree that Sec.  645.3(b) needs to be amended to 
include an individual who has a high risk for academic failure as an 
eligible UB participant (see definitions in Sec.  645.6 for individual 
who has a high risk for academic failure and a veteran who has a high 
risk for academic failure). We also agree with the commenter that we 
need to amend Sec.  645.3(d); therefore, we have removed the words 
``but has not entered the twelfth grade.'' Therefore, if a senior is 
otherwise eligible, he or she could participate in an UB program during 
his or her last year of high school.
    Nonetheless, the Secretary encourages regular UB and UBMS projects 
to select students before their senior year. A recent report entitled 
Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math-Science Program Outcomes for 
Participants Expected to Graduate High School in 2004-05 \4\ concluded 
that one consistent predictor of postsecondary enrollment among regular 
UB and UBMS participants is the length of their participation in the UB 
program. Those students who participated in the program longer were 
more likely to continue on to postsecondary education. For example, 
55.3 percent of those who participated in the program for less than one 
year went on to college compared with 91.2 percent of those who 
participated for three years or more.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Report available at: 
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/ub-ubms-outcomes-2004.doc.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With regard to the commenter's recommendation regarding veterans in 
postsecondary education, we have not made any changes to this section 
of the final regulations because this issue was not addressed in the 
NPRM. However, it is the Department's view that VUB projects should not 
serve individuals enrolled in postsecondary education as the statutory 
goal of the UB program is to ``generate the skills and motivation 
necessary for success in education beyond secondary school.'' Veterans 
served by VUB who enroll in postsecondary education can be served by 
the SSS program or other programs designed to provide academic support 
services for individuals enrolled in programs of postsecondary 
education.
    Changes: We have added a new paragraph (b)(3) to Sec.  645.3 to 
include as eligible participants individuals who have a high risk for 
academic failure, and we have removed Sec.  645.3(d) which required 
that participants be initially selected to participate in the UB 
program prior to entering the twelfth grade.

What definitions apply to the Upward Bound Program? (Sec.  645.6)

    Comment: Comments were received concerning several definitions. 
Some commenters requested that the Department add definitions for the 
terms ``postsecondary completion,'' ``postsecondary,'' ``postsecondary 
institution,'' and ``postsecondary degree.'' Several comments were 
received regarding the definition of the term individual who has a high 
risk for academic failure. A few commenters requested clarification on 
whether one or all four of the ``high risk'' criteria in the definition 
had to be met for an individual to meet the definition. Other 
commenters expressed concern that the proposed criteria for high risk 
include using grade point averages (GPAs) (see paragraph (4) of the 
definition) and the State assessments in reading, language arts, and 
math (see paragraphs (1) and (2) of the definition) because these 
measures are not standard across the country.
    Some commenters also questioned the proposed criteria related to 
the math courses completed by the ninth grade (see paragraph (3) of the 
definition). These commenters stated that most incoming ninth graders 
have not taken geometry and thus, almost all ninth graders could 
qualify for UB based on this definition. A few commenters suggested 
that qualifiers are needed in this paragraph to take into account the 
wide variety of math course sequences utilized by high schools and 
because situations can occur that may cause a participant to be deemed 
high risk even if he or she is on track to graduate. For instance, one 
commenter argued that, based on the proposed definition, a tenth grade 
student could be selected to participate in the UB project because he 
or she had not completed geometry until the end of the tenth grade, 
even though the student was making normal progress in completing the 
sequence of math courses needed for high school graduation and 
postsecondary enrollment.
    A few commenters stated that the definition of individual who has a 
high-risk for academic failure should be removed because UB already 
requires that two-thirds of all participants be both low income and 
first generation. These commenters suggested that this definition would 
create an additional burden on grantees to monitor and select an 
additional student subgroup, and might compromise the program mission 
by opening eligibility to students who are not low income or first 
generation and moving the program

[[Page 65740]]

from college preparation to drop-out prevention.
    We also received many comments on the definition of a rigorous 
secondary school program of study. We address these comments in detail 
in the summary of comments, discussion, and changes sections for Sec.  
643.7 (TS program) earlier in this preamble.
    Discussion: The Department believes the terms ``postsecondary 
completion,'' ``postsecondary,'' ``postsecondary institution,'' and 
``postsecondary degree'' are commonly understood and therefore do not 
need to be defined in these regulations. However, when these terms are 
used in the standard PE objective, the Department will provide 
additional guidance in the published application materials as to how 
these terms apply to the PE outcome criteria.
    With regard to the definition of the term individual who has a high 
risk for academic failure (regular UB participant), we use the word 
``or'' between paragraphs (3) and (4) of the definition to convey that 
an individual only needs to meet one of the criteria to be considered 
an individual who has a high risk for academic failure.
    We do not view the fact that State assessments are not standardized 
across the country to be a problem because individuals who do not meet 
proficiency levels on their State's tests or who have low GPAs are at 
risk of not completing high school or not being prepared for 
postsecondary education. We acknowledge that the traditional sequence 
of high school math courses includes taking algebra in ninth grade and 
geometry in tenth grade; therefore, a student should not be considered 
an individual who has a high risk for academic failure if he or she 
does not complete geometry until the end of tenth grade.
    Changes: We have revised paragraph (3) of the definition of 
individual who has a high risk for academic failure to clarify that a 
student is at high risk for academic failure if he or she has not 
successfully completed pre-algebra or algebra by the beginning of the 
tenth grade.

What services do all Upward Bound projects provide? (Sec.  645.11)

    Comment: A large number of commenters recommended that, under 
proposed Sec.  645.11(a)(1) and (a)(2), the term ``postsecondary'' be 
deleted. In the case of proposed Sec.  645.11(a)(1), the commenters 
believed that academic tutoring provided in high school seldom has a 
direct impact on student success in postsecondary level coursework. 
Commenters also stated that the regulations are unclear as to the 
timeframe in which the tutoring must be provided; they asked whether it 
would be while the student is enrolled in high school or in a 
postsecondary program, or both. In the case of proposed Sec.  
645.11(a)(2), the commenters expressed concern that there are so many 
postsecondary institutions that UB participants attend, it would be 
hard to provide advice and assistance for specific course selection and 
that it would be best for participants to receive this service from the 
postsecondary institution. Commenters also stated that it was unclear 
whether UB staff would be required to continue to advise a student on 
postsecondary course selection after the student graduates from the UB 
program, whether there would be additional funding to provide the 
services, and whether served students who graduated would be counted in 
the number of students served each year.
    Several commenters expressed concerns about proposed Sec.  
645.11(a)(5), which would require that UB projects provide high school 
dropouts guidance and assistance in secondary school reentry, 
alternative education and GED programs, and entry into postsecondary 
education. Some asked that the section be eliminated because UB 
projects do not usually serve dropouts. Other commenters asked for 
further guidance on how the services would be provided and whether 
individuals receiving these services would be considered UB 
participants. In regard to proposed Sec.  645.11(b)(4) and (b)(5), one 
commenter indicated that it is too difficult to provide instruction in 
composition and literature in the summer and it should be left up to 
the program to decide which instruction to do. Another commenter 
suggested replacing the term ``foreign language'' with ``world 
language'' or ``second language.''
    Under proposed Sec.  645.11(a)(6), commenters requested 
clarification on the financial and economic literacy services that 
grantees must provide to students' parents.
    Discussion: This section of the regulations includes the statutory 
list of ``Required Services'' a UB project must provide under section 
402C(b) of the HEA. We cannot include in these regulations changes that 
would alter the statutory requirements. The Department, however, plans 
to provide applicants with additional written guidance on how to 
respond to the new program requirements and the evaluation criteria in 
the published application materials.
    Changes: None.

What services may regular Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math-Science 
projects provide? (Sec.  645.12)

    Comment: One commenter suggested including language to state that a 
project may provide other activities designed to meet the purposes of 
the legislation because this could encourage new and innovative 
approaches. A few commenters lauded on-campus residential programs as 
being the most important UB activity and recommended that the 
applications that propose a summer on-campus residential program be 
given additional points in the application process. One commenter also 
suggested that on-campus residential programs be designated as a 
required service.
    Discussion: Section 645.12 includes the statutory list of 
``Permissible Services'' an UB project may provide. The regulations do 
not prohibit grantees from offering additional services to meet the 
goals of the program, and grantees may offer additional services not 
explicitly mentioned as required or permissible. We have revised Sec.  
645.12 to reflect that intent more clearly.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  645.12 by adding a new paragraph (g) 
to state that grantees may provide other services that are consistent 
with the purposes and goals of the UB program.

What additional services may Veterans Upward Bound projects provide? 
(Sec.  645.15(d))

    Comment: Several commenters asked whether the additional services 
that Veterans Upward Bound projects provide are mandatory or 
permissible.
    In addition, one commenter suggested eliminating Sec.  645.15(d) 
because it appeared to be redundant with the requirements in Sec.  
645.11(b), which requires that all UB grantees, including VUB grantees, 
provide instruction in mathematics through pre-calculus and in 
laboratory science. The commenter also recommended adding to the list 
of additional services for VUB grantees in Sec.  645.15: exposure to 
cultural events, academic programs, and other activities not usually 
available to disadvantaged veterans because these services are 
permissible for the low-income, first-generation students served by UB 
and UBMS projects. The commenter argued that providing these 
opportunities and experiences would positively influence a veteran's 
postsecondary and career decisions.
    Discussion: We agree that the section heading of Sec.  645.15 
incorrectly suggests that the services in the regulations are required 
services. We have revised the section heading to clarify that the

[[Page 65741]]

services are voluntary. Because section 402C(c) of the HEA requires all 
UB projects to provide math and science instruction and section 402C(d) 
of the HEA further permits math and science preparation for veterans, 
we understand why some commenters viewed the new language in Sec.  
645.15(d) as being redundant with Sec.  645.11(b). However, Sec.  
645.15(d) refers to special services that could supplement the 
project's instructional program in math and science. Accordingly and to 
be consistent with the statutory language, we are not changing Sec.  
645.15(d).
    The Secretary does not agree with the request to include in Sec.  
645.15 exposure to cultural events, academic programs, and other 
activities. The list of permissible services in section 402C(d) of the 
HEA only identifies one of the permissible services as applicable 
specifically to veterans (see section 402C(d)(6) of the HEA) and that 
service is the one reflected in Sec.  645.15(d). Further, section 
402C(d)(1) of the HEA is clear that services, such as exposure to 
cultural events, are meant specifically for disadvantaged youth.
    Changes: We have revised the section heading for Sec.  645.15 by 
replacing the word ``do'' with the word ``may'' to clarify that the 
listed services are voluntary.

How many applications for an Upward Bound award may an eligible 
applicant submit? (Sec.  645.20)

    Comment: One commenter requested that Sec.  645.20 clarify what 
qualifies as ``another designated different population.''
    Discussion: As provided in Sec.  645.20(b), the Secretary will 
designate, in the Federal Register notice inviting applications, the 
different populations for which an applicant may submit a separate 
application. This provision gives the Department the flexibility to 
designate the different populations for each competition based upon 
changing national needs.
    Changes: None.

What assurances must an applicant include in an application? 
Participant Eligibility (Sec.  645.21)

    Comment: Several commenters stated that allowing one-third of 
participants to be eligible based upon a high risk for academic failure 
would change the fundamental purpose of the UB program with regard to 
participant eligibility for services. Many commenters stated that 
adding the high risk for academic failure assurance in Sec.  
645.21(a)(2) would open the door for children of affluent families to 
receive services over more needy students.
    Discussion: Section 402C(e)(1) of the HEA states that not less than 
two-thirds of youth participating in the project must be low-income 
individuals who are first generation college students and that the 
remaining participants must be low-income individuals, first generation 
college students, or students who have a high risk for academic 
failure. Section 645.21 reflects this statutory requirement. We note, 
however, that students who have a high risk for academic failure are 
just one of the groups that can be included in the one-third 
calculation. Therefore, a UB project is not required to serve students 
who have high risk of academic failure and may choose to serve only 
low-income and potential first-generation college students.
    Changes: None.

What assurances must an applicant include in an application? 
Coordination Among Outreach Programs Serving Similar Populations 
(Sec. Sec.  645.21(a)(4), (b)(4), and (c)(3))

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: Based on comments we received on proposed Sec.  
643.11(b) for the Talent Search program--(Coordination Among Outreach 
Programs Serving Similar Populations), we have revised Sec.  
645.21(a)(4), (b)(4), and (c)(3), regarding the coordination of efforts 
necessary to minimize the duplication of services and promote 
collaborations so that more students can be served. We believe that 
these changes, which we have made across the TRIO programs, will help 
ensure that the limited funds available under TRIO and other programs 
for disadvantaged students are used effectively and efficiently by 
minimizing the duplication of services through coordination of 
activities.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  645.21(a)(4), (b)(4) and (c)(3) to 
clarify that UB projects must collaborate with other Federal TRIO 
projects, GEAR UP projects, or programs serving similar populations 
that are serving the same target schools or target area to minimize the 
duplication of services and promote collaborations so that more 
students can be served.

What selection criteria does the Secretary use? Objectives (Academic 
Performance) (Sec.  645.31(b)(1)(i) and (b)(1)(ii))

    Comment: Several commenters expressed concerns regarding the 
selection criteria in Sec.  645.31(b)(1)(i) (Academic performance, as 
measured by grade point average (GPA)) and Sec.  645.31(b)(1)(ii) 
(Academic performance, as measured by standardized test scores). The 
commenters argued that the points assigned for the GPA objective should 
be reduced. The commenters stated that it is difficult to increase GPAs 
of high-risk students by even a small percentage. Also, as students 
undertake a more rigorous curriculum their GPAs may increase or 
decrease over time. Commenters also asked if the projects could use a 
weighted GPA for those students taking rigorous courses. One commenter 
expressed concern over using State assessments, on a national level, as 
a measurement of performance because of the differences in State 
assessments throughout the country. The commenter recommended that the 
Department disseminate a list of approved standardized tests to promote 
consistency among projects reporting from one year to the next.
    Discussion: We do not agree with the commenters' suggestion to 
reduce the points assigned to the academic performance as measured by 
GPA criterion. The 1.5 points for this criterion represents only 10 
percent of the total PE points a project could earn; reducing the 
points further would go against the goals of the HEA.
    The cumulative GPA for this selection criteria should be calculated 
on all courses taken based on a four-point scale. The GPA may be 
weighted for students completing honors or Advanced Placement courses. 
If the target schools use other scales, the GPA should be converted to 
the extent possible to a four-point scale.
    In regard to the commenter's suggestion regarding Sec.  
645.31(b)(1)(ii) the Department does not believe it is appropriate to 
provide a list of approved standardized tests because we do not have 
the authority to regulate State assessments.
    Changes: None.

What selection criteria does the Secretary use? Objectives (Secondary 
school graduation and completion of rigorous secondary school program 
of study) (Sec.  645.31(b)(1)(iii) and (b)(1)(iv))

    Comment: In Sec.  645.31(b)(1)(iii) (Secondary school graduation), 
one commenter recommended inserting the words ``retention and'' after 
the words ``Secondary school'' and before ``graduation'' to more 
accurately reflect the language in the statute. Another commenter 
suggested adding ``or a GED diploma'' after ``regular secondary school 
diploma'', to mirror Sec.  645.11(a)(5)(iii), which includes entry into 
general educational development (GED) programs as a required service.
    In regard to Sec.  645.31(b)(1)(iv) (Completion of rigorous 
secondary school program of study), several

[[Page 65742]]

commenters stated that assisting students to complete a rigorous 
secondary school program of study might not be realistic for all 
participants, given that some UB grantees work with English Language 
Learners (ELL) and high-risk students. The commenters stated that the 
distinct needs of these populations were not adequately considered when 
imposing completion of a rigorous secondary school program of study as 
one of the program's outcome criteria. One commenter argued that this 
criterion may have the unintended consequence of limiting a project's 
ability to enroll these groups of students. Another commenter noted 
that some students do not complete a rigorous program because their 
educational goals include a technical or associate's degree, and their 
school system places them on a non-rigorous graduation track. Another 
commenter stated that the goal of completing a rigorous secondary 
school program of study is for participants to be eligible for the 
Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG); however, this grant program is 
being phased-out. The commenter asked whether the criteria for the 
rigorous secondary school program of study will remain, even if the 
participants will no longer be eligible for ACG.
    Discussion: We agree with the recommendation to add the words 
``retention and'' to the secondary school graduation criterion in Sec.  
645.31(b)(1)(iii) to be consistent with the outcome criterion in the 
statute and the PE criterion in Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(iii). However, to 
remain consistent with the statutory language regarding the UB program 
outcomes in section 402A(f)(3)(B) of the HEA, we do not agree with the 
recommendation to add the words ``or a GED diploma''.
    Under Sec.  645.31(b)(1)(iv) (Completion of a rigorous secondary 
school program of study), we are not requiring projects to serve only 
participants in a rigorous secondary school program of study. The 
Department agrees that some English Language Learners, high-risk 
students, or students in a vocational program of study might not be 
ready to undertake a rigorous secondary school program of study or may 
not find such a rigorous program of study relevant to their educational 
goals. However, to be consistent with statutory intent, the UB project 
should encourage all UB students to undertake a rigorous curriculum. In 
addition, section 402A(f)(3)(A)(iv) of the HEA states that the 
participants who complete a rigorous secondary school program of study 
should be eligible for programs such as ACG. Therefore, the 
discontinuation of ACG does not impact the requirement related to a 
rigorous secondary school program of study as defined in Sec.  645.6.
    Changes: We have amended Sec.  645.31(b)(1)(iii) to refer to 
secondary school retention and graduation.

What selection criteria does the Secretary use? Objectives 
(Postsecondary completion) (Sec.  645.31(b)(1)(vi))

    Comments: In regard to the criterion in Sec.  645.31(b)(1)(vi) 
(Postsecondary completion), several commenters suggested that 
postsecondary completion should include a baccalaureate degree, 
associate's degree, or a certificate of completion of a postsecondary 
program. Other commenters asked if the definition of postsecondary 
completion, as used in this criterion, included the attainment of a 
four-year or two-year degree. If either degree is satisfactory, one 
commenter stated that a project that sent students to a two-year 
institution versus a four-year institution would be able to establish a 
more ambitious objective due to the fact that it is easier to track 
participants for two years rather than for four years. Many commenters 
argued that UB is not authorized or funded to continue working with 
students once they complete the project. In addition, some commenters 
stated that a program geared toward high school students should not be 
held responsible for a participant's completion of a postsecondary 
education. The commenters suggested that persistence in postsecondary 
education was a better measurement of project success. Commenters also 
stated that there are no selection criteria for the Plan of Operation 
or Budget sections of the application to address on-going follow-up 
support of graduates. One commenter requested that the Department 
clarify how it will determine the parameters and number or percentages 
for tracking participants.
    Discussion: Section 402A(f)(3)(A)(vi) of the HEA requires the 
Department to use the postsecondary completion criterion, to the extent 
practicable, in evaluating the quality and effectiveness of a UB 
project. Due to the UB program's intensive, college-preparatory nature, 
we do not agree with the commenters who suggest that any postsecondary 
credential, including a certificate, should be included in 
postsecondary completion measurements. For the purpose of awarding PE 
points for projects' success under the postsecondary completion outcome 
criterion, the Department considers a program of postsecondary 
education to be a combination of courses and related activities whose 
curriculum is designed primarily for students who are beyond the 
compulsory age for high school and which leads to the attainment of an 
associate's or bachelor's degree, and which excludes postsecondary 
certificates and vocational and adult basic education programs.
    The Secretary plans, subject to meeting the requirements of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, to establish a standard objective 
related to postsecondary completion in the application package for the 
UB program. Further, each applicant will establish in its application 
the project's target with regard to postsecondary completion. The 
baseline data the applicant provides in the Need section of the 
application will provide the peer reviewers with the information needed 
to assess the extent to which the applicant's target for the objective 
is both ambitious and attainable.
    We understand the commenters' concerns about not having the 
authority or resources to provide follow-up support for UB graduates as 
they progress through postsecondary education; however, the new 
statutory outcome criteria effectively requires that UB projects track 
the academic progress of participants through postsecondary completion. 
Section 645.31(c)(10) (Plan of Operation) requires applicants to have a 
follow-up plan for tracking graduates of UB projects as they enter and 
continue in postsecondary education. Further, Sec.  645.31(f) (Budget 
and cost effectiveness) requires applicants to be evaluated on the 
extent to which the budget for the project is adequate to support 
planned project services and activities. Therefore, an applicant may 
include in the proposed budget for the project costs related to 
tracking the academic progress of former participants through 
postsecondary education.
    Changes: None.

What selection criteria does the Secretary use? Applicant and Community 
Support: Resources secured through written commitments (Sec.  
645.31(d)(2))

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: Based on comments we received on proposed Sec.  
643.21(d)(2) (Applicant and community support) for the TS program, we 
have revised Sec.  645.31(d)(2) to ensure consistency across programs. 
A detailed discussion of the comments and rationale for the changes is 
included earlier in this preamble, in the summary of comments, 
discussion, and changes related to Sec.  643.21(d)(2).

[[Page 65743]]

    Changes: We have revised Sec.  645.31(d)(2) to provide that the 
Secretary will evaluate the applicant and community support for the 
proposed project on the basis on the extent to which the applicant can 
show that it has resources secured through written commitments from 
community partners. This section also requires that: (i) An applicant 
that is an institution of higher education must include in its 
application commitments from the target schools and community 
organizations; (ii) an applicant that is a secondary school must 
include in its commitments from institutions of higher education, 
community organizations, and, as appropriate, other secondary schools 
and the school district; and (iii) an applicant that is a community 
organization must include in its application commitments from the 
target schools and institutions of higher education.

How does the Secretary evaluate prior experience? Regular Upward Bound 
and Upward Bound Math and Science Centers (Sec.  645.32(e)(1))

    Comment: In regard to proposed Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(ii)(A) (Academic 
Performance, as measured by grade point average (GPA)), one commenter 
suggested that the GPA of 2.5 be changed to 2.0 to be consistent with 
the Federal Pell Grant's requirement that students who receive 
financial aid maintain a 2.0 GPA. Several commenters requested 
clarification on whether the GPA standard was weighted or not weighted.
    In regard to proposed Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(ii)(B) (Academic 
Performance, as measured by standardized test scores), one commenter 
requested that the Department publish an approved list of standardized 
tests to provide for consistency in reporting among grantees. The 
commenter stated that the differences in the various State assessments 
do not allow for consistent measurements of performance of UB projects.
    In regard to proposed Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(iii), which defines PE 
points for secondary school retention and graduation, one commenter 
suggested that we add the phrase ``or a general educational development 
(GED) diploma'' after the phrase ``regular secondary school diploma''.
    In regard to proposed Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(iv), which defines PE 
points for a rigorous secondary school program of study, one commenter 
stated that it is impossible for grantees to ensure that students 
complete a rigorous secondary school program of study, given that some 
school districts do not offer rigorous courses. Another commenter 
emphasized that this PE criterion would limit the ability of projects 
to work with a high-risk population, as this population may not have 
the ability to undertake a rigorous secondary school program of study.
    Several commenters asked that Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(v) be changed to 
permit participants' postsecondary enrollment to take place by the fall 
or spring term immediately following the school year, instead of by the 
fall term. Commenters stated that some participants need to delay 
enrollment in postsecondary education for several reasons, including 
the need to work to support their efforts to enroll, family 
responsibilities, changes in the economy, and the fact that 
institutions may be granting acceptance for the spring semester instead 
of the fall semester due to budget cuts and the large number of 
applicants. These commenters argued that their recommended change would 
allow grantees to count summer graduates and GED recipients who 
matriculate in the spring in the relevant calculations for PE points.
    In regard to proposed Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(vi), which discusses the 
PE criteria based on postsecondary completion, several commenters 
stated that tracking participants through postsecondary completion is 
impractical. These commenters stated that postsecondary completion 
should not be assessed as part of PE, due to the fact that UB grantees 
do not provide services during the participant's postsecondary tenure 
and also because it is difficult to accurately track participants who 
may drop out, enroll in several different institutions consecutively or 
simultaneously, or use different names to enroll. Commenters suggested 
using postsecondary persistence instead of postsecondary completion as 
the PE criterion. If the criterion remains, the commenters recommended 
changing the point value to 0.5.
    Discussion: In response to the commenters' recommendation that we 
permit participants' postsecondary enrollment to take place by the fall 
or spring term immediately following the school year, instead of by the 
fall term, we have decided to remove from the proposed regulations the 
point of measurement (e.g., fall term). Further, we also have decided 
to remove from Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(ii)(A) and (e)(1)(ii)(B) (e.g., State 
assessments) the GPA standard (e.g., 2.5). Instead, the Department will 
establish the point of measurement and the standards for measuring 
academic performance when establishing the standard PE objectives for 
each grant competition. These changes will give the Department the 
flexibility to adjust the standards of measurement and period of 
measurement for UB PE objectives based on changing conditions. The 
Secretary plans, subject to meeting the requirements of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995, to establish standard objectives for each of the 
PE criteria in the application package for the UB program.
    With regard to the requests for clarification regarding the 
cumulative GPA, as discussed in the response to comments regarding 
Sec.  645.31(b)(1)(i) (Objectives), the GPA should be calculated on all 
courses taken based on a four-point scale. The GPA may be weighted for 
students completing honors or Advanced Placement courses. If the target 
schools use other scales, the GPA should be converted to the extent 
possible to a four-point scale.
    With regard to proposed Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(iv), regarding 
completion of a rigorous secondary school program of study, we 
acknowledge that not all UB participants may be ready to undertake a 
rigorous secondary school program of study; however, UB participants 
should be encouraged to complete a rigorous secondary school program of 
study because research suggests that students who take rigorous classes 
in high school are more likely to enroll in and complete postsecondary 
education which are the goals of the UB program. A 2003 GAO report, for 
instance, reported that students taking a highly rigorous secondary 
school program of study were 1.7 times more likely to earn a bachelor's 
degree than students who took a basic high school curriculum.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ GAO, ``Additional Efforts Could Help Education With its 
Education Goals,'' May 2003, available at http://www.gao.gov/
new.items/d03568.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With regard to the postsecondary completion criterion in proposed 
Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(vi), section 402A(f)(3)(A)(vi) of the HEA requires 
the Department to use this criterion, to the extent practicable, in 
evaluating the quality and effectiveness of an UB project for the 
purpose of assessing PE. The Secretary does not agree with the 
commenters' suggestion to lower the points allocated to the 
postsecondary completion criterion. The 1.5 points represent only 10 
percent of the total PE points a project can earn and is an appropriate 
value to place on this criterion.
    We have made a number of clarifying changes to Sec.  
645.32(e)(1)(ii) through (vi). First, we have clarified that when we

[[Page 65744]]

refer to ``project participants'' or ``current participants'', we mean 
those participants served during the project year. For consistency with 
the regulatory language used for the PE criteria in Sec.  643.22 (TS) 
and Sec.  644.22 (EOC), we have deleted the words ``the percentage of'' 
where it appeared in proposed Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(ii) through (vi).
    Changes: The Secretary has amended Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(ii) through 
(vi) to provide that for purposes of the PE evaluation of Regular 
Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science Centers grants awarded 
after January 1, 2009, the Secretary evaluates the applicant's PE on 
the basis of the following outcome criteria:

Academic Performance (Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(ii))

    (A) Whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective 

with regard to participants served during the project year who had a 
cumulative GPA at the end of the school year that was not less than the 
GPA specified in the approved objective. (1.5 points)
    (B) Whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective 
with regard to participants served during the project period who met 
the academic performance levels on standardized tests as specified in 
the approved objectives. (1.5 points)

Secondary School Retention and Graduation (645.32(e)(1)(iii))

    Whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective with 
regard to participants served during the project year who returned the 
next school year to secondary school or graduated from secondary school 
with a regular secondary school diploma. (3 points)

Rigorous Secondary School Program of Study (Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(iv))

    Whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective with 
regard to current and prior participants with an expected high school 
graduation date in the school year who completed a rigorous secondary 
school program of study. (1.5 points)

Postsecondary Enrollment (Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(v))

    Whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective with 
regard to current and prior participants with an expected high school 
graduation date in the school year who enrolled in a program of 
postsecondary education within the time period specified in the 
approved objective. (3 points)

Postsecondary Completion (Sec.  645.32(e)(1)(vi))

    Whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective with 
regard to postsecondary enrollees who attained a postsecondary degree 
within the number of years specified in the approved objective. (1.5 
points)

How does the Secretary evaluate prior experience? Veterans Upward Bound 
(VUB) (Sec.  645.32(d)(2) and (e)(2))

    Comment: Several commenters requested that the Department use the 
number of VUB participants that completed the project during the 
project year, instead of the approved number of participants or the 
actual number of participants served in a given year, if greater than 
the approved number of participants, as the denominator for the 
academic improvement on a standardized test criterion for PE points in 
Sec.  645.32(e)(2)(ii). One commenter argued that VUB is an open-entry, 
open-exit program and that veterans who enroll may not be able to 
complete all needed academic services during a single reporting period, 
for a variety of reasons. Requiring veterans to take a post-test prior 
to receiving all appropriate academic services would not yield an 
accurate assessment of the grantee's success. The commenter contended 
that because all participants will not be able to take a pre-test, 
receive all necessary services, and take a post-test during a single 
project year, this criterion should only measure those participants 
that completed the project during the reporting period.
    With regard to the postsecondary enrollment criterion for PE 
points, several commenters requested that Sec.  645.32(e)(2)(iv) be 
changed to permit participants' postsecondary enrollment by the fall or 
spring term immediately following program completion. The change would 
allow projects to count program graduates who matriculate to 
postsecondary education on a non-traditional timeline.
    Discussion: For the reasons set forth in the preceding section, we 
have made a number of clarifying changes to Sec.  645.32(e)(2) to 
mirror the changes we made in Sec.  645.32(e)(1). These changes clarify 
that the criteria relate to participants served during the project year 
and that the Department will establish the point of measurement for the 
postsecondary enrollment and postsecondary completion criteria when 
establishing the standard PE objectives for each grant competition. 
Further, the changes clarify that for Sec.  645.32(e)(2)(ii) (Academic 
improvement on standardized tests) will be assessed only for those 
participants who completed the VUB program during the project year.
    Changes: The Secretary has amended Sec.  645.32(e)(2) to provide 
that, for purposes of the PE evaluation of Veterans Upward Bound grants 
awarded after January 1, 2009, the Secretary evaluates the applicant's 
PE on the basis of the following outcome criteria:

Academic Improvement on Standardized Test (Sec.  645.32(e)(2)(ii))

    Whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective with 
regard to participants served during the project year who completed 
their Veterans Upward Bound educational program during the project year 
and who improved their academic performance as measured by a 
standardized test taken by participants before and after receiving 
services from the project. (3 points)

Education Program Retention and Completion (Sec.  645.32(e)(2)(iii))

    Whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective with 
regard to participants who were served during the project year who 
remained in or completed their Veterans Upward Bound educational 
program. (3 points)

Postsecondary enrollment (Sec.  645.32(e)(2)(iv))

    Whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective with 
regard to the participants who completed their Veterans Upward Bound 
educational program and enrolled in an institution of higher education 
within the time period specified in the approved objective. (3 points)

Postsecondary completion (Sec.  645.32(e)(2)(v))

    Whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective with 
regard to postsecondary enrollees who completed a program of 
postsecondary education within the number of years specified in the 
approved objective. (3 points)

What are allowable costs? (Sec.  645.40)

    Comment: Several commenters suggested that Sec.  645.40(i) be 
changed to permit a grantee to pay tuition costs for up to six credit 
hours of postsecondary courses in an academic year or summer session 
for a student if tuition waivers are unavailable. These commenters 
argued that such a change would encourage dual enrollment for UB 
students still in high school. Current regulations permit the payment 
of tuition for postsecondary credit only for

[[Page 65745]]

participants of the UB summer bridge component. The commenters noted 
that this change is especially necessary if the target schools served 
by the UB program do not provide a rigorous course of study. Commenters 
suggested that because UB projects, like TS projects, will be evaluated 
on the extent to which participants complete a rigorous secondary 
school program of study, UB projects should be allowed to pay for 
tuition, when needed, for secondary students taking a rigorous 
curriculum.
    In addition, commenters suggested adding the phrase ``service 
agreement'' after the word ``lease'' in proposed Sec.  645.40(n) and 
(o) because many technology systems may require repairs and software 
packages that are provided pursuant to service agreements.
    Finally, one commenter recommended revising Sec.  645.40(i) that 
permits UB projects to pay tuition costs for postsecondary credit 
courses for participants in the summer bridge program by striking the 
phrase ``at the host institution'' and adding ``educational supplies 
for participants'' to this provision.
    Discussion: The Department agrees that UB projects should be 
permitted to pay tuition costs, in certain situations, for participants 
taking a rigorous secondary school program of study, but does not agree 
that all dual enrollment courses should be considered part of a 
rigorous secondary school program of study. In addition, the Department 
agrees to add payment for a service agreement to the allowable costs.
    We do not agree with the commenter's recommendations to remove the 
phrase ``at the host institution'' from Sec.  645.40(i)). Students 
participating in the summer bridge program are still UB participants; 
therefore, we believe the UB project will continue to provide services 
to these students while they are taking postsecondary courses during 
the summer bridge program. Therefore, we believe these UB bridge 
participants should take courses at the host institution where the 
project can provide additional support services. The costs for required 
textbooks and lab fees for bridge students taking postsecondary courses 
are allowable.
    Changes: We have amended proposed Sec.  645.40(n) and (o) to add 
the cost of an equipment service agreement as an allowable cost. We 
also have amended Sec.  643.40 by adding a new paragraph (q) to allow 
UB projects to pay, under certain conditions, the tuition for courses 
that will allow project participants to complete a rigorous secondary 
school program of study.

What are Upward Bound stipends? (Sec.  645.42)

    Comment: Several commenters requested that the $40 stipend that may 
be paid to participants be increased to $60. One commenter suggested 
increasing the $60 stipend, which is available during the summer school 
recess, to $80. The commenter also recommended that work-study 
positions be made available year-round and that a participant should be 
able to get the $300 stipend for any three months during the year. The 
commenter argued that these changes would increase participation in the 
work-study component and thereby increase program retention and 
persistence.
    Discussion: Section 402C(f) of the HEA provides that youth 
participating in a UB project may be paid stipends not in excess of $60 
per month during the summer school recess, for a period not to exceed 
three months. During the remaining months, youth participating in the 
project may receive stipends not in excess of $40. The HEA does not 
limit work-study to the summer school recess; it only stipulates that 
the stipend of $300 per month for youth participating in a work-study 
position may only be provided during the months of June, July, and 
August. We cannot include in these regulations changes that would alter 
the stipend dollar amount or timing of payment as provided in the HEA.
    Changes: None.

What other requirements must a grantee meet? (Sec.  645.43)

Number of Participants (Sec.  645.43(a))

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: As discussed in the preamble discussion on the number 
of participants under the TS program, we believe it is appropriate for 
the Secretary to identify the minimum and maximum grant award amounts 
and the minimum number of participants a project must serve each year 
of the grant cycle in the Federal Register notice inviting applications 
for a competition. We believe this is true for UB projects (along with 
EOC, SSS and McNair projects) as well. This practice will give the 
Department the flexibility to establish the minimum number of 
participants to be served based on the available resources and other 
priorities for each competition and to adjust these numbers for 
subsequent competitions based on our experience, changing priorities, 
and cost analyses.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  645.43(a) to clarify that a grantee 
must serve at least the number of participants that the Secretary 
identifies in the Federal Register notice inviting applications for the 
competition, and to state that through this notice, the Secretary 
provides the minimum and maximum grant award amounts for the 
competition.

Project Director (Final Sec.  645.43(b)(3))

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: For the reasons discussed in the section of this 
preamble on Project Director under the TS program (proposed Sec.  
643.32(c)(3), final Sec.  643.32(d)(3)), we have revised proposed Sec.  
645.43(a)(3) (final Sec.  645.43(b)(3)).
    Changes: We have revised proposed Sec.  645.43(a)(3) (final Sec.  
645.43(b)(3)) to clarify the standard the Secretary will use to 
consider requests for a waiver of the restriction on the number of 
programs a project director may administer.

Coordination Among Outreach Programs Serving Similar Populations (New 
Sec.  645.43(c)(5))

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: For the reasons discussed under Coordination Among 
Outreach Programs Serving Similar Populations (Sec. Sec.  645.21(a)(4), 
(b)(4), and (c)(3)), we have added language to Sec.  645.43 (What other 
requirements must a grantee meet?) to require UB grantees to maintain, 
to the extent practicable, a record of the services UB participants 
received during the project period from another TRIO program or other 
program serving the same populations as the UB program. We believe that 
these changes, which we have made across the TRIO programs, will help 
ensure that the limited funds available under TRIO and other programs 
for disadvantaged students are used effectively and efficiently by 
minimizing the duplication of services through coordination of 
activities.
    Changes: We have added new Sec.  645.43(c)(5) to require UB 
grantees to maintain, to the extent practicable, a record of any 
services UB participants receive during the project year from other 
Federal TRIO or federally funded programs serving the same populations 
as the UB program.

Student Support Services (SSS) (34 CFR Part 646)

What is the Student Support Services program? (Sec.  646.1)

    Comment: One commenter recommended that the proposed reference to 
``college'' in paragraph (a) be replaced by a reference to 
``postsecondary educational institution.'' In addition, multiple 
commenters asked that the Department retain the current

[[Page 65746]]

references to low-income and first-generation students to highlight the 
target population of the SSS Program. These commenters asked that we 
not include the reference to ``groups that are traditionally 
underrepresented in postsecondary education,'' as reflected in proposed 
Sec.  646.1(c) as this reference could dilute the focus of the program.
    Discussion: The language in Sec.  646.1 has been changed to more 
closely track the language in section 402D(a) of the HEA. This 
statutory language appropriately reflects the focus of this program; 
for this reason, we do not believe any changes to this regulatory 
provision are necessary.
    Changes: None.

What activities and services does a project provide? Required Services 
(Sec.  646.4(a))

    Comment: Six commenters requested minor changes to the SSS list of 
required services in Sec.  646.4(a) to specify who should provide the 
services. For example, one commenter noted that assistance in 
completing financial aid applications could be provided by SSS advisors 
directly or in collaboration with staff in the financial aid office. 
Several commenters requested additional language specifying that 
graduate and professional school enrollment is an activity specific to 
four-year institutions. Two commenters requested that we change the 
language in proposed Sec.  646.4(a)(5) and (a)(6) from ``obtaining 
financial assistance for enrollment in'' to ``applying for financial 
aid.'' Two other commenters asked that we add specific language to this 
section to clarify that support for financial aid assistance and 
postsecondary course counseling could be given directly by TRIO 
professionals or through other services with the assistance of other 
offices as part of other services they provide.
    Discussion: We recognize that SSS projects may work with other 
offices and programs at the institution to provide the required 
services. However, we do not think it is necessary to regulate who 
specifically must provide the services or how those services must be 
provided. An applicant for a SSS grant must include its plan to provide 
services that address the goals and objectives of the project in the 
Plan of Operation section of its application (see Sec.  646.21(c)(4)).
    To clarify that graduate and professional school enrollment is an 
activity specific to four-year institutions, we have added language to 
Sec.  646.4(a)(5) that refers to participants enrolled in four-year 
institutions of higher education. This language will parallel the 
structure in paragraph (a)(6), which refers specifically to students 
enrolled in two-year institutions of higher education.
    We decline to revise this section to focus only on helping students 
with ``applying for financial aid,'' as requested by some commenters. 
The language in this section mirrors section 402D(b)(5) and (b)(6) of 
the HEA. In addition, although applying for financial aid may be the 
most important step in assisting a student in obtaining financial aid, 
the student may require assistance after the student submits his or her 
financial aid application; such assistance could include helping the 
student understand or accept a financial aid award. Therefore, we think 
it is important to retain the proposed regulatory language, which is 
broader and covers helping students in obtaining financial aid, because 
it encourages SSS grantees to continue assisting students throughout 
the entire financial aid process.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  646.4(a)(5) to refer to activities 
designed to assist participants enrolled in four-year institutions of 
higher education in applying for admission to, and obtaining financial 
assistance for enrollment in, graduate and professional programs.

Permissible Services (Sec.  646.4(b))

    Comment: Many commenters requested that we revise Sec.  646.4(b) to 
clarify that grantees may provide additional activities that are not 
included in the list of permissible services in the HEA, provided that 
such activities assist grantees to meet the goals of the SSS program. 
These commenters expressed concern that, without such regulatory 
language, SSS projects could not offer these additional activities.
    Discussion: Section 646.4(b) incorporates language from section 
402D(c) of the HEA, which lists permissible services a SSS project may 
provide. The regulations do not prohibit grantees from offering 
additional services to meet the goals of the program, and grantees may 
offer additional services not explicitly listed as required or 
permissible. We have revised Sec.  646.4(b) to reflect that intent more 
clearly.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  646.4 by adding a new paragraph 
(b)(7) to specifically state that SSS projects provide other services 
that are consistent with the purposes and goals of the SSS program.

What definitions apply? First Generation College Student (Sec.  
646.7(b))

    Comment: Commenters asked whether a student whose parent has a 
baccalaureate degree from a country other than the United States meets 
the definition of first generation college student in Sec.  646.7(b). 
The commenters noted that other countries may have different 
requirements for a baccalaureate degree that may not be equivalent to a 
U.S. baccalaureate degree. In addition, these commenters expressed 
concern that individuals who received their degrees in another country 
may be unable to assist their children with college entry and financial 
aid requirements for U.S. institutions of higher education, and that 
the SSS project could address this problem.
    Discussion: Under the TRIO Programs, the definition of first-
generation college student is used to determine if an individual is 
eligible to participate in a TRIO project, the purpose of which is to 
identify individuals from families in which there is no family history 
of successfully pursuing a bachelor's degree. For individuals whose 
parents earned a bachelor's degree in another country, there is a 
family history of success in higher education, regardless of whether 
the requirements to receive the baccalaureate degree were different 
than those in the United States. For this reason, we do not believe 
that a student who has a parent with a baccalaureate degree from 
outside the United States should be eligible to participate in the SSS 
program.
    Changes: None.

What definitions apply? Low-Income Individual (Sec.  646.7(b))

    Comment: One commenter requested clarification as to what years' 
tax documents should be used to determine whether a student meets the 
definition of the term low-income individual under Sec.  646.7(b). The 
commenter suggested that the Department provide a chart to assist 
grantees in finding the information needed for them to determine an 
individual's low-income status. The commenter stated that doing so 
would help avoid confusion that occurs when the tax and calendar years 
do not match up with the academic year.
    Discussion: To document low-income status, tax documents from the 
calendar year preceding the academic year in which the student will 
begin to receive services should be used. For example, students who 
initially participate in a SSS project in the 2009-2010 academic year 
will have their low-income status

[[Page 65747]]

determined by using tax documents submitted to the Internal Revenue 
Service (IRS) for calendar year 2008. Also, the Department annually 
posts, on the TRIO Web site, a chart on Annual Income Levels for use by 
grantees in determining student eligibility. A grantee is only required 
to verify a student's low-income status prior to providing the first 
service to that student.
    Changes: None.

What assurances and other information must an applicant include in an 
application? SSS coordination with other projects (Sec.  646.11)

    Comment: Some commenters recommended that the SSS regulations 
require an applicant to provide an assurance that individuals receiving 
services from another SSS project will not receive the same services 
under the applicant's proposed project. The commenters argued that such 
an assurance would allow projects to serve more participants and, 
especially in light of the addition of new types of SSS projects, would 
prevent SSS projects on the same campus from serving the same students, 
and, therefore, fewer students overall. Furthermore, the commenters 
noted that the assurance would mirror a similar assurance required 
under the regulations for the TS, EOC, and UB programs.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenters. Current TRIO regulations 
that establish age and academic level criteria for participation in 
each program ensure that there is no overlap in services between SSS 
and the pre-college TRIO programs, such as regular UB. However, it is 
now possible that a single institution could have multiple SSS projects 
and a McNair project. We are, therefore, adding language, in Sec.  
646.11(c), to address the commenters' concern. This new language, 
clarifies that a student receiving benefits from one SSS project is not 
eligible to receive services from another SSS project at any one time. 
Further, under Sec.  646.11(c), the SSS project must collaborate with 
other SSS and McNair projects and other State and institutional 
programs at the grantee-institution so that more students can be 
served. Under this provision, a student may leave one SSS project and 
join another at the same institution, as long as the student's 
participation in each project is only counted for the performance 
period during the time he or she is actually receiving services from 
that particular project.
    Changes: We have amended Sec.  646.11 to include a new paragraph 
(c) that requires an applicant to assure the Secretary in the 
application that a student will not be served by more than one SSS 
project at any one time and that the SSS project will collaborate with 
other SSS and McNair projects and other State and institutional 
programs at the grantee-institution so that more students can be 
served.

What assurances and other information must an applicant include in an 
application? Providing Financial Assistance to Participants (Sec.  
646.11(b))

    Comment: A number of commenters requested that the Secretary change 
Sec.  646.11(b)(1) to eliminate the requirement that applicant describe 
their efforts and past history in meeting the full financial need of 
each student in the project to requiring an applicant to offer each 
student sufficient financial assistance to meet their full financial 
need. The commenters stated that it is unreasonable to expect SSS 
projects to have sufficient funding to meet the full financial need of 
each student in the project. One commenter recommended adding a 
selection criterion that would evaluate the extent to which an 
institution has made efforts to meet the financial need of participants 
and to reduce the loan burden on participants.
    Discussion: The language in Sec.  646.11(b) referenced by the 
commenters is from section 402D(e)(6) of the HEA and cannot be changed 
as the commenters requested. With respect to the second comment, 
section 402D(e) of the HEA requires the Secretary to consider the 
institution's effort and, where applicable, past history in providing 
sufficient financial assistance to meet the full financial need of each 
student in the project and in maintaining the loan burden of each 
student at a manageable level. Because Federal grant aid is often 
insufficient to meet a student's full financial need, SSS students may 
be offered large amounts of loans to meet their financial needs for 
attendance at the grantee institution. Under current Sec.  646.21(d)(3) 
(Institutional commitment), the Secretary evaluates the extent to which 
the applicant has 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. We believe the regulation adequately addresses the 
commenter's concern and that no further changes are necessary.
    Changes: None.

What assurances and other information must an applicant include in an 
application? Consultations between SSS project and financial aid office 
in awarding of grant aid.

    Comments: Several commenters recommended that Sec.  646.30(i) 
(Allowable cost--grant aid) be revised to incorporate the statutory 
language regarding the required consultation between the SSS project 
and their institution's financial aid office to determine the students 
who are eligible for grant aid and the amount of grant aid to be 
awarded (see section 402D(d)(1) of the HEA). The commenters noted that, 
while awarding financial aid is the responsibility of the financial aid 
office, the grant aid can only be awarded to SSS participants and, 
therefore, the SSS Director should be consulted with respect to which 
students should receive the grant aid and the amount of the grant aid 
awards.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenters' concern that the 
regulations should require consultation between the SSS project and the 
financial aid office in the awarding of grant aid, but believe it would 
be better to include this requirement as an assurance in Sec.  646.11, 
rather than as an allowable cost under Sec.  646.30(i).
    Changes: We have amended Sec.  646.11 to include a new paragraph 
(d) that requires an applicant to assure the Secretary in the 
application that the institution's financial aid office will consult 
with the SSS project with respect to which SSS participants should 
receive grant aid and the amount of the grant aid awards.

Certificate or Degree Completion and Transfer to a Four-Year 
Institution (Sec. Sec.  646.21(b)(3)(ii) and 646.22(e)(5))

    Comment: A number of commenters requested that the Department 
revise the evaluation criterion in Sec.  646.21(b)(3)(ii), related to 
the applicant's proposed objectives, that would award up to 2 points 
for certificate or degree completion and transfer to a four-year 
institution so that the criterion only evaluated whether participants 
transfer to four-year institutions. The commenters indicated that, in 
many cases, it is in the student's best interest to transfer to a four-
year institution prior to receiving a certificate or degree from the 
two-year institution.
    One commenter stated that it would not be feasible for an applicant 
to collect data on transfers to four-year institutions or graduate and 
professional school enrollment because by the time this data can be 
collected, the student has left the institution and may have

[[Page 65748]]

severed ties with the school. One commenter asked for clarification on 
whether retention in postsecondary education for purposes of the 
selection criteria means retention at the grantee institution or in any 
institution of higher education.
    Discussion: Sections 646.21(b)(3)(ii) and 646.22(e)(5) are based on 
statutory language from section 402A(f)(3)(C)(ii)(II) of the HEA. 
Section 402A(f)(3)(C)(ii)(II) of the HEA specifically includes, as 
outcome criteria, both certificate or degree completion and transfer to 
a four-year institution prior to receiving a certificate or degree from 
the two-year institution. For this reason, we cannot make the change 
requested by the commenters.
    With regard to the retention objective (see Sec.  646.22(e)(2) and 
(e)(3)), a grantee is only required to report on participants served 
during the project year who: (1) Graduate from the grantee institution 
during the project year; (2) transfer from a two-year to a four-year 
institution during the project year; or persist at the grantee 
institution into the fall term of the next academic year. With regard 
to the good standing objective (see Sec.  646.22(e)(3)), a grantee is 
only required to report on participants served during the project year.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  646.22(e)(2) to clarify that the 
Secretary evaluates the applicant's retention and good standing 
objectives based on participants served during the project year. We 
have also revised Sec.  646.22(e)(4) and (e)(5) (degree completion) to 
clarify that the objectives include current and prior year participants 
who are still enrolled at the grantee institution. In addition, for 
consistency with the regulatory language used for the PE criteria in 
the other TRIO programs, we have removed the words ``the percentage 
of'' from Sec.  646.22(e)(2), (e)(3), (e)(4), and (e)(5).

What are allowable costs? (Sec.  646.30)

    Comment: Six commenters requested that we specify that a SSS 
project may pay for lodging and meals for participants and staff 
participating in project-sponsored educational and cultural activities. 
One commenter noted that adding this language to Sec.  646.30(e), for 
example, would allow SSS participants to participate in State and 
regional leadership conferences, which are held over the weekend and 
require overnight lodging. The commenter also noted that for projects 
in rural or remote locations many educational and cultural activities 
require overnight lodging.
    Discussion: The Secretary acknowledges that participation in some 
educational and cultural activities may require overnight travel (e.g., 
State or regional leadership conferences). However, we also believe 
that the use of project funds for these activities must be limited to 
ensure that sufficient project funds are available to provide academic 
support services. Therefore, the Secretary will require a project to 
obtain prior approval for educational and cultural trips that require 
overnight travel.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  646.30(e) to include, as an 
allowable cost, transportation and, with prior approval of the 
Secretary, meals and lodging for participants and staff during approved 
educational and cultural activities sponsored by the project.
    Comment: Many commenters requested the removal of the four percent 
cap on the amount a project may spend on professional development 
travel under Sec.  646.30(g). The commenters stated that this cap is 
inconsistent with other TRIO programs, which do not have a professional 
development cap.
    Discussion: The Secretary does not agree with the commenter's 
suggestion. This provision provides grantees with clear parameters 
regarding the percentage of project funds we believe are sufficient for 
professional development travel for staff. In addition, in unusual 
situations, a grantee may ask the Secretary to approve a higher 
percentage to address unique circumstances (e.g., high cost of travel 
in some areas, new staff that could benefit from more professional 
development). We acknowledge that this limitation is not included in 
the regulations for the other TRIO programs. However, we do not believe 
it is appropriate to add this provision to the other program 
regulations at this time because the NPRM did not suggest we were 
considering applying this restriction to all of the programs. 
Nonetheless, we encourage all TRIO projects to limit the amount of 
funds spent on professional development travel to no more than four 
percent of staff salaries and may consider proposing a provision like 
this for the regulations for the other TRIO programs at a later date.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter suggested adding the phrase ``service 
agreement'' after the word ``lease'' in Sec.  646.30(f), because many 
technology systems may require repairs and software packages and those 
repairs and software packages may be made available through service 
agreements.
    Discussion: We agree with the suggestion to include service 
agreements as an allowable cost in Sec.  646.30(f).
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  646.30(f) to include service 
agreements for equipment.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that we add a new paragraph (k) to 
Sec.  646.30 to include as an allowable cost admission application fees 
for project participants who complete a certificate or degree before 
continuing to another higher education institution if the certain 
conditions exist. The commenter noted that such language would be 
consistent with the regulations for the TS program, which, like SSS, 
aims to assist students in securing admission to the next level of 
academic study.
    Discussion: We disagree with the commenter's recommendation. Unlike 
the participants in the TS program, SSS participants are enrolled in 
postsecondary programs and are eligible to receive financial aid to 
cover their cost of attendance at the institution. Further, this 
recommendation is inconsistent with Sec.  646.31(b) (Unallowable 
costs), which prohibits the use of grant funds for tuition, fees, 
stipends, and other forms of direct financial support, except for grant 
aid under Sec.  646.30(i), for staff or participants.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: Two commenters requested that the Department clarify the 
use of funds allowed under Sec.  646.30(i). In particular, the 
commenters asked whether awarding rant aid to students who are in their 
first two years of postsecondary education means students who are in 
their first two academic years, or students in their freshman and 
sophomore years, based on credits hours earned.
    Discussion: The reference to the first two years of postsecondary 
education in section 402D(d)(2) of the HEA refers to the student's 
first two years of postsecondary education attendance, not the 
student's grade level classification (e.g., freshman or sophomore).
    Changes: None.
    Comment: A number of commenters requested that we define the term 
``breaks,'' used in Sec.  646.30(j). Under that section, paying for 
temporary housing during breaks in the academic year, for students who 
are homeless children and youths or were formerly homeless children and 
youths and students who are foster care youth, is considered an 
allowable cost. Some commenters were confused as to whether the term 
``breaks'' includes only holiday breaks between semesters, or if the 
term also includes the entire summer semester. One individual requested 
that

[[Page 65749]]

disconnected youth be included in this paragraph as well. The 
commenters also asked that the Department clarify that homeless adult 
SSS participants, who are not formerly homeless youth, are eligible for 
temporary housing support. Specifically, these commenters recommended 
that Sec.  646.30(j) be revised to include, in addition to students who 
are homeless children and youth or were formally homeless children and 
youth and students who are foster care youth, any SSS participant who 
is considered homeless.
    Discussion: Section 402D(c)(5) of the HEA allows SSS projects to 
use grant funds to secure temporary housing during breaks in the 
academic year. The term ``breaks'' in the academic year means any 
period of time between semesters or quarters within the same academic 
year but does not typically include the normal summer break between 
academic years. However, if the participant is enrolled for the summer 
term, ``breaks'' would include the period of time between the spring 
and summer terms and between the summer and fall terms.
    The Secretary does not agree with the recommendation to add 
disconnected youth or homeless adult SSS participants, who are not 
formerly homeless youth to Sec.  646.30(j), as this would go beyond the 
statutory intent, which specifically references the definitions in the 
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Further, the Secretary does not 
believe that SSS projects will have sufficient funds to provide 
temporary housing assistance for many participants and provide the 
academic support services required under Sec.  646.4. Therefore, the 
Secretary does not believe it is in the best interest of the program to 
expand the populations eligible for temporary housing assistance; 
instead the Secretary encourages SSS project to collaborate with other 
programs at the institution or within the community to meet the housing 
needs of eligible participants.
    Changes: None.

What other requirements must a grantee meet? (Sec.  646.32)

Number of Participants (new Sec.  646.32(a))

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: As discussed in the preamble discussion regarding the 
number of participants under the TS program, we believe it is 
appropriate for the Secretary to identify the minimum and maximum grant 
award amounts and the minimum number of participants that TRIO 
projects, including SSS projects, must serve each year of the grant 
cycle in the Federal Register notice inviting applications for a 
competition. This practice will give the Department the flexibility to 
establish the minimum number of participants to be served based on the 
available resources and other priorities for each competition and to 
adjust these numbers for subsequent competitions based on our 
experience, changing priorities, and cost analyses.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  646.32 by redesignating current 
paragraphs (a) through (d) as paragraphs (b) through (e) and adding a 
new paragraph (a). New paragraph (a) clarifies that a grantee must 
serve at least the number of participants that the Secretary identifies 
in the application notice for the competition, and states that through 
this notice, the Secretary provides the minimum and maximum grant award 
amounts for the competition.

Coordination of Services (new paragraph Sec.  646.32(c)(5)).

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: Based on comments we received on proposed Sec.  
643.11(b) for the Talent Search program--(Coordination Among Outreach 
Programs Serving Similar Populations), we have added a provision 
regarding the coordination of efforts necessary for students served by 
more than one Federal TRIO or other federally funded program to the 
additional requirements a grantee must meet under Sec.  646.32(c)(5). 
Accordingly, Sec.  646.32(c)(5) now requires the SSS grantee to 
maintain, to the extent practicable, a record of any services SSS 
participants receive during the project year from another Federal TRIO 
program or other federally funded programs serving similar populations. 
This change will help ensure that the limited funds available under 
TRIO and other programs for disadvantaged students are used effectively 
and efficiently by minimizing the duplication of services through 
coordination of activities.
    Change: A new Sec.  646.32(c)(5) has been added to require grantees 
to maintain, to the extent practicable, a record of any services SSS 
participants receive during the project year by other Federal TRIO or 
federally funded programs that serve similar populations.

Project Director (proposed Sec.  646.32(c); final Sec.  646.32(d))

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: For the reasons discussed in the preamble section on 
Project Director under the TS program (proposed Sec.  643.32(c)(3), 
final Sec.  643.32(d)(3)), we have revised proposed Sec.  646.32(c) 
(final Sec.  646.32(d)).
    Changes: We have revised proposed Sec.  646.32(c) (final Sec.  
646.32(d)) to clarify the standard the Secretary will use to consider 
requests for a waiver of the restriction on the number of programs a 
project director may administer.

Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement (McNair) Program (34 CFR 
part 647)

What activities and services does a project provide? (Sec.  647.4)

    Comment: Several commenters suggested a variety of changes to Sec.  
647.4. First, commenters recommended that the Department explicitly 
permit grantees to use grant funds for other activities or services 
that meet the goals of the program, to make it clear that grantees may 
go beyond the scope of the activities listed in the regulations. In 
addition, a number of commenters contended that tutoring should be 
moved from a required activity under Sec.  647.4(a) to a permissible 
activity under Sec.  647.4(b); these commenters argued that most McNair 
Scholars will not require tutoring. The commenters further suggested 
that the regulations should specify that tutoring may be offered 
directly or by referral, as needed, and also that tutoring may include 
peer tutoring, in addition to tutoring by a graduate student or other 
professional.
    Finally, a few commenters requested clarification of the 
requirement that a McNair grantee provide summer internships for 
students. The commenters asked whether the internship must specifically 
be a research internship, be distinct from any other internship 
required for the completion of a degree or certificate, and whether the 
internship must be distinct from the research or other scholarly 
activities required under Sec.  647.4(a).
    Discussion: Section 647.4(b) incorporates section 402E(c) of the 
HEA, which lists permissible services a McNair project may provide. The 
regulations do not prohibit grantees from offering additional services 
to meet the goals of the program, and grantees may offer additional 
services not explicitly mentioned as required or permissible. We have 
revised Sec.  647.4(b) to reflect that intent more clearly.
    With regard to the comments concerning tutoring, we note that, 
under section 402E(b)(4) of the HEA, tutoring is a required service in 
the McNair program. However, a grantee may offer tutoring itself, or 
through linkages with other offices at an institution or another

[[Page 65750]]

entity. While grantees must make tutoring available, individual 
participants may choose whether or not to take advantage of this 
service.
    Finally, one of the required services that a McNair grantee must 
provide are summer internships that advance the purpose of the McNair 
program, to prepare disadvantaged college students for doctoral study 
(see section 402E(b)(2) of the HEA). Internships do not necessarily 
have to involve research, but must assist students in preparing for 
doctoral work. There is no requirement that the summer internships be 
in addition to internships that may be required to complete a degree. 
However, internships are a separate and unique activity (see section 
402E(b)(2) of the HEA) offered by a McNair grantee and may not also be 
counted as an opportunity for research or other scholarly activities 
(see section 402E(b)(1) of the HEA). The HEA clearly separates these 
two required activities and McNair programs must offer both.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  647.4(b) by adding a new paragraph 
(b)(4) that would allow a McNair grantee to provide other services that 
are consistent with the purposes and goals of the McNair program.

What Definitions Apply? (Sec.  647.7)

Definition of Low-income

    Comment: One commenter requested clarification of the definition of 
the term low-income individuals in Sec.  647.7. The commenter 
recommended that the Department provide a chart or other language that 
clarifies the income levels that should be used in making this 
determination, and also that a project should use the same chart 
throughout an entire grant cycle.
    Discussion: We did not propose any changes to the definition of 
low-income individual in the NPRM. However, the commenter does not 
appear to be requesting a change to this definition. Rather, the 
commenter seems to be seeking additional information on how to 
determine whether an individual meets this definition. To document low-
income status, tax documents for the calendar year preceding the 
academic year in which the student will begin to receive services 
should be used. For example, students who initially participate in a 
McNair project in 2009-2010 academic year will have their low-income 
status determined by using tax documents submitted to the IRS for 
calendar year 2008. Also, the Department annually posts, on the TRIO 
Web site, a chart on Annual Income Levels for use by grantees in 
determining student eligibility. A grantee is only required to verify a 
student's low-income status prior to providing the first service to 
that student.
    Changes: None.

Definition of Research or Scholarly Activity

    Comment: Many commenters stated that the definition of research or 
scholarly activity in Sec.  647.7 should be expanded to include 
examples such as developing a research proposal, implementing 
reporting, presenting and publishing research, and attendance at 
professional conferences. They argued that adding these activities as 
examples in the definition would clarify that ``research'' encompasses 
a range of scholarly activities that are more rigorous than typically 
available to undergraduates in a classroom setting.
    Discussion: The Department agrees with the commenters that 
``research'' may include a wide variety of scholarly activities, and we 
intend for the defined term research or scholarly activity to include 
activities such as those mentioned by the commenter. These examples are 
appropriate parts of a doctoral program and accordingly, could satisfy 
the requirement for research or scholarly activity under the McNair 
program. However, because there are so many examples of activities that 
could be covered in this definition, we are not including any examples 
in the regulations, but may include them in non-regulatory guidance.
    Changes: None.

What assurances must an applicant submit? McNair coordination with 
other projects (newly redesignated Sec.  647.11)

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: Based on comments we received regarding coordination of 
services for other TRIO Programs (see the TS, EOC, UB, and SSS 
discussions in this preamble), we believe it is also necessary to add a 
new paragraph (d) to the McNair assurances in newly redesignated Sec.  
647.11 to clarify that a student receiving benefits from a McNair 
project is not eligible to receive services from another McNair project 
at any one time. Further, we believe that it is appropriate to require 
each McNair project to provide an assurance it will collaborate with 
other McNair and SSS projects and other State and institutional 
programs at the grantee-institution, including those supporting 
undergraduate research, so that more students can be served. This 
change will allow McNair projects to serve more participants and reduce 
duplication of services, and it mirrors a similar assurance under the 
regulations for the TS, EOC, UB, and SSS programs. Furthermore, it is 
consistent with current TRIO regulations that establish age and 
academic level criteria for participation in each program to minimize 
overlap in services among programs.
    Changes: We have amended newly redesignated Sec.  647.11 to include 
a new paragraph (d) that requires an applicant to submit as part of its 
application, assurances that a student will not be served by more than 
one McNair project at any one time and that the McNair project will 
collaborate with other McNair and SSS projects and other State and 
institutional programs at the grantee-institution, including those 
supporting undergraduate research, so that more students can be served.

What selection criteria does the Secretary use? (Sec.  647.21(b))

    Comment: We received a number of comments on the selection criteria 
proposed for the McNair program. First, many commenters suggested that 
we add ``or scholarly activity'' after the word ``research'' in 
proposed Sec.  647.21 to maintain consistency with the activities and 
services a McNair project must provide.
    Second, multiple commenters stated that the emphasis on Bachelor of 
Arts/Bachelor of Sciences degree attainment should not be lost with the 
added focus on graduate degree enrollment and attainment. These 
commenters recommended that the regulations for this program retain 
attainment of undergraduate degrees in the selection criteria; they 
suggested that we alter the point distribution to show that both this 
goal and the newly added criteria of success in helping students to 
enroll in and continue enrollment in graduate study are critical 
elements to the program.
    Third, many commenters expressed concern about the new selection 
criteria that relate to continued enrollment in graduate study and 
doctoral degree attainment. These commenters suggested removing one or 
both of these criteria for a variety of reasons. Some expressed concern 
that the criteria were unclear, while others argued that these criteria 
should be removed from the regulations because, rather than applying to 
current scholars, these criteria apply to program alumni, on whom 
programs may not spend funds and over whom they have no control.
    Discussion: First, with respect to the suggestion that we add the 
words ``or scholarly activity'' after the word ``research'' in Sec.  
647.21, we agree that this change is appropriate to ensure

[[Page 65751]]

consistency across the regulations for this program. For this reason, 
we are making this change.
    Second, with regard to the comments concerning the appropriateness 
of focusing on Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degrees, we note 
that the HEOA made changes to the McNair program to better align the 
outcome criteria with the explicit goal of preparing students for 
success in graduate programs leading to doctoral degrees, including 
continued enrollment in graduate school and doctoral degree attainment. 
In doing so, Congress did not use the same criteria as in the current 
regulations (e.g., attainment of a baccalaureate degree); therefore, we 
have used the statutory criteria. We have also decided not to change 
the point distribution related to these selection criteria, as we have 
determined that the proposed points correctly reflect the statutory 
goals of the program.
    Third, the regulations that include the new selection criteria that 
relate to continued enrollment in graduate study and doctoral degree 
attainment appropriately reflect the statute. Section 402A(f)(3)(D)(iv) 
of the HEA, as amended by section 403(a)(5) of the HEOA, requires the 
Department to use the attainment of doctoral degrees by former 
participants in evaluating the quality and effectiveness of a McNair 
project.
    Changes: We have amended Sec.  647.21(b)(1) to add the words ``or 
scholarly activity'' after the word ``research''.

How does the Secretary evaluate prior experience? (Sec.  647.22)

    Comment: Numerous commenters expressed concern about the proposed 
point distribution for evaluating prior experience in making awards for 
the McNair program. Multiple commenters expressed concern that the 
points are weighted too heavily on graduate school enrollment and 
continued enrollment in graduate school through doctoral degree 
attainment. These commenters argued that it does not make sense to give 
so many points and emphasis to areas over which a grantee has little 
control, as the points would be based on alumni participants instead of 
current scholars. Further, the commenters stated that the difficulties 
and costs in tracking students for these criteria merit awarding a 
lower point value for them. One commenter requested that the language 
in Sec.  647.22(e)(3) through (e)(5) be clarified to ensure that 
current McNair participants are not counted in the calculation of prior 
experience because those individuals would not have been able to 
participate in graduate educational opportunities at that point in 
their academic careers. Multiple commenters requested that the 
regulations reflect a reapportionment of the PE points to focus more on 
the direct contact, activities, and time that the project spends with 
current applicants, rather than focusing on the success of students who 
are no longer current McNair participants. The commenters contended 
that it was unfair to place so much emphasis on the graduate success of 
a student, when grantees are not allowed to provide services to those 
students.
    Other commenters requested that the Department clarify what is 
meant by the term ``doctoral level degree'' for purposes of calculating 
PE points. They urged the Department to consider other degrees besides 
a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) as a doctoral level degree; for 
instance, they argued that a doctor of education (ED.D), doctor of 
psychology (Psy.D), or doctor of social work (D.S.W.) should be 
considered a doctoral level degree. Further, one commenter suggested 
that, instead of requiring a doctoral level degree, the regulations 
should use the terminal degree in the field in which the degree is 
sought, arguing, for example, that a master of fine arts degree is the 
highest degree available for that particular field.
    Finally, a few commenters suggested some changes to the regulatory 
language to clarify various provisions. Specifically, commenters 
recommended changing ``research and scholarly activities'' in proposed 
Sec.  647.22(e)(2) to ``research or scholarly activities'' to maintain 
consistency with other sections in these regulations. Further, one 
commenter recommended adding the word ``current'' before the word 
``participants'' in Sec.  647.22(e)(1) through (e)(5).
    Discussion: We disagree with the commenters' suggestions about 
redistributing the PE points among the criteria. Most (sixty percent) 
of the PE points are awarded based on the expected outcomes for 
participants served during the project year (see Sec.  647.22(e)(1), 
(e)(2), and (e)(3)). The remaining points (6 out of a possible 15 
points) are awarded based on the extent to which prior participants are 
moving toward achieving the main goal of the McNair program, which is 
attainment of doctoral degrees (see the program outcome criteria in 
section 402A(f)(3)(D) of the HEA).
    With regard to the comments requesting clarification of what is 
considered a doctoral level degree, the Department agrees that this 
term is not limited to a doctor of philosophy. Other research intensive 
doctoral degrees, such as a doctor of education (Ed.D.), a doctor of 
psychology (Psy.D.), and a doctor of social work (D.S.W.) are 
appropriate to the goals of the program. However, the purpose of the 
McNair program is to encourage research at the doctoral level, and we, 
therefore, disagree with the suggestion that using the terminal degree 
in the field is sufficient.
    Because the Department agrees with the commenters that changing the 
reference to ``research and scholarly activities'' in Sec.  
647.22(e)(2) to ``research or scholarly activities'' will ensure 
greater consistency across sections, we will make this change. Finally, 
we agree that we should clarify that the criteria in Sec.  647.22(e)(2) 
and (e)(3) apply to ``current participants''; however, instead of using 
the phrase ``current year'' we have decided to add the words ``served 
during the project year'' after the word ``participants.'' However, 
Sec.  647.22(e)(4) and (e)(5) relates to prior participants, and we 
will not be making any change to these paragraphs.
    Changes: We have amended Sec.  647.22(e)(2) to change the reference 
from ``research and scholarly activities'' to ``research or scholarly 
activities''. We have also amended Sec.  647.22(e)(2) and (e)(3) by 
adding ``served during the project year'' after the word 
``participants.''

What are allowable costs? (Sec.  647.30)

    Comments: Two commenters suggested adding the phrase ``service 
agreement'' after the word ``lease'' in Sec.  647.30(d), because many 
technology systems may require repairs and software packages that are 
made pursuant to service agreements.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenters who recommended that we 
include service agreements as an allowable cost in Sec.  647.30(d) and 
have revised the regulations accordingly.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  647.30(d) to include to include 
service agreements for equipment.

What other requirements must a grantee meet? (Sec.  647.32)

Number of Participants (new Sec.  647.32(a))

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: As discussed in the preamble discussion regarding 
number of participants under the TS program, we believe it is 
appropriate for the Secretary to identify the minimum and maximum grant 
award amounts and the minimum number of participants TRIO projects, 
including McNair projects, must serve each year of the grant cycle in 
the Federal Register notice inviting

[[Page 65752]]

applications for a competition. This practice will give the Department 
the flexibility to establish the number of participants to be served 
based on the available resources and other priorities for each 
competition and to adjust these numbers for subsequent competitions 
based on our experience, changing priorities, and cost analyses.
    Change: We have revised Sec.  647.32 by redesignating paragraphs 
(a), (b), (c), and (d) as paragraphs (b), (c), (d), and (e), 
respectively and adding a new paragraph (a). New paragraph (a) 
clarifies that a grantee must serve at least the number of participants 
that the Secretary identifies in the application notice for the 
competition, and states that through this notice, the Secretary 
provides the minimum and maximum grant award amounts for the 
competition.

Coordination of Services (new Sec.  647.32(c)(5))

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: Based on comments we received on proposed Sec.  
643.11(b) for the Talent Search program--(Coordination Among Outreach 
Programs Serving Similar Populations), we have added a provision 
regarding the coordination of efforts necessary for students served by 
more than one Federal TRIO or other federally funded program to the 
additional requirements a grantee must meet under Sec.  647.32(c)(5). 
We have also added a new McNair assurance requiring the coordination of 
efforts for students served by more than one Federal TRIO Program or 
other state or institutional program (see discussion regarding newly 
redesignated Sec.  647.11(d)). Accordingly, Sec.  647.32(c)(5) now 
requires the McNair grantee to maintain, to the extent practicable, a 
record of any services McNair participants receive during the project 
year from another Federal TRIO program or another federally funded 
program that serves populations similar to those served under the 
McNair program. This change will help ensure that the limited funds 
available under TRIO and other programs for disadvantaged students are 
used effectively and efficiently by minimizing the duplication of 
services through coordination of activities.
    Change: We have added a new Sec.  647.32(c)(5) to require grantees 
to maintain, to the extent practicable, records documenting any 
services the participant receives during the project year from another 
Federal TRIO program or another federally funded program that serves 
populations similar to those served under the McNair program.

Project Director (proposed Sec.  647.32(d); final Sec.  647.32(e))

    Comments: We received a few comments requesting that we remove the 
requirement that a project employ a full-time project director.
    Discussion: The McNair program regulations do not require McNair 
projects to employ a full-time project director. While we did make 
changes to parallel sections of the regulations for other TRIO 
programs, we did not propose any changes to Sec.  647.32(e) of these 
regulations. Accordingly, no changes are necessary in response to these 
comments.
    Changes: None.

Part 694--Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate 
Programs (GEAR UP)

Changes in the Cohort (Sec.  694.4)

    Comment: One commenter asked how GEAR UP services would be provided 
to cohort students who move to non-participating schools after they 
complete the last grade level offered in a school.
    Discussion: Section 694.4 addresses which students a State or 
Partnership must serve under GEAR UP when there are changes in the 
cohort. Specifically, this section of the regulations requires that a 
GEAR UP grantee continue to provide services to at least those students 
in the cohort who, after completing the last grade level offered by the 
school at which the cohort began to receive GEAR UP services, attend 
one or more participating schools that together enroll a substantial 
majority of the students in the cohort.
    In response to the comment, we intend the term ``participating 
schools'' in Sec.  694.4(b)(2) to refer to schools that students in a 
cohort attend after completing the last grade level offered by the 
school at which the cohort began to receive GEAR UP services.
    Based on the language in Sec.  694.4, including our use of the term 
``participating schools,'' we assume that when the commenter uses the 
term ``non-participating schools'' it does so to refer to schools that 
enroll no (or very few) students who have left the school at which 
their cohort began to receive GEAR UP services. Thus, we interpret the 
comment to be asking whether services must be provided to students in a 
cohort who, after completing the last grade level offered by the school 
at which the cohort began to receive GEAR UP services, move to a school 
that enrolls no (or very few) students from the cohort. While a GEAR UP 
grantee certainly could provide these students with GEAR UP services, 
nothing in this section requires it to do so.
    We appreciate that the commenter may be concerned that GEAR UP 
students be able to continue to receive services regardless of what 
school they attend. However, we believe that an LEA would likely 
encounter both logistical and financial challenges that would be 
difficult to overcome if the LEA were required to continue to provide 
GEAR UP services to each student in a cohort regardless of where the 
student may later enroll and how many other GEAR UP students also 
attend that school. We believe that the language of proposed Sec.  
694.4, which we adopt in this final notice, creates the right balance 
for when an LEA must continue to provide GEAR UP services to these 
students.
    Changes: None.

Waiver of Matching Requirements (Sec. Sec.  694.8 and 694.9)

    Comment: One commenter suggested that proposed Sec. Sec.  694.8 and 
694.9 may not be consistent with section 404C(b)(2) of the HEA, which 
was amended by section 404c(3)(C) of the HEOA. The commenter interprets 
this statutory section as authorizing either a State or a Partnership 
to apply for match relief either at the time of application or 
subsequent to receiving the grant award. The commenter observed that 
the proposed regulations do not authorize a State to seek such relief, 
and requested that we revise the final regulations to explain how a 
State may do so.
    Discussion: The Secretary believes that the best statutory 
interpretation of the language in section 404C(b)(2) of the HEA is that 
the Department's authority to grant relief from the program's matching 
requirement to GEAR UP applicants and grantees extends to Partnerships 
but not to States. While section 404C(b)(2) of the HEA authorizes 
approval of ``an eligible entity's request for a reduced match 
percentage,'' this language follows the lead sentence of the paragraph, 
which authorizes the Secretary, by regulation, to modify the minimum 50 
percent match requirement only ``for eligible entities described in 
section 404A(c)(2)'' (i.e., Partnerships). Based on this language, we 
do not interpret the HEA to allow States to apply for match relief 
either at the time of application or subsequent to the grant award.
    Moreover, we believe that granting permission only to Partnerships 
to seek this reduced match percentage represents a reasonable approach 
given the greater capacity States have to provide matching 
contributions. We also note that during negotiated

[[Page 65753]]

rulemaking none of the non-Federal negotiators expressed a contrary 
view, or urged that the language of our proposed Sec. Sec.  694.8 and 
694.9 be modified to reflect the availability of waiver relief for 
State applicants or grantees.
    Changes: None.

What priorities does the Secretary establish for a GEAR UP grant? 
(Sec.  694.19)

    Comment: One commenter suggested that the proposed criteria for 
awarding competitive preference priority points for State applicants 
also be used for awarding competitive preference priority points to 
Partnership applicants.
    Discussion: We appreciate the commenter's request that the proposed 
criteria for awarding competitive preference priority points to State 
applicants also be applied to Partnership applicants. Section 
404A(b)(3) of the HEA mandates that, in making awards to State grant 
applicants, the Secretary must give priority to eligible applicants 
that carried out successful GEAR UP projects immediately before 
enactment of the HEOA and have a prior, demonstrated commitment to 
early intervention leading to college access. Because this provision 
only references applicability to State applicants, we believe that 
Congress intended it only to apply those entities and not to 
Partnership applicants. Therefore, the Department does not have the 
authority to make the change requested by the commenter.
    Changes: None.

Services to students who were served under a previous GEAR UP grant 
(Sec.  694.25)

    Comment: One commenter noted that summer enrichment programs would 
help those students who were served under a prior GEAR UP grant, but 
who had not yet graduated, to better prepare for postsecondary 
education. The commenter seemed to suggest that we revise Sec.  694.25 
to acknowledge the importance of these programs.
    Discussion: The Secretary agrees with the commenter on the 
importance of summer programs, particularly for those students who did 
not graduate from high school with members of their cohort. However, 
such programs are already specifically authorized in Sec.  694.22(i), 
and this is only one of many GEAR UP activities and strategies for 
helping these particular GEAR UP students to succeed. Moreover, the 
purpose of Sec.  694.25 is to clarify when students who are still in 
secondary schools who were served under a prior GEAR UP grant need to 
continue to receive services under a new grant--not to specify what 
services grantees should provide to meet these students' needs.
    Changes: None.

Executive Order 12866

Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether 
this regulatory action is ``significant'' and therefore subject to the 
requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 
defines a ``significant regulatory action'' as an action likely to 
result in a rule that may (1) have an annual effect on the economy of 
$100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, 
productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or 
safety, or State, local or tribal governments or communities in a 
material way (also referred to as an ``economically significant'' 
rule); (2) create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially alter the 
budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or 
the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel 
legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's 
priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive order. 
Pursuant to the Executive order, it has been determined that this 
regulatory action will have an annual effect on the economy of more 
than $100 million because the amount of government transfers provided 
through these discretionary grant programs will exceed that amount. 
Therefore, this action is ``economically significant'' and subject to 
OMB review under section 3(f)(1) of the Executive order.
    The potential costs associated with this regulatory action are 
those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have 
determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and 
efficiently.
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits of this regulatory 
action, we have determined that the benefits of the regulations justify 
the costs.
    We have determined, also, that this regulatory action does not 
unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the 
exercise of their governmental functions.

HEP and CAMP Programs

    The Secretary has concluded that there is no need to discuss the 
changes to the regulations for HEP and CAMP in the Regulatory Impact 
Analysis because the changes to regulations for these programs were 
minor. The most significant changes to these regulations address who 
can be considered an immediate family member of a migrant individual in 
order to be eligible for program services. The Department determined 
that providing clarity to the term ``immediate family member'' would 
help ensure there is a uniform standard of eligibility for these 
programs.

Federal Trio Programs

Need for Federal Regulatory Action

     These Federal TRIO program regulations are needed to 
implement provisions of the HEOA, which changed certain features of the 
TRIO program. In developing these regulations, the Secretary has 
endeavored to regulate only where necessary: Number of Applications: 
The HEA stipulates that entities may submit multiple applications for 
grants under each TRIO program ``if the additional applications 
describe programs serving different populations or different 
campuses.'' The HEA, as amended by the HEOA, defines the terms 
``different population'' and ``different campus.''
     Section 643.22(d): Rigorous Secondary School Program of 
Study: The HEOA modified the HEA's outcome criteria for Talent Search 
by adding the completion of a ``rigorous secondary school program of 
study'' as one of the criteria to be considered in calculating prior 
experience points.
     Section 643.32: Changes to Minimum Number of Participants 
Served in Talent Search: In order to provide it with greater 
flexibility to establish the minimum number of participants in each TS 
grant competition, the Department has decided to eliminate the current 
regulatory requirement that TS projects serve a minimum number of 
individuals.
     Sections 643.30 (TS), 644.30 (EOC), 645.40 (UB), 646.30 
(SSS), 647.30 (McNair): Changes to Allowable Costs (Computer Hardware 
and Software): The requirement that grantees must seek prior approval 
for purchases of computer equipment was not addressed in the statute. 
However, based on comments received during negotiated rulemaking and 
the public comment period, the Department has decided to change its 
allowable cost regulations with respect to the purchase of computer 
equipment.

[[Page 65754]]

Regulatory Alternatives Considered

Sections 643.7 and 643.10 (TS); 644.7 and 644.10 (EOC); 645.6 and 
645.20 (UB); 646.7 and 646.10 (SSS); and 647.7 and 647.10 (McNair): 
Number of Applications: Different Campuses and Different Populations
    The HEA stipulates that entities may submit multiple applications 
``if the additional applications describe programs serving different 
populations or different campuses.'' Section 402A(h)(1) and (2) of the 
HEA defines ``different campus'' and ``different population.'' A 
``different campus'' is defined as a site of an institution of higher 
education that: Is geographically apart from the main campus of the 
institution; is permanent in nature; and offers courses in educational 
programs leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized 
credential. A ``different population'' is defined in section 402A(h)(2) 
of the HEA as a group of individuals that an eligible entity desires to 
serve through an application for a TRIO grant that is: Separate and 
distinct from any other population that the entity has applied for a 
TRIO grant to serve; and while sharing some of the same needs as 
another population that the entity has applied to serve, has distinct 
needs for specialized services.
    The regulations clarify that, for the purposes of the TS and UB 
programs, applicants will be allowed to submit multiple applications if 
they plan to serve different target schools. For the SSS and McNair 
programs, applicants can submit multiple applications if they propose 
to serve different campuses.
    These final regulations establish a definition of ``different 
campus'' that is different from the definition of ``different campus'' 
currently in the SSS regulations. Current SSS regulations require a 
``different campus'' to have separate budget and hiring authority to be 
an eligible applicant. However, the HEA, as amended by HEOA, defined 
``different campus'' as a site of an institution of higher education 
that is: ``Geographically apart from the main campus of the 
institution,'' ``permanent,'' and one that offers courses leading to an 
educational credential. These regulations, therefore, use the 
definition from the HEA.
    With respect to the implementation of the HEA's definition of 
``different population,'' initially, the Department proposed to 
implement this definitional change consistent with its current 
practice. Currently, all of the TRIO programs--except for SSS--prohibit 
an applicant from submitting an application proposing to serve a 
different population within the same target area, school, campus, etc. 
The SSS program allows an entity to submit a separate application to 
serve individuals with disabilities. However, during the negotiated 
rulemaking sessions, the non-Federal negotiators disagreed with this 
approach and argued that the HEA permits applicants to submit multiple 
applications that propose to serve different populations, even in the 
same target area, school, or campus. The Secretary has adopted this 
latter view. Under these final regulations, therefore, an applicant 
planning to serve a separate population will be permitted under certain 
circumstances to apply for a separate grant to serve the population 
even if it also applies to serve a different population of students on 
the same campus.
    While grantees must be able to serve more students and to tailor 
services to meet the distinct needs of different populations, the 
Department needs to establish some limitations on the number of 
separate applications an eligible entity may submit for each 
competition. Without such limitations, adding the definition of the 
term different population to the regulations could have the unintended 
consequence of disproportionately increasing funding at some 
institutions, agencies, and organizations that submit several 
applications while limiting the funds available to expand program 
services to other areas, schools, and institutions. To mitigate this 
risk and to ensure fairness and consistency in the application process, 
the Department has amended the regulations for each of the TRIO 
programs to provide that the Department will define, for each 
competition, the different populations for which an eligible entity can 
submit separate applications and publish this information in the 
Federal Register notice inviting applications and other application 
materials for the competition.
    This approach gives the Department the flexibility to designate the 
different populations for each competition based on changing national 
needs. It also permits the Department to more effectively manage the 
program competitions within the available resources.
    For these reasons, under the final regulations, an entity applying 
for more than one grant under the TS, EOC, and UB programs may submit 
separate applications to serve different target areas and different 
target schools, and may also submit separate applications to serve one 
or more of the different populations designated in the Federal Register 
notice inviting applications. Entities applying for grants under the 
SSS and McNair programs will now be able to submit separate 
applications to serve different campuses and may also submit separate 
applications to serve one or more of the different populations 
designated in the Federal Register notice inviting applications for the 
competition.
    These regulatory changes are expected to increase the number of 
grant applications for SSS (and other TRIO) grants. For the SSS 
program, the Department estimates an increase of about 450 applicants 
(from 1,200 to 1,650) for each competition. With 450 new applicants 
devoting approximately 34 hours to the process, the Department 
estimates that the amount of money spent on applications by applicants 
will increase by $742,950. (Note, however, that the cost to individual 
applicants is not expected to increase).

                  Increase in Aggregate Applicant Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Estimated
              Burden                     Calculations          increase
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Professional Staff...............  (450 additional              $546,750
                                    applications * 27 hours
                                    * $30 per hour) +
                                    Overhead at 50% of
                                    salary.
Clerical Staff...................  (450 additional                56,700
                                    applications * 7 hours
                                    * $12 per hour) +
                                    Overhead at 50% of
                                    salary.
Use of Computer Equipment........  450 additional                 94,500
                                    applications * ($200
                                    for computer time + $10
                                    for printing).
Operation Cost...................  450 additional                 45,000
                                    applications * $100
                                    cost of finding and
                                    maintaining application
                                    materials.
                                  --------------------------------------
    Total........................  ........................      742,950
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Cost estimations are based on the ``Supporting Statement for the
  Application for Grants Under the Student Support Services Program,
  HEOA of 2008, Title IV-A.''


[[Page 65755]]

    In addition, the cost of administering the SSS grant competition 
will likely increase. In particular, the Department estimates that 
variable costs of processing and reviewing applications will increase 
by 37.5 percent. The cost of retaining outside reviewers should 
increase to $555,000 from $404,000 while application processing costs 
should increase from approximately $25,000 to $34,560. Costs associated 
with staff time for conducting the supervised review process are 
expected to increase from $377,000 to $518,000. Finally, costs 
associated with financing workshops, field reading, and slate 
preparation are expected to increase from $917,000 to $1,260,625. In 
sum, the Department estimates the expected increase in grant 
applications to increase administration costs by approximately 
$646,000.

                 Increase in Cost to Federal Government
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Estimated
              Burden                     Calculations          increase
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Field reviewers..................  Proportional increase in     $151,364
                                    field reviewers as a
                                    result of increase in
                                    applications * $1,100
                                    ($1,000 honorarium,
                                    $100 for expenses).
Processing applications..........  Proportional increase in        9,426
                                    staff or staff hours as
                                    a result of increase in
                                    applications.
Contractor logistical support for  Proportional increase in      343,807
 workshops, achieving prior         contract costs as a
 unfunded applications,             result of increase in
 application processing, field      applications.
 reading and slate preparation.
Staff time for conducting          Proportional increase in      141,382
 supervised review.                 staff or staff hours as
                                    a result of increase in
                                    applications.
                                  --------------------------------------
    Total........................  ........................      645,978
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Cost estimations are based on the ``Supporting Statement for the
  Application for Grants Under the Student Support Services Program,
  HEOA of 2008, Title IV-A.''

    The primary beneficiaries of the regulatory change related to 
different populations will be students with special needs. To the 
extent that college completion strategies vary across different 
populations of students, allowing applicants to submit separate 
applications for different populations should increase the delivery of 
the right kinds of services to students. SSS projects geared 
specifically towards ESL students, for instance, should be able to 
provide highly specialized services to these students in a more 
efficient and effective manner than would a general SSS project.
Section 643.30: Rigorous Secondary School Program of Study Adding 
Tuition as an Allowable Cost in the TS program:
    The HEOA modified the outcome criteria for the TS program. These 
outcome criteria are used to determine the award of prior experience 
points for grantees that choose to apply for future awards. One of the 
new outcome criteria added to the statute requires grantees to report 
on the number of all TS participants who complete a rigorous secondary 
school program of study that will make the students eligible for 
Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG). This new statutory criterion in 
and of itself does not require that TS projects provide more intensive 
services: It could be interpreted simply as requiring the Department to 
track whether TS students, with proper counseling on course selection 
and with referrals to tutoring services, enroll in the coursework that 
would qualify them for an ACG grant. (In most States, students can 
qualify for an ACG grant if they complete four years of English; three 
years of mathematics, including algebra I and a higher-level class such 
as algebra II, geometry, or data analysis and statistics; three years 
of science, including at least two of three specific courses, biology, 
chemistry, and physics; three years of social studies; and one year of 
a language other than English. In addition, under the ACG program, 
there are other options for meeting the rigorous course of study 
requirement, including taking International Baccalaureate or Advanced 
Placement courses.)
    A number of commenters on the proposed regulations contended some 
schools served by TS grantees do not provide the type of curriculum 
necessary for students to meet the ACG program's requirements for a 
``rigorous secondary school program of study.'' Consequently, they 
argued, grantees serving students in these schools would be at a 
disadvantage with respect to meeting this criterion. They specifically 
requested that grantees be permitted to use grant funds to enable 
participants in the TS program to attend classes at other schools to 
help grantees satisfactorily meet this new outcome criterion.
    The Department has decided to allow TS grantees to use grant funds 
to pay a participant's tuition for a course that is part of a rigorous 
secondary school program of study if a similar course is not offered at 
a school within his or her school district provided that several 
conditions are met. The Department also has decided to allow TS 
grantees to pay for a student's transportation to a school not 
regularly attended by that student for that student to take a course 
that is part of a rigorous secondary school program of study.
    To determine the impact of these regulations, we need to estimate 
the number of TS participants who do not have access to a rigorous 
secondary school program of study at their high school and the cost of 
providing these participants with the requisite curriculum (through 
payment of tuition and transportation costs to locations at which the 
participants will receive instruction). We also need to estimate the 
extent to which grantees that are serving schools with these 
participants will elect to incur these costs.
    According to recent program data from the ACG 2007-2008 End of the 
Year Report, 54 percent of ACG recipients qualified under a rigorous 
coursework component, 41 percent under a State designated curriculum, 
and four percent under the Advanced Placement or International 
Baccalaureate Program courses. The Department asked the public for data 
on the extent to which rigorous coursework offerings that would meet 
the ACG requirements are not available at the schools or areas that are 
targeted under the TS program and the number of potential TS 
participants in these schools or areas that would be unable to meet the 
requirements because of the unavailability of the curriculum. The only 
data we received from the public

[[Page 65756]]

with respect to the availability of rigorous curricula at TS schools 
described the availability of such course offerings at the Portland 
Public Schools and the Hillsboro School District. According to the 
commenter providing these data, the secondary schools in these 
districts now provide a curriculum that meets the third definition of a 
rigorous secondary school program in these regulations and, by the 
2011-2012 academic year, all these schools will be required to provide 
such a curriculum. Although we do not have national data on the number 
of affected students, we do have some data on the cost of providing 
tuition assistance. Based on data collected by the American Association 
of Community Colleges (AACC) in 2008, we estimate that the cost of 
providing a student with one course per semester, including required 
textbooks, would be approximately $560 to $1,280. AACC data indicate 
that the per credit costs for public community colleges range from 
about $20 in California to $180 in Vermont. This compares to an average 
grantee cost per TS participant of approximately $402 in 2008, which 
means that the opportunity cost of providing tuition for one TS 
participant to take one class at a community college is roughly equal 
to what it costs on average to serve 1 to 3 additional participants 
under the TS program prior to the enactment of HEOA. Because we do not 
know the extent to which grantees will elect to use funds for this 
purpose or the actual costs of providing access to this coursework, we 
asked current TS grantees to provide estimates regarding the amount of 
the project budget that might be used for tuition and the estimated 
number of participants that might benefit each year from this service 
if the grantee elected to provide it. A few grantees responded to this 
request, but their comments were based on an expectation that the new 
regulations would introduce a two-tiered system of service-provision in 
which grantees would concentrate on providing a rigorous secondary 
school program of study to only 10 percent of its participants. In 
these final regulations, the Department is clarifying that TS grantees 
will collaborate and coordinate with their target schools to provide 
access to and assistance in completing a rigorous secondary school 
program of study for all participants (see Sec.  643.21(c)(4)). With 
respect to the benefits of this regulatory change, the Secretary 
believes that students enrolled in schools with curricula that do not 
meet the State's definition of a rigorous secondary school program of 
study will be the primary beneficiaries. TS participants in schools 
that do not offer all of the coursework needed to meet the requirements 
of a rigorous secondary school program of study (e.g., they do not 
offer a physics or chemistry course) may be afforded the opportunity to 
take such coursework through an institution of higher education. Given 
the body of research suggesting that students who take rigorous classes 
in high school are more likely to enroll in and complete postsecondary 
education, providing this benefit to TS participants could improve 
their educational outcomes. A 2003 GAO report, for instance, reported 
that students taking a highly rigorous secondary school program of 
study were 1.7 times more likely to earn a bachelor's degree than 
students who took a basic high school curriculum.\6\ However, grantees 
will need to balance the costs of providing these opportunities to 
individual students with the expected educational benefits to avoid an 
unnecessary increase in the cost of successful outcomes under this 
program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ GAO, ``Additional Efforts Could Help Education With its 
Education Goals,'' May 2003, available at 
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03568.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Section 643.32: Changes to the Minimum Number of Participants Served in 
TS
    Current TS regulations require that any grantee receiving an award 
of $180,000 or more must serve a minimum of 600 individuals. In these 
final regulations, the Department removes this requirement that TS 
projects serve a minimum number of individuals.
    The Department has decided to take this action to provide it 
flexibility in each competition to establish the minimum number of 
participants that must be served, and to adjust these numbers in 
subsequent competitions based on experience, cost analyses, and other 
factors.
    The Department is committed to encouraging TS grantees to identify 
and adopt the most cost-effective strategies to help disadvantaged 
youth complete secondary school programs, enroll in or reenter 
education programs at the postsecondary level, and complete 
postsecondary education programs. The Department intends to design 
future TS grant competitions to achieve this objective. Grant 
competition notices will set parameters that are consistent with the 
statute to encourage adoption of cost effective practices using the 
best available evidence. This will include setting a minimum number of 
program participants for each competition to promote adoption of cost-
effective practices.
    In accordance with Sec.  643.32(b) of the final regulations, the 

Secretary will specify the number of participants a TS project will be 
expected to serve each year of the grant cycle through the Federal 
Register notice inviting applications for a competition. Through this 
notice, the Secretary will also provide the minimum and maximum grant 
award amounts for the project period.
Sections 643.30 (TS), 644.30 (EOC), 645.40 (UB), 646.30 (SSS), 647.30 
(McNair): Changes to Allowable Costs (Computer Hardware and Software)
    Under the final regulations, TRIO projects no longer are required 
to obtain the Secretary's approval before purchasing computer and 
software equipment. This regulatory change eliminates administrative 
costs associated with obtaining this approval.

GEAR UP

Need for Federal Regulatory Action
    The final GEAR UP regulations are needed to implement provisions of 
the HEOA, which changed certain features of the GEAR UP program. The 
Secretary has endeavored to regulate only where necessary, and in ways 
that to the extent possible reflect the recommendations of the non-
Federal negotiators. The statutory changes that have prompted us to 
make changes in these regulations follows:
     Section 694.19--Priority: Section 404A(b)(3)(A) of the HEA 
now requires that priority be given to those States that have ``carried 
out successful [GEAR UP] programs'' prior to enactment of the HEOA, and 
have a ``prior, demonstrated commitment to early intervention leading 
to college access through collaboration and replication of successful 
strategies.''
     Section 694.8--Waiver of Matching Requirements: Section 
404C(b)(2) of the HEA, as amended by the HEOA, permits the Secretary to 
waive the matching requirement for a Partnership in whole or in part 
if, at the time of application, the Partnership demonstrates 
significant economic hardship that precludes it from meeting the 
matching requirement, or requests that its contributions to the 
scholarship fund under section 404E of the HEA be matched on a two-for-
one basis. Section 404C(b)(2) of the HEA also permits the Secretary to 
waive the matching requirement for any Partnership grantee that 
demonstrates that the matching funds described in its application are 
not available and that it

[[Page 65757]]

has exhausted all revenues for replacing these matching funds.
     Sections Sec. Sec.  694.12 and 694.14--Scholarship 
Component: Section 404E(e)(1) of the HEA, as amended by the HEOA, 
requires each State grantee to reserve an amount of money that is not 
less than the minimum scholarship amount described in section 404E(d) 
of the HEA, multiplied by the number of students the grantee estimates 
will complete a secondary school diploma or its equivalent as may be 
required for the students' admission and enrollment at an institution 
of higher education. The Department interprets this new statutory 
provision along with the new requirement in section 404E(d) of the HEA 
that all eligible students (as defined in section 404E(g) of the HEA), 
whether served by a State or Partnership grantee, who enroll in an 
institution of higher education receive at least the minimum Federal 
Pell Grant award, to require any GEAR UP grantee subject to the section 
404E requirements to provide this minimum award to all GEAR UP students 
enrolled in an institution of higher education. This statutory change 
led the Department to revisit its current regulations governing the 
provision of continuation scholarships.
     Section Sec.  694.16--Return of Unused Scholarship Funds: 
Section 404E(e)(4)(A) of the HEA, as amended by the HEOA, now requires 
State grantees either to redistribute to other eligible students 
scholarship funds that are not used by eligible students within six 
years of the student's completion of secondary school or return those 
funds to the Secretary for distribution to other grantees in accordance 
with the funding rules described in section 404B(a) of the HEA.

Regulatory Alternatives Considered

Section 694.19: Priority
    Final Sec.  694.19 clarifies how the Department will implement the 
statute's requirement that priority in making awards be given to those 
States that meet the following elements: (1) Prior to enactment of the 
HEOA have ``carried out successful GEAR UP programs'' and (2) have a 
``prior, demonstrated commitment to early intervention leading to 
college access through collaboration and replication of successful 
strategies.'' While the Department could seek to implement this 
statutory priority by having applicants address in their applications 
how they met of these elements, we believe that imposing this kind of 
data burden is unnecessary.
    Instead, we will rely, where possible, on reports that applicants 
previously submitted in implementing their prior GEAR UP projects. 
Thus, to implement this statutory priority, the Department will grant 
``priority preference points'' to State applicants, based, in part, on 
their prior submission of data, including outcome data, about their 
projects and other information available to the Department. At present, 
the Department is considering implementing the second element of the 
priority, which concerns a prior, demonstrated commitment to early 
intervention leading to college access, through review of the new GEAR 
UP application itself given that we do not know how else the Department 
would obtain the information it needs to determine the extent to which 
applicants would meet the second element of the priority. Moreover, 
should the Department determine that it needs applicants to provide 
more information on this second element in their applications, the 
Department believes that the additional burden would be very small, and 
that the costs of this additional administrative burden would be far 
outweighed by the benefits of ensuring that the Department is able to 
give priority to the most deserving State applicants.
Sections 694.8 and 694.9: Waiver of Matching Requirements
    Consistent with section 404C(b) of the HEA, as amended by the HEOA, 
these new sections specify the circumstances in which the Secretary 
will consider requests from applicants for a waiver of GEAR UP's 
matching requirement based on significant economic hardship, and from 
grantees based on the unavailability of matching funds as described in 
section 404C(b)(2)(A) and (b)(2)(B) of the HEA. (Section 
404C(b)(2)(A)(ii) of the HEA also authorizes a Partnership applicant to 
request that contributions to scholarship funds established under 
section 404E of the HEA be matched on two-to-one basis, but final Sec.  
694.8(c) simply repeats this statutory provision.)
    The final regulations governing waiver requests by applicants 
(Sec.  694.8) and by grantees (Sec.  694.9) provide significant benefit 
to the public, and do so in numerous ways. First, they provide that the 
Secretary will entertain waiver requests of significant amounts from 
applicants and grantees--up to 75 percent for up to two years in the 
case of an applicant that demonstrates a significant economic hardship 
stemming from a specific, exceptional, or uncontrollable event, and up 
to 50 percent for up to two years in the case of an applicant with a 
pre-existing and on-going significant economic hardship that precludes 
the applicant from meeting the matching requirement. Second, by 
providing clarifying examples of the kinds of economic situations and 
events that would give rise to approval of an applicant's or grantee's 
waiver requests, the final regulations advise the public of the 
considerations the Secretary will examine upon receipt of a waiver 
request.
    Finally, for an applicant in an area that faces chronic economic 
challenges expected to affect the life of the GEAR UP project, Sec.  
694.8(b)(3) permits the Secretary to grant tentative approval of the 
waiver for the entire project period, subject to the Partnership's 
submission of documentation every two years that confirms (1) the 
continued economic hardship, and (2) the Partnership's continuing and 
unsuccessful attempts to secure matching contributions. This regulatory 
provision both eliminates the applicant's need to prepare a non-Federal 
budget as part of its application, and upon initial approval of the 
waiver request, provides a basis for predicting whether or not the 
Secretary will extend the waiver in future years.
    Thus, these regulatory provisions provide a substantial benefit to 
grantees meeting the new criteria. For example, in 2009, the average 
GEAR UP grant award made to a Partnership was approximately $1.1 
million. Because, absent a waiver, GEAR UP grantees must match the 
amount of Federal expenditures, the average annual matching requirement 
for a Partnership was also $1.1 million in 2009. However, under 
Sec. Sec.  694.8(b) and 694.9(a)(1), a Partnership-applicant that can 
demonstrate an ongoing significant economic hardship that precludes it 
from meeting the matching requirement, or a Partnership grantee that 
can demonstrate that its matching contributions are no longer available 
and that it has exhausted all funds and sources of potential 
replacement contributions, could receive a waiver up to 50 percent, or 
on average up to $600,000 per year. And, under Sec. Sec.  694.8(a) and 
694.9(a)(2), a Partnership that can demonstrate the unavailability of 
match due to an uncontrollable event such as a natural disaster that 
has had a devastating impact on members of the Partnership and the 
community in which they operate may receive a waiver of up to 75 
percent--thus creating a benefit (i.e., a lessened private commitment) 
on average of up to $900,000 per year. Given the current national 
economic climate, such waiver requests seem likely. Moreover, for 
grantees that

[[Page 65758]]

would not be able to continue operating their GEAR UP projects without 
these waivers, these regulations enable the participating students to 
continue to receive GEAR UP services, albeit at a reduced level given 
the smaller matching contributions.
    In considering the amount of match subject to possible waiver, the 
non-Federal negotiators opposed waivers of greater size. They stressed 
the importance of a vibrant and committed partnership in GEAR UP 
projects required partners to maintain a commitment of their own 
resources to help provide needed GEAR UP services. Moreover, the non-
Federal negotiators also noted that even under current economic 
conditions, partners committed to the GEAR UP projects should be able 
to secure substantial in-kind matching contributions. Accordingly, they 
rejected options under which the Secretary might provide a waiver of 
the matching contributions for one or more years of the project because 
of economic conditions or a one-time exceptional or uncontrollable 
event waiver of up to 100 percent.
    We agree with the non-Federal negotiators on this issue. We believe 
that our decision to allow the Secretary to grant waivers of the 
program's matching requirement of up to 50 and 75 percent strikes the 
right balance between (a) providing relief where circumstances beyond 
the control of a Partnership affect its ability to maintain its 
required match, and (b) the need for members of the Partnership to be 
truly committed to helping to provide the services that participating 
GEAR UP students need.
Sections 694.12 and 694.14: Scholarship Component
    Final Sec.  694.14(g) makes the requirement in prior Sec.  
694.10(d) that grantees participating in the scholarship component must 
grant continuation scholarships to each student who was granted an 
initial scholarship (and who remains eligible) inapplicable to grantees 
that receive their initial GEAR UP awards on or after August 14, 2008. 
Our decision to remove this financial burden from these grantees 
recognizes that by requiring each eligible student to receive at least 
the Federal Pell Grant minimum award, section 404E of the HEA, as 
amended by the HEOA, will leave grantees with insufficient scholarship 
funds to meet the current regulatory requirement. While GEAR UP 
students may bear a corresponding cost by not having these continuation 
awards available to them, this cost results from the new statutory 
requirement that all eligible students receive at least the Pell Grant 
minimum award. Because the minimum scholarship amount is equal to the 
minimum Federal Pell Grant award, which is defined in section 401(b)(4) 
of the HEA as 10 percent of the maximum Pell Grant award, the benefit 
to grantees as a result of final Sec.  694.14(g) is equal to at least 
10 percent of the appropriated maximum Pell grant award in a given 
year, multiplied by the number of individuals the grantee determines 
will not receive continuation awards. Importantly, because removing the 
continuation award requirement from the GEAR UP regulations only 
applies to new awards, no GEAR UP students in newly funded projects 
will have the expectation of receiving a GEAR UP continuation 
scholarship.
Section 694.16: Return of Unused Scholarship Funds
    Section 404E(e)(4)(A)(ii) of HEA, as amended by the HEOA, requires 
grantees to return to the Secretary any scholarship funds that remain 
after they have first redistributed unused funds to eligible students. 
To enable the Department to monitor these scholarship accounts and 
ensure that Federal funds reserved for scholarships are expended as 
intended, the Department has added Sec.  694.16(c), which requires 
grantees participating in the scholarship component of the program to 
provide annual information, as the Secretary may require, on the amount 
of Federal and non-Federal funds reserved for GEAR UP scholarships, and 
the disbursement of those scholarship funds to eligible GEAR UP 
students. These annual reports will need to be submitted until all of 
the funds are either disbursed or returned to the Secretary.
    This requirement imposes an administrative burden on the grantees. 
Grantees will be able to charge some of these administrative costs to 
their award of Federal GEAR UP grant funds because some of these annual 
reports will be prepared and submitted during the project period. Other 
annual reports will need to be prepared and submitted after the six-or 
seven-year GEAR UP project period has ended (by which time it is 
possible that the Partnerships have dissolved). In order to pay the 
costs of post-project reports, grantees may (1) reserve additional 
amounts during each project period for the future costs of preparing 
and submitting post-project reports, or (2) authorize those 
administering the GEAR UP scholarship accounts to deduct such amount 
from the amount held in reserve for GEAR UP scholarships (assuming that 
all eligible students will still be able to receive a minimum Federal 
Pell Grant award).
    Because the Department has not yet established detailed reporting 
requirements for this regulatory provision, it is difficult to estimate 
the costs that grantees could charge to GEAR UP funds. However, based 
on all available information, the Secretary believes that the costs 
introduced by this regulatory provision are justified by the 
Department's need to have the necessary information to monitor the 
millions of dollars of Federal funds obligated to GEAR UP scholarship 
accounts.

Accounting Statement

    As required by OMB Circular A-4 (available at 
http://www.Whitehouse.gov/omb/Circulars/a004/a-4.pdf), in the following table, 
we have prepared an accounting statement showing the classification of 
the expenditures associated with the provisions of this regulatory 
action. This table provides our best estimate of the Federal payments 
to be made to institutions of higher education, public and private 
agencies and organizations, and secondary schools under these programs 
as a result of this regulatory action. Expenditures are classified as 
transfers to those entities.

      Accounting Statement Classification of Estimated Expenditures
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Category                      Transfers (in millions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual Monetized Transfers................  $1,233
From Whom to Whom.........................  Federal Government to
                                             institutions of higher
                                             education, public and
                                             private agencies and
                                             organizations, and
                                             secondary schools.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Secretary certifies that these regulations will not have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The 
regulations affect institutions of higher education, States, LEAs, and 
nonprofit organizations.
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act defines three types of ``small 
entities.'' They include ``small businesses,'' which have the same 
meaning as ``small business concern'' under section 3 of the Small 
Business Act and includes firms that are ``independently owned and 
operated'' and ``not dominant in its field of operation.'' The U.S. 
Small Business Administration further defines small business by 
developing size standards

[[Page 65759]]

by industry. The definition of small business includes for-profit 
schools with total annual revenue below $7,000,000. The definition of 
small entity also includes ``small organizations,'' which are defined 
as ``any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and 
operated and not dominant in its field,'' and ``small governmental 
jurisdictions,'' which include schools districts under 50,000.

HEP and CAMP

    The Secretary believes that the minor changes reflected in the HEP 
and CAMP regulations will not affect small entities.

Federal TRIO Programs

    The Secretary believes that the regulations for the Federal TRIO 
Programs will not adversely impact any small entities receiving TRIO 
grants. The Department has determined that approximately 141 of the 
2,887 TRIO grantees are defined as ``small entities'' under the U.S. 
Small Business Administration's size standards. Of these 141 entities, 
133 are nonprofit organizations that receive less than $5,000,000 in 
total annual revenue, 7 are LEAs or tribes with jurisdictions 
containing fewer than 50,000 people, and one is a secondary school. The 
Secretary believes that the final Federal TRIO regulations will not 
negatively impact these small entities and, in fact, believes that 
small grantees will benefit from these regulations. For example, the 
removal of the minimum students served requirement under the TS program 
will benefit small entities, whose typically smaller budgets make it 
difficult to serve large numbers of students. In addition, the 
elimination of the requirement for grantees to obtain the Secretary's 
approval before purchasing computer equipment will benefit small 
grantees, in particular, because administrative costs for these 
grantees are most burdensome. Most importantly, given that TRIO 
programs are competitive grant programs, all costs of participating are 
reimbursed by the grant.

GEAR UP

    The Secretary believes that the final GEAR UP regulations will not 
adversely impact any small entities receiving GEAR UP grants. The 42 
States receiving grants are not small entities because each State has a 
population exceeding 50,000. Thirty of the fiscal agents for the 154 
Partnership grants are LEAs; according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 6 of 
these LEAs have jurisdiction over an area with fewer than 50,000 
residents, and as such, are defined as ``small entities'' under the 
U.S. Small Business Administration size standards. However, the 
Secretary believes that these small entities will not be adversely 
impacted by the regulations. In accordance with statutory changes, the 
regulations regarding matching requirement waivers should particularly 
benefit small fiscal agents, which are more vulnerable to economic 
hardship than large fiscal agents, and, therefore, more likely to 
qualify for waivers.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    Sections 642.21, 642.22, and 642.25 of the Training Program for 
Federal TRIO Programs (Training) regulations; Sec. Sec.  643.21, 
643.22, 643.24 and 643.32 of the Talent Search (TS) regulations; 
Sec. Sec.  644.21, 644.22, 644.24, and 644.32 of the Educational 
Opportunity Centers (EOC) regulations; Sec. Sec.  645.31; 645.32, 
645.35, and 645.43 of the Upward Bound (UB) regulations; Sec. Sec.  
646.11, 646.21, 646.22, 646.24, 646.32, and 646.33 of the Student 
Support Services (SSS) regulations; Sec. Sec.  647.21, 647.22 and 
647.24 of the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program 
(McNair); and Sec. Sec.  694.7, 694.8, 694.9, 694.14, 694.19, and 
694.20 of the GEAR UP regulations contain information collection 
requirements. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3507(d)), the Department will submit a copy of these sections to the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review.
Parts 642, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647--Federal TRIO Programs
    Recent grant application packages for the Training, SSS, TS, EOC, 
UB, and McNair programs have been or will be discontinued; new 
application packages for these programs will be developed prior to 
their next competitions, and will reflect the regulatory changes 
included in these final regulations. For each new application, a 
separate 30-day Federal Register notice will be published to solicit 
comments on the new application prior to the next scheduled competition 
for the program.
    Likewise, any regulatory changes applicable to the annual 
performance reports (APRs) will affect grants awarded under 
competitions conducted after the enactment of the HEOA. The APRs for 
the first year of a new grant will be due approximately 15 months after 
the beginning of the new grant period. Until new grants are awarded, 
the Department will continue to use the existing APR for the program. A 
new APR for each program that addresses the new HEOA requirements will 
be developed for the new grant period. A separate 60-day Federal 
Register notice followed by a 30-day Federal Register notice will be 
published to solicit public comment on the new APR form for each 
program prior to its usage.
Sections 642.21 and 642.25 (Training)--Selection criteria the Secretary 
uses to evaluate an application for a new grant and the second review 
process for unsuccessful applicants.
    The final regulations for the Training program amend the selection 
criteria the Secretary uses to evaluate an application for a new grant 
to conform to current practice. Further, section 402A(c)(8)(C) of the 
HEA established a formal second review process for unsuccessful TRIO 
applicants. Therefore, the final regulations include a new section that 
establishes processes and procedures for a second review of 
unsuccessful applications. The new application will include the changes 
to the selection criteria and describe the processes and procedures for 
the second review of unsuccessful applications.
    Specifically, these regulations remove the Need criterion from the 
selection criteria for the Training program (current Sec.  642.31(f)) 
to conform to current practice. An applicant for a Training grant now 
will need to address one of the absolute priorities established in the 
Federal Register notice inviting applications for the competition. With 
the absolute priorities, the Department will establish the ``need'' for 
the proposed training; thus, the Need selection criterion is no longer 
necessary. This regulatory change will reduce the amount of information 
an applicant must include in its application.
    In addition, the application will describe the procedures an 
unsuccessful applicant must follow to request a second review of its 
application. Under the final regulations, only those applicants in the 
proposed ``funding band'' will be eligible to request a second review. 
As described in the regulations, the Department will notify an 
unsuccessful applicant in writing as to the status of its application 
and the ``funding band'' for the second review and provide copies of 
the peer reviewers' evaluations of the application and the applicant's 
prior experience (PE) scores, if applicable. The applicant will be 
given at least 15 calendar days after receiving notification that its 
application was not funded in which to submit a written request for a 
second review in accordance with the instructions and due date provided 
in the Secretary's written notification. To be considered for a second 
review, an applicant must provide evidence

[[Page 65760]]

demonstrating that the Department, an agent of the Department, or a 
peer reviewer made a technical, administrative or scoring error in the 
processing or review of the application. The applicant, however, is not 
permitted to submit any additional data or information related to the 
criteria used to evaluate the quality of the application that was not 
included in its original application.
    The regulatory change to the selection criteria reduces the amount 
of information an applicant must include in its application, resulting 
in an estimated burden reduction of 240 hours. In addition, we estimate 
that approximately 10 percent of the applications received under each 
competition for Training grants will score within the ``funding band.'' 
For each applicant in the ``funding band'' that requests a second 
review, we estimate an additional burden of two hours for a burden 
increase of 12 hours, which includes the time an applicant would need 
to review the peer reviewers' evaluations and, if applicable, the PE 
assessment and submit a written request for a second review.
    Taken together, the regulatory changes reflected in Sec. Sec.  
642.21 and 642.25 will result in a net total burden reduction of 228 
hours, reflected in OMB Control Number 1840-NEW1.
Sections 643.21 and 643.24 (TS)--Selection criteria the Secretary uses 
to evaluate an application for a new grant and the second review 
process for unsuccessful applicants.
    The final regulations amend the selection criteria the Secretary 
uses to evaluate an application for a new TS grant to address statutory 
changes resulting from the HEOA. Further, section 402A(c)(8)(C) of the 
HEA, as amended by the HEOA, added requirements for a formal second 
review process for unsuccessful applicants. Therefore, the final 
regulations add a new section that establishes processes and procedures 
for a second review of unsuccessful applications. The new application 
will include the changes to the selection criteria and the processes 
and procedures for the second review of unsuccessful applications.
    The HEOA made significant changes to the purpose and goals of the 
TS program as reflected in changes to applicant eligibility, the list 
of required and permissible services, and the outcome criteria. To 
better align the selection criteria with these statutory changes, we 
revised the following selection criteria: Sec.  643.21(a) (Need for the 
project); 643.21(b) (Objectives); 643.21(c) (Plan of operation); and 
643.21(d) (Applicant and community support).
    In addition, the application for TS competitions will describe the 
procedures an unsuccessful applicant must follow to request a second 
review of its application. Under the regulations, only those applicants 
in the proposed ``funding band'' will be eligible to request a second 
review. As described in the final regulations, the Department will 
notify an unsuccessful applicant in writing as to the status of its 
application and the ``funding band'' for the second review and provide 
copies of the peer reviewers' evaluations of the application and the 
applicant's PE scores, if applicable. The applicant will be given at 
least 15 calendar days after receiving notification that its 
application was not funded in which to submit a written request for a 
second review in accordance with the instructions and due date provided 
in the Secretary's written notification. To be considered for a second 
review, an applicant will need to provide evidence demonstrating that 
the Department, an agent of the Department, or a peer reviewer made a 
technical, administrative or scoring error in the processing or review 
of the application. The applicant, however, will not be able to submit 
any additional data or information related to the criteria used to 
evaluate the quality of the application that was not included in its 
original application.
    The Department does not expect the changes to the TS selection 
criteria to increase an applicant's paperwork burden. However, we 
estimate that approximately two percent of the applications received 
under each competition for TS grants will score within the ``funding 
band''. For each applicant in the ``funding band'' that requests a 
second review, we estimate an additional burden of two hours, which 
includes the time an applicant would need to review the peer reviewers' 
evaluations and, if applicable, the PE assessment and submit a written 
request for a second review. This will result in a total burden 
increase of 60 hours for the revised application, which will be 
reflected in a new OMB Control Number 1840-NEW2. The Department has 
already solicited public comments in a separate 30-day Federal Register 
notice that was published on August 5, 2010 (75 FR 37415) on the new 
application process that will be used for the FY 2011 competition for 
new TS grants; the estimated deadline date for receiving applications 
for this competition is December 2010.
Sections 644.21 and 644.24 (EOC)--Selection criteria the Secretary uses 
to evaluate an application for a new grant and the second review 
process for unsuccessful applicants.
    The final regulations for the EOC program amend the selection 
criteria the Secretary uses to evaluate an application for a new grant 
to address statutory changes resulting from the HEOA. Further, section 
402A(c)(8)(C) of the HEA, as amended by the HEOA, added requirements 
for a formal second review process for unsuccessful applicants. 
Therefore, the final regulations will establish processes and 
procedures for a second review of unsuccessful applications. The new 
grant application for the EOC program will include the changes to the 
selection criteria and describe the processes and procedures for the 
second review of unsuccessful applications.
    Revisions in the selection criteria are needed to address the 
statutory changes resulting from the HEOA. The HEOA made changes to the 
outcome criteria. To better align the selection criteria with these 
statutory changes, we revised the selection criteria in Sec.  644.21(b) 
(Objectives). The revised selection criteria replace existing criteria.
    In addition, the EOC grant application will describe the procedures 
an unsuccessful applicant would need to follow to request a second 
review of its application. Under these regulations, only those 
applicants in the ``funding band'' will be eligible to request a second 
review. As described in the regulations, the Department will notify an 
unsuccessful applicant in writing as to the status of its application 
and the ``funding band'' for the second review and provide copies of 
the peer reviewers' evaluations of the application and the applicant's 
PE scores, if applicable. The applicant will be given at least 15 
calendar days after receiving notification that its application was not 
funded in which to submit a written request for a second review in 
accordance with the instructions and due date provided in the 
Secretary's written notification. To be considered for a second review, 
an applicant will need to provide evidence demonstrating that the 
Department, an agent of the Department, or a peer reviewer made a 
technical, administrative or scoring error in the processing or review 
of the application. The applicant, however, will not be able to submit 
any additional data or information related to the criteria used to 
evaluate the quality of the application that was not included in its 
original application.

[[Page 65761]]

    The Department does not expect these changes to the selection 
criteria will increase an applicant's paperwork burden. However, we 
estimate that approximately two percent of the applications received 
under each competition for EOC grants will score within the ``funding 
band.'' For each applicant in the ``funding band'' that requests a 
second review, we estimate an additional burden of two hours, which 
includes the time an applicant would need to review the peer reviewers' 
evaluations and, if applicable, the PE assessment and submit a written 
request for a second review. This will result in a total burden 
increase of 20 hours for the revised application, which will be 
reflected in a new OMB Control Number 1840-NEW3. A separate 30-day 
Federal Register notice will be published to solicit public comment on 
the new application form to be used for the next competition for new 
EOC grants currently scheduled for winter 2011.
Sections 645.31 and 645.35 (UB)--Selection criteria the Secretary uses 
to evaluate an application for a new grant and the second review 
process for unsuccessful applicants.
    The final UB regulations amend the selection criteria the Secretary 
uses to evaluate an application for a new grant to address statutory 
changes resulting from the HEOA. Further, section 402A(c)(8)(C) of the 
HEA, as amended by the HEOA, added requirements for a formal second 
review process for unsuccessful applicants. Therefore, the final 
regulations establish processes and procedures for a second review of 
unsuccessful applications. The new application for UB grant 
competitions will include the changes to the selection criteria and 
describe the processes and procedures for the second review of 
unsuccessful applications.
    The HEOA made changes to applicant eligibility and the outcome 
criteria. To better align the selection criteria with these statutory 
changes, we revised the following selection criteria: Sec. Sec.  
645.31(b) (Objectives) and 645.31(d)(2) (Applicant and community 
support). The revised selection criteria replace the criteria in 
current Sec. Sec.  645.31(b) and 645.31(d)(2).
    In addition, the application will describe the procedures an 
unsuccessful applicant must follow to request a second review of its 
application. Under the regulations, only those applicants in the 
``funding band'' will be eligible to request a second review. As 
described in the final regulations, the Department will notify an 
unsuccessful applicant in writing as to the status of its application 
and the ``funding band'' for the second review and provide copies of 
the peer reviewers' evaluations of the application and the applicant's 
PE scores, if applicable. The applicant will be given at least 15 
calendar days after receiving notification that its application was not 
funded in which to submit a written request for a second review in 
accordance with the instructions and due date provided in the 
Secretary's written notification. To be considered for a second review, 
an applicant will need to provide evidence demonstrating that the 
Department, an agent of the Department, or a peer reviewer made a 
technical, administrative or scoring error in the processing or review 
of the application. The applicant, however, will not be permitted to 
submit any additional data or information related to the criteria used 
to evaluate the quality of the application that was not included in its 
original application.
    The Department does not expect these changes to the selection 
criteria to increase an applicant's paperwork burden. However, we 
estimate that approximately two percent of the applications received 
under each competition for UB grants will score within the ``funding 
band.'' For each applicant in the ``funding band'' that requests a 
second review, we estimate an additional burden of two hours, which 
includes the time an applicant would need to review the peer reviewers' 
evaluations and, if applicable, the PE assessment and submit a written 
request for a second review. This will result in a total burden 
increase of 80 hours for the revised application, which will be 
reflected in a new OMB Control Number 1840-NEW4.
    A separate 30-day Federal Register notice will be published to 
solicit public comment on the new application form to be used for the 
next competition for new UB grants currently scheduled for fall 2011.
Sections 646.11, 646.21 and 646.24 (SSS)--The assurances and other 
information an applicant must include in an application, the selection 
criteria the Secretary uses to evaluate an application for a new grant 
and the second review process for unsuccessful applicants.
    The final SSS regulations amend the selection criteria the 
Secretary uses to evaluate an application for a new grant to address 
statutory changes resulting from the HEOA and add the statutory 
requirement that an applicant include in its application a description 
of its efforts in providing participants with sufficient financial 
assistance. Further, section 402A(c)(8)(C) of the HEA, as amended by 
the HEOA, has added requirements for a formal second review process for 
unsuccessful applicants. Therefore, the final regulations include a new 
section that establishes processes and procedures for a second review 
of unsuccessful applications. The new application will include the 
changes to the selection criteria and describe the processes and 
procedures for the second review of unsuccessful applications.
    The HEOA made changes to the outcome criteria. To better align the 
selection criteria with these statutory changes and current practice, 
we revised Sec.  646.21(b) (Objectives). In addition, we have revised 
Sec.  646.11 to include the requirement that the applicant discuss in 
its application its efforts to provide participants sufficient 
financial assistance.
    The application for SSS grants will describe the procedures an 
unsuccessful applicant must follow to request a second review of its 
application. Under the SSS regulations, only those applicants in the 
``funding band'' are eligible to request a second review. As described 
in the regulations, the Department will notify an unsuccessful 
applicant in writing as to the status of its application and the 
``funding band'' for the second review and provide copies of the peer 
reviewers' evaluations of the application and the applicant's PE 
scores, if applicable. The applicant will be given at least 15 calendar 
days after receiving notification that its application was not funded 
in which to submit a written request for a second review in accordance 
with the instructions and due date provided in the Secretary's written 
notification. To be considered for a second review, an applicant must 
provide evidence demonstrating that the Department, an agent of the 
Department, or a peer reviewer made a technical, administrative, or 
scoring error in the processing or review of the application. The 
applicant, however, will not be permitted to submit any additional data 
or information related to the criteria used to evaluate the quality of 
the application that was not included in its original application.
    The Department does not expect the changes to the SSS selection 
criteria or the assurances that an applicant must provide in its 
application will increase an applicant's paperwork burden. However, we 
estimate that approximately two percent of the applications received 
under each competition for SSS grants will score within the ``funding 
band'' and be eligible for a second review. For each applicant in the 
``funding band'' that requests a second review, we estimate

[[Page 65762]]

an additional burden of two hours, which includes the time an applicant 
would need to review the peer reviewers' evaluations and, if 
applicable, the PE assessment and submit a written request for a second 
review. This will result in a total burden increase of 66 hours for the 
revised application, which will be reflected in a new OMB Control 
Number 1840-NEW5.
    A separate 30-day Federal Register notice will be published to 
solicit public comment on the new application form to be used for the 
next competition for new SSS grants currently scheduled for fall 2014.
Sections 647.21 and 647.24 (McNair)--Selection criteria the Secretary 
uses to evaluate an application for a new grant and the second review 
process for unsuccessful applicants.
    The final McNair regulations amend the selection criteria the 
Secretary uses to evaluate an application for a new grant to address 
statutory changes resulting from the HEOA. Further, section 
402A(c)(8)(C) of the HEA, as amended by the HEOA, added requirements 
for a formal second review final for unsuccessful applicants. 
Therefore, the final McNair regulations establish processes and 
procedures for a second review of unsuccessful applications. The new 
application will describe the changes to the selection criteria and the 
processes and procedures for the second review of unsuccessful 
applications.
    The HEOA made changes to the outcome criteria. To better align the 
selection criteria for McNair with these statutory changes and current 
practice, we revised Sec.  647.21(b) (Objectives).
    In addition, the McNair grant application will describe the 
procedures an unsuccessful applicant must follow to request a second 
review of its application. Under the final regulations, only those 
applicants in the ``funding band'' will be eligible to request a second 
review. As described in the final regulations, the Department will 
notify an unsuccessful applicant in writing as to the status of its 
application and the ``funding band'' for the second review and provide 
copies of the peer reviewers' evaluations of the application and the 
applicant's PE scores, if applicable. The applicant will be given at 
least 15 calendar days after receiving notification that its 
application was not funded in which to submit a written request for a 
second review in accordance with the instructions and due date provided 
in the Secretary's written notification. To be considered for a second 
review, an applicant will need to provide evidence demonstrating that 
the Department, an agent of the Department, or a peer reviewer made a 
technical, administrative or scoring error in the processing or review 
of the application. The applicant, however, will not be permitted to 
submit any additional data or information related to the criteria used 
to evaluate the quality of the application that was not included in its 
original application.
    The Department does not expect the changes to the selection 
criteria for the McNair program to increase an applicant's paperwork 
burden. However, we estimate that approximately two percent of the 
applications received under each competition for McNair grants will 
score within the ``funding band.'' For each applicant in the ``funding 
band'' that requests a second review, we estimate an additional burden 
of two hours, which includes the time an applicant would need to review 
the peer reviewers' evaluations and, if applicable, the PE assessment 
and submit a written request for a second review. This will result in a 
total burden increase of 16 hours for the revised application, which 
will be reflected in a new OMB Control Number 1840-NEW6. A separate 30-
day Federal Register notice will be published to solicit public comment 
on the new application form for the next competition for new McNair 
grants currently scheduled for winter 2012.
Section 642.22 (Training)--How does the Secretary evaluate prior 
experience?
    The HEA does not establish specific outcome criteria for the 
Training program; the program outcome criteria for evaluating a 
grantee's PE are established in the regulations.
    Under the final regulations for the Training program, we will award 
PE points for each criterion by determining whether the grantee met or 
exceeded applicable project objectives. This determination will be 
based on the information the grantee submits in its APRs. The 
regulations amend the PE criteria the Secretary uses to award PE points 
as follows.
    For Training (Newly redesignated Sec.  642.20 and 642.22), we 
clarified the PE criteria and updated the regulations to reflect the 
maximum number of PE points a Training program grantee may earn. The 
maximum number of points changes from 8 points to 15 points.
    The burden hour estimate associated with this APR is reported under 
OMB Control Number 1894-0003, the Department's generic performance 
report Standard 524B form. The Department does not expect the changes 
reflected in this provision to increase burden.
Sections 643.22 and 643.32 (TS)--How does the Secretary evaluate prior 
experience? and New recordkeeping requirement.
    Section 402A(f) of the HEA, as amended by section 403(a)(5) of the 
HEOA, provides specific outcome criteria to be used to determine an 
entity's PE of high quality service delivery and for the purpose of 
reporting annually to Congress on the performance of the TS program. 
Prior to the enactment of the HEOA, the PE criteria were established 
only in the regulations.
    Under the final TS regulations, we will award PE points for each 
criterion by determining whether the grantee met or exceeded applicable 
project objectives. This determination will be based on the information 
the grantee submits in its APRs. The regulations amend the criteria the 
Secretary uses to award PE points.
    The final TS regulations amend the PE criteria to address statutory 
changes resulting from the HEOA. The new statutory outcome and PE 
criteria for TS require grantees to report on: (1) Secondary school 
persistence of participants; (2) secondary school graduation of 
participants with regular secondary school diploma; (3) secondary 
school graduation of participants in a rigorous secondary school 
program of study; (4) the postsecondary enrollment of participants; and 
(5) the postsecondary completion of participants.
    We also amended the recordkeeping requirements in Sec.  643.32(c) 
to require that a TS grantee, to the extent practicable, keep a record 
of any services its participants receive during the project year from 
another Federal TRIO program or other federally funded program serving 
similar populations.
    Currently one APR form is used for both the TS and EOC programs. 
Because of the changes to TS, the Department plans to develop a new APR 
for TS. The Department expects the reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements for TS to increase the reporting burden for this new data 
collection to 16 hours for each grantee. This will result in a total 
burden increase of 7,520 hours for the new APR, which will be reflected 
in a new OMB Control Number 1840-NEW7. A separate 60-day Federal 
Register notice followed by a 30-day Federal Register notice will be 
published to solicit public comment on the new APR form several months 
prior to its first use in fall 2012.

[[Page 65763]]

Sections 644.22 and 644.32 (EOC)--How does the Secretary evaluate prior 
experience? and New recordkeeping requirement.
    Section 402A(f) of the HEA, as amended by section 403(a)(5) of the 
HEOA, provides specific outcome criteria to be used to determine an 
entity's PE of high quality service delivery and for the purpose of 
reporting annually to Congress on the performance of the EOC program. 
Prior to the HEOA, the PE criteria were established only in the 
regulations.
    Under the final EOC regulations, we will award PE points for each 
criterion by determining whether the grantee met or exceeded applicable 
project objectives. This determination will be based on the information 
the grantee submits in its APRs. The final regulations amend the 
criteria the Secretary uses to award PE points.
    We also amended the recordkeeping requirements in Sec.  644.32(c) 
to require that an EOC grantee, to the extent practicable, keep a 
record of any services its participants receive during the project year 
from another Federal TRIO program or other federally funded program 
serving similar populations.
    The new statutory PE criteria are similar to the current regulatory 
PE criteria for the EOC program (see current Sec.  644.22); therefore, 
the Department does not expect the changes in Sec.  644.22 to increase 
the burden on an EOC grantee. However, the Department expects the new 
recordkeeping requirements for EOC to increase the reporting burden by 
2 hours per grantee (248 total hours). However, when a new TS APR is 
developed, the current TS/EOC form will not be used by TS grantees; 
therefore, we expect a burden decrease for this data collection of 
2,820 hours; therefore, the net reduction in burden hours will be 
2,572, which will be reflected in a new OMB Control Number 1840-NEW8.
    A separate 60-day Federal Register notice followed by a 30-day 
Federal Register notice will be published to solicit public comment on 
the new APR form several months prior to its first use in fall 2012.
Sections 645.32 and 645.43 (UB)--How does the Secretary evaluate prior 
experience? and New recordkeeping requirement.
    Section 402A(f) of the HEA, as amended by section 403(a)(5) of the 
HEOA, provides specific outcome criteria to be used to determine an 
entity's PE of high quality service delivery and for the purpose of 
reporting annually to Congress on the performance of the UB program. 
Prior to the enactment of the HEOA, the PE criteria were established 
only in the regulations.
    Under the final regulations for the UB program, we award PE points 
for each criterion by determining whether the grantee met or exceeded 
applicable project objectives. This determination will be based on the 
information the grantee submits in its APR. The final regulations amend 
the criteria the Secretary uses to award PE points.
    Revisions in the PE criteria are needed to address statutory 
changes resulting from the HEOA. The new statutory outcome PE criteria 
for UB require grantees to report on: (1) The academic performance of 
participants; (2) secondary school retention and graduation of 
participants; (3) completion by participants of a rigorous secondary 
school program of study; (4) the postsecondary enrollment of 
participants; and (5) the postsecondary completion of participants.
    We also amended the recordkeeping requirements in Sec.  645.43(c) 
to require that an UB grantee, to the extent practicable, keep a record 
of any services its participants receive during the project year from 
another Federal TRIO program or other federally funded program serving 
similar populations.
    The Department expects the new requirements that a grantee report 
on the completion of a rigorous secondary school program of study and 
postsecondary completion of participants and the new recordkeeping 
requirements to increase the reporting burden for this data collection 
by eight hours for each grantee. This will result in a total burden 
increase of 9,144 hours for the revised APR, which will be reflected in 
a new OMB Control Number 1840-NEW9.
    A separate 60-day Federal Register notice followed by a 30-day 
Federal Register notice will be published to solicit public comment on 
the new APR form several months prior to its first use in fall 2013.
Sections 646.22, 646.32 and 646.33 (SSS)--How does the Secretary 
evaluate prior experience? New recordkeeping requirement and Addition 
of the statutory matching requirements for grantees that use Federal 
SSS funds for Grant aid.
    Section 402A(f) of the HEA, as amended by section 403(a)(5) of the 
HEOA, provides specific outcome criteria to be used to determine an 
entity's prior experience of high quality service delivery and for the 
purpose of reporting annually to Congress on the performance of the SSS 
program. Prior to the HEOA, the PE criteria were established only in 
the regulations.
    Under the final regulations for the SSS program, we award PE points 
for each criterion by determining whether the grantee met or exceeded 
applicable project objectives. This determination will be based on the 
information the grantee submits in its APR. The final regulations amend 
the criteria the Secretary uses to award PE points.
    Revisions in the PE criteria are needed to address statutory 
changes resulting from the HEOA. The statutory outcome PE criteria for 
the SSS program requires grantees to report on baccalaureate degree 
competition for participants at four-year institutions and certificate 
and associate degree completion and transfers to four-year institutions 
for participants at two-year institutions. The Department expects that 
these requirements for tracking the academic progress of SSS 
participants through degree completion to increase the reporting burden 
by six hours for each grantee.
    We have amended the recordkeeping requirements in Sec.  646.32(c) 
to require that a SSS grantee, to the extent practicable, keep a record 
of any services its participants receive during the project year from 
another Federal TRIO program or other federally funded program serving 
similar populations. We estimated that this new recordkeeping 
requirement will increase the reporting burden by two hours per 
grantee.
    We also added new Sec.  646.33 to incorporate the statutory 
provisions that permit a grantee to use Federal grant funds to provide 
grant aid to students. Many grantees that use program funds for grant 
aid must provide a non-Federal match, in cash, of not less than 33 
percent of the Federal funds used for grant aid. A grant recipient that 
is an institution of higher education eligible to receive funds under 
part A or B of title III or title V of the HEA is not required to match 
the Federal funds used for grant aid. For those grantees that are 
required to provide matching funds for grant aid (estimated at 50 
percent of SSS grantees), we estimate that these regulations will 
increase the burden by two hours per grantee.
    The combined increase will result in a total burden increase of 
9,234 hours for the revised APR, which will be reflected in a new OMB 
Control Number 1840-NEW10. A separate 60-day Federal Register notice 
followed by a 30-day Federal Register notice will be published to 
solicit public comment on the new APR form several months prior to its 
first use in fall 2011.

[[Page 65764]]

Sections 647.22 and 647.32 (McNair)--How does the Secretary evaluate 
prior experience? and New recordkeeping requirement.
    Section 402A(f) of the HEA, as amended by section 403(a)(5) of the 
HEOA, provides specific outcome criteria for the McNair program to be 
used to determine an entity's PE of high quality service delivery and 
for the purpose of reporting annually to Congress on the performance of 
the McNair program. Prior to the HEOA, the PE criteria were established 
only in the regulations.
    Under the final regulations for the McNair program, we award PE 
points for each criterion by determining whether the grantee met or 
exceeded applicable project objectives. This determination will be 
based on the information the grantee submits in its APR. The 
regulations amend the criteria the Secretary uses to award PE points.
    The Department expects the new statutory requirements that include 
long-term tracking of the academic progress of McNair participants 
through completion of the doctoral degree will increase the reporting 
burden for this data collection by four hours per grantee. We have also 
amended the recordkeeping requirements in Sec.  647.32(c) to require 
that a McNair grantee, to the extent practicable, keep a record of any 
services its participants receive during the project year from another 
Federal TRIO program or other federally funded program serving similar 
populations. We estimated that this new recordkeeping requirement will 
increase the reporting burden by two hours per grantee.
    The combined increase will result in a total burden increase of 
1,200 hours for the revised APR, which will be reflected in a new OMB 
Control Number 1840-NEW11. A separate 60-day Federal Register notice 
followed by a 30-day Federal Register notice will be published to 
solicit public comment on the new APR form several months prior to its 
first use in either fall 2013.

Part 694--GEAR UP

Sections 694.7, 694.8 and 694.9--Matching Requirements for GEAR UP 
grants
    The final regulations provide that an applicant for GEAR UP funding 
must state in its application the percentage of the cost of the GEAR UP 
project that the applicant will provide from non-Federal funds. The 
final regulations also provide that the Secretary may waive a portion 
of the matching requirement in response to a grantee's written request 
for a waiver of the match. The final regulations further provide the 
conditions that must be met for the Secretary to approve a request to 
waive a portion of the matching requirement and that if the Secretary 
grants a tentative waiver to a new grantee for the full project period 
because of a pre-existing or ongoing economic hardship, the recipient 
will need to submit documentation every two years to demonstrate that 
conditions have not changed.
    The final regulations will provide that an applicant for GEAR UP 
funding must state in its application the percentage of the cost of the 
GEAR UP project that the application will provide from non-Federal 
funds. We estimate that this requirement will increase burden by 12.5 
hours for each GEAR UP applicant in OMB Control Number 1840-New12, for 
a total burden increase of 6,250 hours, based on 500 applicants. A 
separate 30-day Federal Register notice will be published to solicit 
public comment on the revised application form prior to its usage, 
currently estimated to be spring 2011.
    The final regulations also will provide that the Secretary may 
waive a portion of the matching requirement in response to a written 
request for a waiver of the match. This written request can be included 
in the application or submitted separately. If granted a waiver of the 
matching requirement, GEAR UP grantees will spend significantly less 
time collecting and documenting matching funds. We estimate that the 
final changes will decrease burden by 500 hours for each GEAR UP 
grantee in OMB Control Number 1840-NEW13, resulting in a total burden 
decrease of 7,860 hours, and likewise in OMB Control Number 1840-NEW14, 
resulting in a total burden decrease of 5,625. A separate 60-day 
Federal Register notice followed by a 30-day Federal Register notice 
will be published to solicit public comment on the revised APR and FPR 
forms prior to their usage, currently estimated to be spring 2012.
Section 694.16(c)--Scholarship Reporting Requirements
    The final regulations require grantees whose initial GEAR UP grant 
awards were made on or after August 14, 2008 and grantees whose initial 
GEAR UP grant awards were made prior to August 14, 2008, but who, 
pursuant to Sec.  694.12(b)(2), elect to make scholarships pursuant to 
the HEOA requirements, to furnish information as the Secretary may 
require on the amount of any Federal and non-Federal funds reserved and 
held for GEAR UP scholarships and the disbursement of these scholarship 
funds. Reporting will be required until these funds are fully expended 
or, if Federal funds, returned to the Secretary.
    We estimate that these final changes will increase burden by 400 
hours for each GEAR UP grantee in OMB Control Number 1840-NEW13, 
resulting in a total burden increase of 8,760, and by 800 hours for 
each grantee in OMB Control Number 1840-NEW14, resulting in a total 
burden increase of 6,925. A separate 60-day Federal Register notice 
followed by a 30-day Federal Register notice will be published to 
solicit public comment on the revised APR and FPR forms prior to their 
usage, currently estimated to be spring 2012.
Section 694.19--What priorities does the Secretary establish for a GEAR 
UP grant?
    The final regulations will provide that the Secretary awards 
competitive preference priority points to an eligible applicant for a 
State grant that has carried out a successful State GEAR UP grant prior 
to August 14, 2008 and has a prior, demonstrated commitment to early 
intervention leading to college access through collaboration and 
replication of successful strategies.
    Applicants will respond to these priorities as part of their 
applications in OMB Control Number 1840-NEW12, which will increase 
total burden by 6,250 hours. A separate 30-day Federal Register notice 
will be published to solicit public comment on the revised application 
form prior to its usage, currently estimated to be spring 2011.
Section 694.20--When may a GEAR UP grantee provide services to students 
attending an institution of higher education?
    Under the final regulations, GEAR UP applicants will be permitted 
to request in their applications a seventh year of funding so that the 
State or Partnership may continue to provide services to students 
through their first year of attendance at an institution of higher 
education.
    We estimate that the final changes will increase burden by 300 
hours in OMB Control Number 1840-NEW12 for each GEAR UP applicant for a 
total burden increase of 150,000 hours. A separate 30-day Federal 
Register notice will be published to solicit public comment on the 
revised application form prior to its usage, currently estimated to be 
spring 2011.
    Consistent with this discussion, the following chart describes the 
sections of the final regulations involving information collections, 
the information being collected, and the collections that the 
Department will submit to OMB for

[[Page 65765]]

approval and public comment under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Collection OMB
     Regulation section        Information section     control number
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sections 642.21 and 642.25    The final             1840-NEW1 (Training
 (Training).                   regulations amend     This is a new
                               the selection         collection. The
                               criteria the          final regulations
                               Secretary uses to     will affect
                               evaluate an           applicant burden in
                               application for a     two ways. First,
                               Training grant. The   the elimination of
                               final regulations     the Need selection
                               add a new section     criterion reduces
                               that establishes      the amount of
                               processes and         information an
                               procedures for a      applicant must
                               review of             include in its
                               unsuccessful          application,
                               applications.         resulting in an
                                                     estimated burden
                                                     reduction of 240
                                                     hours.
                                                    Additionally, the
                                                     final regulatory
                                                     processes and
                                                     procedures for a
                                                     second review of
                                                     unsuccessful
                                                     applications will
                                                     lead to an
                                                     estimated burden
                                                     increase of 12
                                                     hours (or, an
                                                     estimated two
                                                     burden hour
                                                     increase for each
                                                     of the estimated
                                                     six applicants that
                                                     will fall within an
                                                     estimated 10
                                                     percent funding
                                                     band under the
                                                     second review
                                                     process).
                                                    In total, there will
                                                     be an estimated
                                                     decrease in burden
                                                     of 228 hours.
Sections 643.21 and 643.24    The final             1840-NEW2 (TS) This
 (TS).                         regulations amend     will be a new
                               the selection         collection. The
                               criteria the          Department has
                               Secretary uses to     already solicited
                               evaluate an           public comments in
                               application for a     a separate 30-day
                               TS grant. The final   Federal Register
                               regulations also      notice that was
                               add a new section     published August 5,
                               that establishes      2010 on the new
                               processes and         application process
                               procedures for a      that will be used
                               review of             for the FY 2011
                               unsuccessful          competition for new
                               applications.         TS grants; the
                                                     estimated deadline
                                                     date for receiving
                                                     applications is
                                                     December 2010. The
                                                     Department does not
                                                     expect that changes
                                                     to the selection
                                                     criteria will
                                                     change an
                                                     applicant's
                                                     paperwork burden.
                                                     The final
                                                     regulatory
                                                     processes and
                                                     procedures for a
                                                     second review of
                                                     unsuccessful
                                                     applications will
                                                     lead to an
                                                     estimated burden
                                                     increase of 60
                                                     hours (or, an
                                                     estimated two
                                                     burden hour
                                                     increase for each
                                                     of the estimated 30
                                                     applicants that
                                                     will fall within an
                                                     estimated two
                                                     percent funding
                                                     band under the
                                                     second review
                                                     process).
                                                    In total, there will
                                                     be an estimated
                                                     burden increase of
                                                     60 hours.
Sections 644.21 and 644.24    The final             1840-NEW3 (EOC) This
 (EOC).                        regulations amend     will be a new
                               the selection         collection. A
                               criteria the          separate 30-day
                               Secretary uses to     Federal Register
                               evaluate an           notice will be
                               application for an    published to
                               EOC grant. The        solicit comments on
                               final regulations     this form prior to
                               add a new section     the next
                               that establishes      competition for new
                               processes and         grants scheduled
                               procedures for a      for winter 2011.
                               review of
                               unsuccessful
                               applications.
                                                    The Department does
                                                     not expect that the
                                                     final amendments to
                                                     the selection
                                                     criteria will
                                                     change an
                                                     applicant's
                                                     paperwork burden.
                                                     The final
                                                     regulatory
                                                     processes and
                                                     procedures for a
                                                     second review of
                                                     unsuccessful
                                                     applications will
                                                     lead to an
                                                     estimated burden
                                                     increase of 20
                                                     hours (or, an
                                                     estimated two
                                                     burden hour
                                                     increase for each
                                                     of the estimated 10
                                                     applicants that
                                                     will fall within an
                                                     estimated two
                                                     percent funding
                                                     band under the
                                                     second review
                                                     process).
                                                    In total, there will
                                                     be an estimated
                                                     burden increase of
                                                     20 hours.
Sections 645.31 and 645.35    The final             1840-NEW4 (UB) This
 (UB).                         regulations amend     will be a new
                               the selection         collection. A
                               criteria the          separate 30-day
                               Secretary uses to     Federal Register
                               evaluate an           notice will be
                               application for a     published to
                               UB grant. The final   solicit comments on
                               regulations also      this form prior to
                               add a new section     the next
                               that establishes      competition for new
                               processes and         grants scheduled
                               procedures for a      for fall 2011.
                               review of
                               unsuccessful
                               applications.
                                                    The Department does
                                                     not expect that
                                                     final amendments to
                                                     the selection
                                                     criteria will
                                                     change an
                                                     applicant's
                                                     paperwork burden.
                                                     The final
                                                     regulatory
                                                     processes and
                                                     procedures for a
                                                     second review of
                                                     unsuccessful
                                                     applications will
                                                     lead to an
                                                     estimated burden
                                                     increase of 80
                                                     hours (or, an
                                                     estimated two
                                                     burden hour
                                                     increase for each
                                                     of the estimated 40
                                                     applicants that
                                                     will fall within an
                                                     estimated two
                                                     percent funding
                                                     band under the
                                                     second review
                                                     process).
                                                    In total, there will
                                                     be an estimated
                                                     burden increase of
                                                     80 hours.
Sections 646.11; 646.21 and   The final             1840-NEW5 (SSS) This
 646.24 (SSS).                 regulations amend     will be a new
                               the selection         collection. A
                               criteria the          separate 30-day
                               Secretary uses to     Federal Register
                               evaluate an           notice will be
                               application for a     published to
                               SSS grant and amend   solicit comments on
                               the assurance and     this form prior to
                               other information     the next
                               an applicant must     competition for new
                               include in its        grants scheduled
                               application. The      for fall 2014.
                               final regulations
                               also add a new
                               section that
                               establishes
                               processes and
                               procedures for a
                               review of
                               unsuccessful
                               applications.

[[Page 65766]]


                                                    The Department does
                                                     not expect that
                                                     amendments to the
                                                     selection criteria
                                                     or the assurance
                                                     that an applicant
                                                     must describe in
                                                     its application
                                                     regarding its
                                                     efforts to provide
                                                     participants with
                                                     sufficient
                                                     financial
                                                     assistance will
                                                     change an
                                                     applicant's
                                                     paperwork burden.
                                                     The final
                                                     regulatory
                                                     processes and
                                                     procedures for a
                                                     second review of
                                                     unsuccessful
                                                     applications will
                                                     lead to an
                                                     estimated burden
                                                     increase of 66
                                                     hours (or, an
                                                     estimated two
                                                     burden hour
                                                     increase for each
                                                     of the estimated 33
                                                     applicants that
                                                     will fall within an
                                                     estimated two
                                                     percent funding
                                                     band under the
                                                     second review
                                                     process).
                                                    In total, there will
                                                     be an estimated
                                                     burden increase of
                                                     66 hours.
Sections 647.21 and 647.24    The final             1840-NEW6 (McNair)
 (Mc Nair).                    regulations amend     This will be a new
                               the selection         collection. A
                               criteria the          separate 30-day
                               Secretary uses to     Federal Register
                               evaluate an           notice will be
                               application for a     published to
                               McNair grant. The     solicit comments on
                               regulations also      this form prior to
                               add a new section     the next
                               that establishes      competition for new
                               processes and         grants scheduled
                               procedures for a      for winter 2012.
                               review of             The Department does
                               unsuccessful          not expect that
                               applications.         amendments to the
                                                     selection criteria
                                                     will change an
                                                     applicant's
                                                     paperwork burden.
                                                     The final
                                                     regulatory
                                                     processes and
                                                     procedures for a
                                                     second review of
                                                     unsuccessful
                                                     applications will
                                                     lead to an
                                                     estimated burden
                                                     increase of 16
                                                     hours (or, an
                                                     estimated two
                                                     burden hour
                                                     increase for each
                                                     of the estimated
                                                     eight applicants
                                                     that will fall
                                                     within an estimated
                                                     two percent funding
                                                     band under the
                                                     second review
                                                     process).
                                                    In total, there will
                                                     be an estimated
                                                     burden increase of
                                                     16 hours.
Section 642.22 (Training)...  The final             1894-0003 (Training)
                               regulations amend     The Department will
                               the PE criteria the   continue to use the
                               Secretary uses to     Department's
                               award PE points.      generic performance
                               Under the final       report for the
                               regulations, we       Training program.
                               award PE points for   The final changes
                               each criterion by     reflected in this
                               determining whether   provision are
                               the grantee met or    editorial in
                               exceeded applicable   nature. There will
                               project objectives.   be no increase in
                               This determination    estimated burden
                               will be based on      hours.
                               the information the
                               grantee submits in
                               its annual
                               performance report.
Sections 643.22 (TS) and      The final             1840-NEW7 (TS) This
 643.32.                       regulations amend     will be a new
                               the PE criteria the   collection. A
                               Secretary uses to     separate 60-day
                               award PE points.      Federal Register
                               Under the final       notice will be
                               regulations we        published to
                               award PE points for   solicit comments on
                               each criterion by     this form following
                               determining whether   the next
                               the grantee met or    competition for new
                               exceeded applicable   TS grants. The
                               project objectives.   revised APR is
                               This determination    needed for fall
                               will be based on      2012 data
                               the information the   collection. The
                               grantee submits in    final regulations
                               its annual            will increase
                               performance report.   grantee data
                                                     collection and
                                                     reporting
                                                     requirements in two
                                                     ways. First, the
                                                     final regulatory
                                                     amendments to the
                                                     PE criteria, which
                                                     address statutory
                                                     changes that expand
                                                     outcome and PE
                                                     criteria for TS
                                                     grantees to include
                                                     such measures as
                                                     the postsecondary
                                                     completion of
                                                     participants, are
                                                     expected to
                                                     increase grantees'
                                                     reporting burden.
                              The final             Additionally, the
                               regulations also      final regulatory
                               amend the             amendments to
                               recordkeeping         recordkeeping
                               requirements for TS   requirements will
                                                     require that a TS
                                                     grantee document
                                                     the services a
                                                     student, who is
                                                     served by more than
                                                     one TRIO or other
                                                     federally funded
                                                     program, is
                                                     receiving from
                                                     another program
                                                     during the project
                                                     year. This is a new
                                                     data collection
                                                     that also will
                                                     increase grantees'
                                                     burden hours. The
                                                     Department expects
                                                     these two changes
                                                     to result in an
                                                     increase of 16
                                                     burden hours per
                                                     grantee.
                                                    In total, for 470
                                                     grantees, there
                                                     will be an
                                                     estimated burden
                                                     increase of 7,520
                                                     hours.
Sections 644.22 and 644.32    The final             1840-NEW8 (EOC) This
 (EOC).                        regulations amend     will be a new
                               the PE criteria the   collection. A
                               Secretary uses to     separate 60-day
                               award PE points.      Federal Register
                               Under the final       notice will be
                               regulations we        published to
                               award PE points for   solicit comments on
                               each criterion by     this form following
                               determining whether   the next
                               the grantee met or    competition for new
                               exceeded applicable   EOC grants.The
                               project objectives.   revised APR is
                               This determination    needed for fall
                               will be based on      2012 data
                               the information the   collection.
                               grantee submits in
                               its annual
                               performance report.
                              The final             Because the new
                               regulations also      statutory PE
                               amend the             criteria are
                               recordkeeping         similar to the
                               requirements for      current regulatory
                               EOC.                  PE criteria, the
                                                     Department does not
                                                     expect the changes
                                                     to affect the
                                                     burden on EOC
                                                     grantees.

[[Page 65767]]


                                                    However, the final
                                                     regulatory
                                                     amendments to the
                                                     recordkeeping
                                                     requirements will
                                                     require that an EOC
                                                     grantee document
                                                     the services a
                                                     student, who is
                                                     served by more than
                                                     one TRIO or other
                                                     federally funded
                                                     program, is
                                                     receiving from
                                                     another program
                                                     during the project
                                                     year. This is a new
                                                     data collection
                                                     that will increase
                                                     grantee's burden
                                                     hours by two hours
                                                     per grantee (248
                                                     total hours for 124
                                                     grantees).
                                                    However, when a new
                                                     TS APR is
                                                     developed, the
                                                     current TS/EOC form
                                                     will not be used by
                                                     TS grantees;
                                                     therefore, we
                                                     expect a burden
                                                     decrease for this
                                                     data collection of
                                                     2,820 hours; the
                                                     net reduction in
                                                     burden hours will
                                                     be 2,572, which
                                                     will be reflected
                                                     in a new OMB
                                                     Control Number 1840-
                                                     NEW8.
Sections 645.32 and 645.43    The final             1840-NEW9 (UB) This
 (UB).                         regulations amend     will be a new
                               the PE criteria the   collection. A
                               Secretary uses to     separate 60-day
                               award PE points.      Federal Register
                               Under the final       notice will be
                               regulations we        published to
                               award PE points for   solicit comments on
                               each criterion by     this form following
                               determining whether   the next
                               the grantee met or    competition for new
                               exceeded applicable   UB grants.The
                               project objectives.   revised APR is
                               This determination    needed for fall
                               will be based on      2013 data
                               the information the   collection.
                               grantee submits in
                               its annual
                               performance report.
                              The final             The final regulatory
                               regulations also      amendments to the
                               amend the             PE criteria, which
                               recordkeeping         address statutory
                               requirements for UB.  changes that expand
                                                     outcome and PE
                                                     criteria for UB
                                                     grantees to include
                                                     such measures as
                                                     the postsecondary
                                                     completion of
                                                     participants, are
                                                     expected to

                                                     increase grantees'
                                                     reporting burden.
                                                     The Department
                                                     expects changes to
                                                     result in an
                                                     increase of six
                                                     burden hours per
                                                     grantee.
                                                    The final regulatory
                                                     amendments to
                                                     recordkeeping
                                                     requirements will
                                                     require that a UB
                                                     grantee document
                                                     the services a
                                                     student, who is
                                                     served by more than
                                                     one TRIO or other
                                                     federally funded
                                                     program, is
                                                     receiving from
                                                     another program
                                                     during the project
                                                     year. This is a new
                                                     data collection
                                                     that also will
                                                     increase a
                                                     grantee's burden by
                                                     an estimated two
                                                     hours.
                                                    In total, there will
                                                     be an estimated
                                                     burden increase of
                                                     eight hours per
                                                     grantee for a total
                                                     increase of 9,144
                                                     hours for 1,143
                                                     grantees.
Sections 646.22, 646.32 and   The final             1840-NEW10 (SSS)
 646.33 (SSS).                 regulations amend     This will be a new
                               the PE criteria the   collection. A
                               Secretary uses to     separate 60-day
                               award PE points.      Federal Register
                               Under the final       notice will be
                               regulations we        published to
                               award PE points for   solicit comments on
                               each criterion by     this form following
                               determining whether   the next
                               the grantee met or    competition for new
                               exceeded applicable   SSS grants. The
                               project objectives.   revised APR is
                               This determination    needed for fall
                               will be based on      2011 data
                               the information the   collection. The
                               grantee submits in    final regulations
                               its annual            will increase
                               performance report.   grantee data
                                                     collection and
                                                     reporting
                                                     requirements in
                                                     three ways.
                              The final             First, the
                               regulations amend     regulatory
                               the recordkeeping     amendments to the
                               requirements for      PE criteria, which
                               SSS and also add a    address statutory
                               new section on        requirements for
                               matching              tracking the
                               requirements for      academic progress
                               SSS.                  of SSS participants
                                                     through degree
                                                     completion, will
                                                     increase the
                                                     reporting burden by
                                                     six hours for each
                                                     grantee.
                                                    Second, the final
                                                     regulatory
                                                     amendments to
                                                     recordkeeping
                                                     requirements will
                                                     require that a SSS
                                                     grantee document
                                                     the services a
                                                     student, who is
                                                     served by more than
                                                     one TRIO or other
                                                     federally funded
                                                     program, is
                                                     receiving from
                                                     another program
                                                     during the project
                                                     year. This is a new
                                                     data collection
                                                     that also will
                                                     increase a
                                                     grantee's burden by
                                                     an estimated two
                                                     hours.
                                                    Additionally, for
                                                     those grantees that
                                                     are required to
                                                     provide matching
                                                     funds for grant aid
                                                     (estimated at 50
                                                     percent of SSS
                                                     grantees), the
                                                     final regulations
                                                     will increase
                                                     burden by an
                                                     estimated two hours
                                                     per grantee.
                                                    In total, there will
                                                     be an estimated
                                                     burden increase of
                                                     9,234 hours for
                                                     1,026 grantees.
Sections 647.22 and 647.32    The final             1840-NEW11 (McNair)
 (Mc Nair).                    regulations amend     This will be a new
                               the PE criteria the   collection. A
                               Secretary uses to     separate 60-day
                               award PE points.      Federal Register
                               Under the final       notice will be
                               regulations we        published to
                               award PE points for   solicit comments on
                               each criterion by     this form following
                               determining whether   the next
                               the grantee met or    competition for new
                               exceeded applicable   McNair grants. The
                               project objectives.   revised APR is
                               This determination    needed for fall
                               will be based on      2013 data
                               the information the   collection. The
                               grantee submits in    regulatory
                               its annual            amendments to the
                               performance report.   PE criteria, which
                                                     address statutory
                                                     requirements for
                                                     long-term tracking
                                                     of the academic
                                                     progress of McNair
                                                     participants
                                                     through completion
                                                     of the doctoral
                                                     degree, will
                                                     increase the
                                                     reporting burden by
                                                     four hours for each
                                                     grantee.

[[Page 65768]]


                                                    Further, the final
                                                     regulatory
                                                     amendments to
                                                     recordkeeping
                                                     requirements will
                                                     require that a
                                                     McNair grantee
                                                     document the
                                                     services a student,
                                                     who is served by
                                                     more than one TRIO
                                                     or other federally
                                                     funded program, is
                                                     receiving from
                                                     another program
                                                     during the project
                                                     year. This is a new
                                                     data collection
                                                     that also will
                                                     increase a
                                                     grantee's burden by
                                                     an estimated two
                                                     hours.
                                                    In total, there will
                                                     be an estimated
                                                     burden increase of
                                                     six hours per
                                                     grantee for a total
                                                     of 1,200 hours for
                                                     200 grantees.
694.7, 694.8, and 694.9 GEAR  The final             1840-NEW12 This will
 UP.                           regulations will      be a new
                               provide that an       collection. A
                               applicant for GEAR    separate 30-day
                               UP funding must       Federal Register
                               state in its          notice will be
                               application the       published to
                               percentage of the     solicit comments on
                               cost of the GEAR UP   this form prior to
                               project that the      the next
                               application will      competition for new
                               provide from non-     grants scheduled
                               Federal funds.        for spring 2011.
                              The final             In total, there will
                               regulations also      be an estimated
                               will provide that     burden increase of
                               the Secretary may     12.5 hours per
                               waive a portion of    applicant for an
                               the matching          estimated 500
                               requirement in        applicants. There
                               response to a         will be an
                               written request for   estimated burden
                               a waiver of the       increase of 6,250
                               match. This written   hours.
                               request can be
                               included in the
                               application or
                               submitted
                               separately.
                              The final             1840-NEW13 This will
                               regulations will      be a new
                               also provide the      collection. A
                               conditions that       separate 60-day
                               must be met for the   Federal Register
                               Secretary to          notice will be
                               approve a request     published to
                               to waive a portion    solicit comments on
                               of the matching       this form following
                               requirement.          the next
                                                     competition for new
                                                     GEAR UP grants. If
                                                     granted a waiver of
                                                     the matching
                                                     requirement, GEAR
                                                     UP grantees will
                                                     spend significantly
                                                     less time
                                                     collecting and
                                                     documenting
                                                     matching funds. In
                                                     total, there will
                                                     be an estimated
                                                     burden decrease of
                                                     46.5 hours per
                                                     grantee for an
                                                     estimated 169
                                                     grantees. There
                                                     will be an
                                                     estimated burden
                                                     decrease of 7,860
                                                     hours.
                                                    1840-NEW14 This will
                                                     be a new
                                                     collection. A
                                                     separate 60-day
                                                     Federal Register
                                                     notice will be
                                                     published to
                                                     solicit comments on
                                                     this form following
                                                     the next
                                                     competition for new
                                                     GEAR UP grants.
                                                    The final
                                                     regulations provide
                                                     that an applicant
                                                     for GEAR UP funding
                                                     must state in its
                                                     application the
                                                     percentage of the
                                                     cost of the GEAR UP
                                                     project that the
                                                     applicant will
                                                     provide from non-
                                                     Federal funds. The
                                                     final regulations
                                                     also provide that
                                                     the Secretary may
                                                     waive a portion of
                                                     the matching
                                                     requirement in
                                                     response to a
                                                     grantee's written
                                                     request for a
                                                     waiver of the
                                                     match. The final
                                                     regulations further
                                                     provide the
                                                     conditions that
                                                     must be met for the
                                                     Secretary to
                                                     approve a request
                                                     to waive a portion
                                                     of the matching
                                                     requirement and
                                                     that if the
                                                     Secretary grants a
                                                     tentative waiver to
                                                     a new grantee for
                                                     the full project
                                                     period because of a
                                                     pre-existing or
                                                     ongoing economic
                                                     hardship, the
                                                     recipient will need
                                                     to submit
                                                     documentation every
                                                     two years to
                                                     demonstrate that
                                                     conditions have not
                                                     changed. In total,
                                                     there will be an
                                                     estimated burden
                                                     decrease of 56.25
                                                     per grantee for an
                                                     estimated 100
                                                     grantees.There will
                                                     be an estimated
                                                     burden decrease of
                                                     5,625 hours.
694.16......................  The final             1840-NEW13 This will
                               regulations will      be a new
                               require grantees      collection. A
                               whose initial GEAR    separate 60-day
                               UP grant awards       Federal Register
                               were made on or       notice will be
                               after August 14,      published to
                               2008 and grantees     solicit comments on
                               whose initial GEAR    this form following
                               UP grant awards       the next
                               were made prior to    competition for new
                               August 14, 2008 but   GEAR UP grants. In
                               who, pursuant to      total, there will
                               Sec.                  be an estimated
                               694.12(b)(2), elect   burden increase of
                               to use the Sec.       87.6 hours per
                               694.14 requirements   grantee for an
                               (rather than the      estimated 100
                               Sec.   694.13         grantees. There
                               requirements) to      will be an
                               furnish information   estimated burden
                               on the amount of      increase of 8,760
                               any Federal and non-  hours.
                               Federal funds
                               reserved and held
                               for GEAR UP
                               scholarships and
                               the disbursement of
                               these scholarship
                               funds until these
                               funds are fully
                               expended or
                               returned to the
                               Secretary.
                                                    1840-NEW14 This will
                                                     be a new
                                                     collection. A
                                                     separate 60-day
                                                     Federal Register
                                                     notice will be
                                                     published to
                                                     solicit comments on
                                                     this form following
                                                     the next
                                                     competition for new
                                                     GEAR grants. There
                                                     will be an
                                                     estimated burden
                                                     increase of 6,925
                                                     hours.

[[Page 65769]]


                                                    The final
                                                     regulations require
                                                     grantees whose
                                                     initial GEAR UP
                                                     grant awards were
                                                     made on or after
                                                     August 14, 2008 and
                                                     grantees whose
                                                     initial GEAR UP
                                                     grant awards were
                                                     made prior to
                                                     August 14, 2008, to
                                                     provide information
                                                     as the Secretary
                                                     may require on the
                                                     amount of any
                                                     Federal and non-
                                                     Federal funds
                                                     reserved and held
                                                     for GEAR UP
                                                     scholarships and
                                                     the disbursement of
                                                     these scholarship
                                                     funds. Reporting
                                                     will be required
                                                     until these funds
                                                     are fully expended
                                                     or, if Federal
                                                     funds, returned to
                                                     the Secretary.
694.19......................  The final             1840-NEW12 This will
                               regulations provide   be a new
                               that the Secretary    collection. A
                               awards competitive    separate 30-day
                               preference priority   Federal Register
                               points to an          notice will be
                               eligible applicant    published to
                               for a State grant     solicit comments on
                               that has carried      this form prior to
                               out a successful      the next
                               State GEAR UP grant   competition for new
                               prior to August 14,   grants scheduled
                               2008 and has a        for spring 2011. In
                               prior, demonstrated   total, there will
                               commitment to early   be an estimated
                               intervention,         burden increase of
                               leading to college    5 hours per
                               access through        applicant for an
                               collaboration and     estimated 43
                               replication of        applicants. There
                               successful            will be an
                               strategies.           estimated burden
                                                     increase of 215
                                                     hours.
                                                    The final
                                                     regulations will
                                                     provide that the
                                                     Secretary awards
                                                     competitive
                                                     preference priority
                                                     points to an
                                                     eligible applicant
                                                     for a State grant
                                                     that has carried
                                                     out a successful
                                                     State GEAR UP grant
                                                     prior to August 14,
                                                     2008 and has a
                                                     prior, demonstrated
                                                     commitment to early
                                                     intervention
                                                     leading to college
                                                     access through
                                                     collaboration and
                                                     replication of
                                                     successful
                                                     strategies.
694.20......................  The final             1840-NEW12 This will
                               regulations permit    be a new
                               GEAR UP applicants    collection. A
                               to request in their   separate 30-day
                               applications a        Federal Register
                               seventh year of       notice will be
                               funding so that the   published to
                               State or              solicit comments on
                               Partnership may       this form prior to
                               continue to provide   the next
                               services to           competition for new
                               students through      grants scheduled
                               their first year of   for spring 2011. In
                               attendance at an      total, there will
                               institution of        be an estimated
                               higher education.     burden increase of
                                                     300 hours for each
                                                     applicant for an
                                                     estimated 500
                                                     applicants. There
                                                     will be an
                                                     estimated burden
                                                     increase of 150,000
                                                     hours.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to the requirements of Executive Order 
12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. The objective of the 
Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a 
strengthened federalism by relying on processes developed by State and 
local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal 
financial assistance.
    In accordance with the order, we intend this document to provide 
early notification of the Department's specific plans and actions for 
these programs.

Assessment of Educational Impact

    In accordance with section 411 of the General Education Provisions 
Act, 20 U.S.C. 1221e-4, and based on our own review, we have determined 
that these final regulations do not require transmission of information 
that any other agency or authority of the United States gathers or 
makes available.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You can view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents 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.

    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.


(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers HEP/CAMP: 84.141A, 
84.149A; TRIO: 84.042A, 84.044A, 84.047A, 84.047M, 84.047V, 84.066A, 
84.103A, 84.217A; GEAR UP: 84.334A, 84.334S.)

List of Subjects in 34 CFR Parts 206, 642, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647, 
and 694

    Colleges and universities, Disadvantaged students, Educational 
programs, Discretionary grants, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Training.

    Dated: September 23, 2010.
Arne Duncan,
Secretary of Education.

0
For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Secretary amends parts 
206, 642, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647, and 694 of title 34 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 206--SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS WHOSE FAMILIES 
ARE ENGAGED IN MIGRANT AND OTHER SEASONAL FARMWORK--HIGH SCHOOL 
EQUIVALENCY PROGRAM AND COLLEGE ASSISTANCE MIGRANT PROGRAM

0
1. The authority citation for part 206 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  20 U.S.C. 1070d-2, unless otherwise noted.


0
2. Section 206.3 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (a)(1), removing the word ``parent'' and adding, in its 
place, the words ``immediate family member''.
0
B. Revising paragraph (a)(2).
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  206.3  Who is eligible to participate in a project?

    (a) * * *
    (2) The person must have participated (with respect to HEP within 
the last 24 months), or be eligible to participate, in programs under 
34 CFR part 200, subpart C (Title I--Migrant Education Program) or 20 
CFR part 633 (Employment and Training Administration, Department of 
Labor--Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Programs).
* * * * *

[[Page 65770]]


0
3. Section 206.4 is amended by:
0
A. Redesignating paragraphs (a)(6) and (a)(7) as paragraphs (a)(7) and 
(a)(8), respectively.
0
B. Adding a new paragraph (a)(6).
0
C. Adding new paragraphs (a)(9) through (a)(11).
    The additions read as follows:


Sec.  206.4  What regulations apply to these programs?

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (6) 34 CFR part 84 (Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-Free 
Workplace (Financial Assistance)).
* * * * *
    (9) 34 CFR part 97 (Protection of Human Subjects).
    (10) 34 CFR part 98 (Student Rights in Research, Experimental 
Programs, and Testing).
    (11) 34 CFR part 99 (Family Educational Rights and Privacy).
* * * * *

0
4. Section 206.5 is amended by:
0
A. Redesignating paragraphs (c)(5), (c)(6), and (c)(7) as paragraphs 
(c)(6), (c)(7), and (c)(8), respectively.
0
B. Adding a new paragraph (c)(5).
0
C. In newly redesignated paragraph (c)(7), removing the citation 
``(c)(7)'' and adding, in its place, the citation ``(c)(8)''.
0
D. Revising newly redesignated paragraph (c)(8).
0
E. In paragraph (d)--
0
1. Removing the citation ``34 CFR 201.3'' and adding, in its place, the 
citation ``34 CFR 200.81''; and
0
2. Removing the words ``Chapter 1'' and adding, in their place, the 
words ``Title I''.
    The addition and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  206.5  What definitions apply to these programs?

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (5) Immediate family member means one or more of the following:
    (i) A spouse.
    (ii) A parent, step-parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, or 
anyone with guardianship.
    (iii) Any person who--
    (A) Claims the individual as a dependent on a Federal income tax 
return for either of the previous two years, or
    (B) Resides in the same household as the individual, supports that 
individual financially, and is a relative of that individual.
* * * * *
    (8) Seasonal farmworker means a person whose primary employment was 
in farmwork on a temporary or seasonal basis (that is, not a constant 
year-round activity) for a period of at least 75 days within the past 
24 months.
* * * * *

0
5. Section 206.10 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (b)(1)(iii)(B), adding the words ``(including 
preparation for college entrance examinations)'' after the word 
``program''.
0
B. In paragraph (b)(1)(v), removing the words ``Weekly stipends'' and 
adding, in their place, the word ``Stipends''.
0
C. In paragraph (b)(1)(viii), adding the words ``(such as 
transportation and child care)'' after the word ``services''.
0
D. In paragraph (b)(1), adding a new paragraph (ix).
0
E. In paragraph (b)(2)(ii) introductory text, adding the words ``to 
improve placement, persistence, and retention in postsecondary 
education'' after the word ``services''.
0
F. In paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(A), by--
0
1. Removing the word ``and''; and
0
2. Adding the words ``economic education, or personal finance'' before 
the word ``counseling''.
0
G. In paragraph (b)(2)(iv), removing the word ``student'' and adding, 
in its place, the word ``students''.
0
H. Redesignating paragraph (b)(2)(vi) as paragraph (b)(2)(vii).
0
I. Adding a new paragraph (b)(2)(vi).
0
J. In newly redesignated paragraph (b)(2)(vii), removing the words 
``support services'', and adding, in their place, the words ``essential 
supportive services (such as transportation and child care),''.
    The additions read as follows:


Sec.  206.10  What types of services may be provided?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ix) Other activities to improve persistence and retention in 
postsecondary education.
    (2)* * *
    (vi) Internships.
* * * * *

0
6. Section 206.11 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (b)(1), removing the word ``and'' after the 
punctuation``;''.
0
B. In paragraph (b)(2), removing the punctuation ``.'' after the word 
``aid'' and adding, in its place, the words ``, and coordinating those 
services, assistance, and aid with other non-program services, 
assistance, and aid, including services, assistance, and aid provided 
by community-based organizations, which may include mentoring and 
guidance; and''.
0
C. Adding a new paragraph (b)(3).
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  206.11  What types of CAMP services must be provided?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) For students attending two-year institutions of higher 
education, encouraging the students to transfer to four-year 
institutions of higher education, where appropriate, and monitoring the 
rate of transfer of those students.
* * * * *


Sec.  206.20  [Amended]

0
7. Section 206.20(b)(2) is amended by removing the amount ``$150,000'' 
and adding, in its place, the amount ``$180,000''.
0
8. Section 206.31 is added to subpart D of part 206 to read as follows:


Sec.  206.31  How does the Secretary evaluate points for prior 
experience for HEP and CAMP service delivery?

    (a) In the case of an applicant for a HEP award, the Secretary 
considers the applicant's experience in implementing an expiring HEP 
project with respect to--
    (1) Whether the applicant served the number of participants 
described in its approved application;
    (2) The extent to which the applicant met or exceeded its funded 
objectives with regard to project participants, including the targeted 
number and percentage of--
    (i) Participants who received a general educational development 
(GED) credential; and
    (ii) GED credential recipients who were reported as entering 
postsecondary education programs, career positions, or the military; 
and
    (3) The extent to which the applicant met the administrative 
requirements, including recordkeeping, reporting, and financial 
accountability under the terms of the previously funded award.
    (b) In the case of an applicant for a CAMP award, the Secretary 
considers the applicant's experience in implementing an expiring CAMP 
project with respect to--
    (1) Whether the applicant served the number of participants 
described in its approved application;
    (2) The extent to which the applicant met or exceeded its funded 
objectives with regard to project participants, including the targeted 
number and percentage of participants who--
    (i) Successfully completed the first year of college; and
    (ii) Continued to be enrolled in postsecondary education after 
completing their first year of college; and
    (3) The extent to which the applicant met the administrative 
requirements, including recordkeeping, reporting, and financial 
accountability under the terms of the previously funded award.

[[Page 65771]]


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070d-2(e))

PART 642--TRAINING PROGRAM FOR FEDERAL TRIO PROGRAMS

0
9. The authority citation for part 642 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 1070a-17, unless otherwise 
noted.

Subpart A of Part 642 [Amended]

0
10. Section 642.1 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  642.1  What is the Training Program for Federal TRIO Programs?

    The Training Program for Federal TRIO programs, referred to in 
these regulations as the Training program, provides Federal financial 
assistance to train the leadership personnel and staff employed in, or 
preparing for employment in, Federal TRIO program projects.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-17)


0
11. Section 642.2 is amended by revising the section heading to read as 
follows:


Sec.  642.2  Who are eligible applicants?

* * * * *

0
12. Section 642.3 is amended by:
0
A. Revising the section heading.
0
B. In paragraph (a), adding the word ``funded'' after the word 
``projects''.
0
C. In paragraph (b) by removing the words ``staff or''; adding the 
words ``or staff'' after the word ``personnel''; and adding the word 
``funded'' after the word ``projects''.
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  642.3  Who are eligible participants?

* * * * *


Sec. Sec.  642.4 and 642.5  [Redesignated as Sec. Sec.  642.5 and 
642.6]

0
13. Sections 642.4 and 642.5 are redesignated as Sec. Sec.  642.5 and 
642.6.

0
14. A new Sec.  642.4 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  642.4  How long is a project period?

    A project period under the Training program is two years.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11(b))


0
15. Newly redesignated Sec.  642.5 is amended by:
0
A. Revising the section heading.
0
B. Revising paragraph (a).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  642.5  What regulations apply?

* * * * *
    (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations 
(EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75 (except for Sec. Sec.  75.215 through 
75.221), 77, 79, 80, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.
* * * * *

0
16. Newly redesignated Sec.  642.6 is amended by:
0
A. Revising the section heading.
0
B. In paragraph (b) by revising the introductory text; revising 
definitions of ``Federal TRIO programs'', ``Institution of higher 
education'', ``Leadership personnel''; adding, in alphabetical order, 
new definitions for ``Foster care youth'', ``Homeless children and 
youth'', ``Individual with a disability'', and ``Veteran''; and 
removing the authority citation following the definition of ``Federal 
TRIO programs''; and
0
C. Adding an authority citation at the end of the section.
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  642.6  What definitions apply?

* * * * *
    (b) Definitions that apply to this part.
* * * * *
    Federal TRIO programs means those programs authorized under section 
402A of the Act: the Upward Bound, Talent Search, Student Support 
Services, Educational Opportunity Centers, and Ronald E. McNair 
Postbaccalaureate Achievement programs.
    Foster care youth means youth who are in foster care or who are 
aging out of the foster care system.
    Homeless children and youth means persons defined in section 725 of 
the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a).
    Individual with a disability means a person who has a disability, 
as that term is defined in section 12102 of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
* * * * *
    Institution of higher education means an educational institution as 
defined in sections 101 and 102 of the Act.
    Leadership personnel means project directors, coordinators, and 
other individuals involved with the supervision and direction of 
projects funded under the Federal TRIO programs.
    Veteran means a person who--
    (1) Served on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the 
United States for a period of more than 180 days and was discharged or 
released under conditions other than dishonorable;
    (2) Served on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the 
United States and was discharged or released because of a service 
connected disability;
    (3) Was a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the 
United States and was called to active duty for a period of more than 
30 days; or
    (4) Was a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the 
United States who served on active duty in support of a contingency 
operation (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(13) of title 10, 
United States Code) on or after September 11, 2001.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq., 1070a-11, 1070(b), 1088, and 
1141)

    17. Section 642.7 is added to subpart A of part 642 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  642.7  How many applications may an eligible applicant submit?

    An applicant may submit more than one application for Training 
grants as long as each application describes a project that addresses a 
different absolute priority from Sec.  642.24 that is designated in the 
Federal Register notice inviting applications.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3)

    18. Subpart B of part 642 is revised to read as follows:

Subpart B--What Types of Projects and Activities Does the Secretary 
Assist Under This Program?

    Sec.
    642.10 What types of projects does the Secretary assist?
    642.11 What activities does the Secretary assist?
    642.12 What activities may a project conduct?

Subpart B--What Types of Projects and Activities Does the Secretary 
Assist Under This Program?


Sec.  642.10  What types of projects does the Secretary assist?

    The Secretary assists projects that train the leadership personnel 
and staff of projects funded under the Federal TRIO Programs to enable 
them to operate those projects more effectively.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-17)

Sec.  642.11  What activities does the Secretary assist?

    (a) Each year, one or more Training Program projects must provide 
training for new project directors.
    (b) Each year, one or more Training Program projects must offer 
training covering the following topics:
    (1) The legislative and regulatory requirements for operating 
projects funded under the Federal TRIO programs.
    (2) Assisting students to receive adequate financial aid from 
programs assisted under title IV of the Act and from other programs.

[[Page 65772]]

    (3) The design and operation of model programs for projects funded 
under the Federal TRIO programs.
    (4) The use of appropriate educational technology in the operation 
of projects funded under the Federal TRIO programs.
    (5) Strategies for recruiting and serving hard-to-reach 
populations, including students who are limited English proficient, 
students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in 
postsecondary education, students who are individuals with 
disabilities, students who are homeless children and youths, students 
who are foster care youth, or other disconnected students.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-17)

Sec.  642.12  What activities may a project conduct?

    A Training program project may include on-site training, on-line 
training, conferences, internships, seminars, workshops, and the 
publication of manuals designed to improve the operations of Federal 
TRIO program projects.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-17(b))

PART 642--[AMENDED]

0
19. Part 642 is amended by redesignating subparts D and E as subparts C 
and D, respectively.

Subpart C of Part 642 [Amended]

    Sec. Sec.  642.30, 642.31, 642.32, 642.33, and 642.34 [Redesignated 
as Sec. Sec.  642.20, 642.21, 642.22, 642.23, and 642.24]
0
20. Newly redesignated subpart C of part 642 is amended by 
redesignating Sec. Sec.  642.30, 642.31, 642.32, 642.33, and 642.34 as 
Sec. Sec.  642.20, 642.21, 642.22, 642.23, and 642.24, respectively.
0
21. Newly redesignated Sec.  642.20 is amended by:
0
A. Revising the section heading.
0
B. In the introductory text of paragraph (a), removing the citation 
``Sec.  642.31'' and adding, in its place, the citation ``Sec.  
642.21''.
0
C. In paragraph (a)(1), removing the number ``100'' and adding, in its 
place, the number ``75''.
0
D. Revising paragraph (b).
0
E. Adding new paragraphs (c), (d), and (e).
    The additions and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  642.20  How does the Secretary evaluate an application for a new 
award?

* * * * *
    (b) In addition, for an applicant who is conducting a Training 
program in the fiscal year immediately prior to the fiscal year for 
which the applicant is applying, the Secretary evaluates the 
applicant's prior experience (PE) of high quality service delivery, as 
provided in Sec.  642.22, based on the applicant's performance during 
the first project year of that expiring Training program grant.
    (c) The Secretary selects applications for funding within each 
specific absolute priority established for the competition in rank 
order on the basis of the score received by the application in the peer 
review process.
    (d) Within each specific absolute priority, if there are 
insufficient funds to fund all applications at the next peer review 
score, the Secretary adds the PE points awarded under Sec.  642.22 to 
the peer review score to determine an adjusted total score for those 
applications. The Secretary makes awards at the next peer review score 
to the applications that have the highest total adjusted score.
    (e) In the event a tie score still exists, the Secretary will 
select for funding the applicant that has the greatest capacity to 
provide training to eligible participants in all regions of the Nation, 
consistent with Sec.  642.23.
* * * * *
0
22. Newly redesignated Sec.  642.21 is amended by:
0
A. Revising the section heading.
0
B. Revising paragraph (a)(2)(v)(C).
0
C. Revising paragraph (b)(2)(iv)(C).
0
D. Removing paragraph (f).
0
E. Adding an OMB control number parenthetical after the last paragraph 
in the section.
    The revisions and addition read as follows:


Sec.  642.21  What selection criteria does the Secretary use?

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (v) * * *
    (C) Individuals with disabilities; and
* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (iv) * * *
    (C) Individuals with disabilities; and
* * * * *

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840--NEW1)

* * * * *

0
23. Newly redesignated Sec.  642.22 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  642.22  How does the Secretary evaluate prior experience?

    (a) In the case of an application described in Sec.  642.20(b), the 
Secretary--
    (1) Evaluates the applicant's performance under its expiring 
Training program grant;
    (2) To determine the number of PE points to be awarded, uses the 
approved project objectives for the applicant's expiring Training 
program grant and the information the applicant submitted in its annual 
performance report (APR); and
    (3) May adjust a calculated PE score or decide not to award PE 
points if other information such as audit reports, site visit reports, 
and project evaluation reports indicate the APR data used to calculate 
PE are incorrect.
    (b)(1) The Secretary may add from 1 to 15 points to the point score 
obtained on the basis of the selection criteria in Sec.  642.21, based 
on the applicant's success in meeting the administrative requirements 
and programmatic objectives of paragraph (e) of this section.
    (2) The maximum possible score for each criterion is indicated in 
the parentheses preceding the criterion.
    (c) The Secretary awards no PE points for a given year to an 
applicant that does not serve at least 90 percent of the approved 
number of participants. For purposes of this section, the approved 
number of participants is the total number of participants the project 
would serve as agreed upon by the grantee and the Secretary.
    (d) For the criterion specified in paragraph (e)(1) of this section 
(Number of participants), the Secretary awards no PE points if the 
applicant did not serve at least the approved number of participants.
    (e) The Secretary evaluates the applicant's PE on the basis of the 
following criteria:
    (1) (4 points) Number of participants. Whether the applicant 
provided training to no less than the approved number of participants.
    (2) Training objectives. Whether the applicant met or exceeded its 
objectives for:
    (i) (4 points) Assisting the participants in developing increased 
qualifications and skills to meet the needs of disadvantaged students.
    (ii) (4 points) Providing the participants with an increased 
knowledge and understanding of the Federal TRIO programs.
    (3) (3 points) Administrative requirements. Whether the applicant 
met all the administrative requirements under the terms of the expiring 
grant, including recordkeeping, reporting, and financial 
accountability.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1894-0003)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11)




0
24. Newly redesignated Sec.  642.23 is amended by revising the section 
heading to read as follows:

[[Page 65773]]

Sec.  642.23  How does the Secretary ensure geographic distribution of 
awards?

* * * * *

0
25. Newly redesignated Sec.  642.24 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  642.24  What are the Secretary's priorities for funding?

    (a) The Secretary, after consultation with regional and State 
professional associations of persons having special knowledge with 
respect to the training of Special Programs personnel, may select one 
or more of the following subjects as training priorities:
    (1) Basic skills instruction in reading, mathematics, written and 
oral communication, and study skills.
    (2) Counseling.
    (3) Assessment of student needs.
    (4) Academic tests and testing.
    (5) College and university admissions policies and procedures.
    (6) Cultural enrichment programs.
    (7) Career planning.
    (8) Tutorial programs.
    (9) Retention and graduation strategies.
    (10) Strategies for preparing students for doctoral studies.
    (11) Project evaluation.
    (12) Budget management.
    (13) Personnel management.
    (14) Reporting student and project performance.
    (15) Coordinating project activities with other available resources 
and activities.
    (16) General project management for new directors.
    (17) Statutory and regulatory requirements for the operation of 
projects funded under the Federal TRIO programs.
    (18) Assisting students in receiving adequate financial aid from 
programs assisted under title IV of the Act and from other programs.
    (19) The design and operation of model programs for projects funded 
under the Federal TRIO programs.
    (20) The use of appropriate educational technology in the operation 
of projects funded under the Federal TRIO programs.
    (21) Strategies for recruiting and serving hard to reach 
populations, including students who are limited English proficient, 
students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in 
postsecondary education, students who are individuals with 
disabilities, students who are homeless children and youths, students 
who are foster care youth, or other disconnected students.
    (b) The Secretary annually funds training on the subjects listed in 
paragraphs (a)(17), (a)(18), (a)(19), (a)(20), and (a)(21) of this 
section.
    (c) The Secretary designates one or more of the training priorities 
from paragraph (a) of this section in the Federal Register notice 
inviting applications for the competition.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 1070a-17)



0
26. Section 642.25 is added to subpart C of part 642 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  642.25  What is the review process for unsuccessful applicants?

    (a) Technical or administrative error for applications not 
reviewed. (1) An applicant whose grant application was not evaluated 
during the competition may request that the Secretary review the 
application if--
    (i) The applicant has met all of the application submission 
requirements included in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications and the other published application materials for the 
competition; and
    (ii) The applicant provides evidence demonstrating that the 
Department or an agent of the Department made a technical or 
administrative error in the processing of the submitted application.
    (2) A technical or administrative error in the processing of an 
application includes--
    (i) A problem with the system for the electronic submission of 
applications that was not addressed in accordance with the procedures 
included in the Federal Register notice inviting applications for the 
competition;
    (ii) An error in determining an applicant's eligibility for funding 
consideration, which may include, but is not limited to--
    (A) An incorrect conclusion that the application was submitted by 
an ineligible applicant;
    (B) An incorrect conclusion that the application exceeded the 
published page limit;
    (C) An incorrect conclusion that the applicant requested funding 
greater than the published maximum award; or
    (D) An incorrect conclusion that the application was missing 
critical sections of the application; and
    (iii) Any other mishandling of the application that resulted in an 
otherwise eligible application not being reviewed during the 
competition.
    (3)(i) If the Secretary determines that the Department or the 
Department's agent made a technical or administrative error, the 
Secretary has the application evaluated and scored.
    (ii) If the total score assigned the application would have 
resulted in funding of the application during the competition and the 
program has funds available, the Secretary funds the application prior 
to the re-ranking of applications based on the second peer review of 
applications described in paragraph (c) of this section.
    (b) Administrative or scoring error for applications that were 
reviewed. (1) An applicant that was not selected for funding during a 
competition may request that the Secretary conduct a second review of 
the application if--
    (i) The applicant provides evidence demonstrating that the 
Department, an agent of the Department, or a peer reviewer made an 
administrative or scoring error in the review of its application; and
    (ii) The final score assigned to the application is within the 
funding band described in paragraph (d) of this section.
    (2) An administrative error relates to either the PE points or the 
scores assigned to the application by the peer reviewers.
    (i) For PE points, an administrative error includes mathematical 
errors made by the Department or the Department's agent in the 
calculation of the PE points or a failure to correctly add the earned 
PE points to the peer reviewer score.
    (ii) For the peer review score, an administrative error is applying 
the wrong peer reviewer scores to an application.
    (3)(i) A scoring error relates only to the peer review process and 
includes errors caused by a reviewer who, in assigning points--
    (A) Uses criteria not required by the applicable law or program 
regulations, the Federal Register notice inviting applications, the 
other published application materials for the competition, or guidance 
provided to the peer reviewers by the Secretary; or
    (B) Does not consider relevant information included in the 
appropriate section of the application.
    (ii) The term ``scoring error'' does not include--
    (A) A peer reviewer's appropriate use of his or her professional 
judgment in evaluating and scoring an application;
    (B) Any situation in which the applicant did not include 
information needed to evaluate its response to a specific selection 
criterion in the appropriate section of the application as stipulated 
in the Federal Register notice inviting applications or the other 
published application materials for the competition; or
    (C) Any error by the applicant.
    (c) Procedures for the second review. (1) To ensure the timely 
awarding of grants under the competition, the Secretary sets aside a 
percentage of the funds allotted for the competition to be

[[Page 65774]]

awarded after the second review is completed.
    (2) After the competition, the Secretary makes new awards in rank 
order as described in Sec.  642.20 based on the available funds for the 
competition minus the funds set aside for the second review.
    (3) After the Secretary issues a notification of grant award to 
successful applicants, the Secretary notifies each unsuccessful 
applicant in writing as to the status of its application and the 
funding band for the second review and provides copies of the peer 
reviewers' evaluations of the applicant's application and the 
applicant's PE score, if applicable.
    (4) An applicant that was not selected for funding following the 
competition as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section and whose 
application received a score within the funding band as described in 
paragraph (d) of this section, may request a second review if the 
applicant demonstrates that the Department, the Department's agent, or 
a peer reviewer made an administrative or scoring error as provided in 
paragraph (b) of this section.
    (5) An applicant whose application was not funded after the first 
review as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section and whose 
application received a score within the funding band as described in 
paragraph (d) of this section has at least 15 calendar days after 
receiving notification that its application was not funded in which to 
submit a written request for a second review in accordance with the 
instructions and due date provided in the Secretary's written 
notification.
    (6) An applicant's written request for a second review must be 
received by the Department or submitted electronically to a designated 
e-mail or Web address by the due date and time established by the 
Secretary.
    (7) If the Secretary determines that the Department or the 
Department's agent made an administrative error that relates to the PE 
points awarded, as described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, 
the Secretary adjusts the applicant's PE score to reflect the correct 
number of PE points. If the adjusted score assigned to the application 
would have resulted in funding of the application during the 
competition and the program has funds available, the Secretary funds 
the application prior to the re-ranking of applications based on the 
second peer review of applications described in paragraph (c)(9) of 
this section.
    (8) If the Secretary determines that the Department, the 
Department's agent or the peer reviewer made an administrative error 
that relates to the peer reviewers' score(s), as described in paragraph 
(b)(2)(ii) of this section, the Secretary adjusts the applicant's peer 
reviewers' score(s) to correct the error. If the adjusted score 
assigned to the application would have resulted in funding of the 
application during the competition and the program has funds available, 
the Secretary funds the application prior to the re-ranking of 
applications based on the second peer review of applications described 
in paragraph (c)(9) of this section.
    (9) If the Secretary determines that a peer reviewer made a scoring 
error, as described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the Secretary 
convenes a second panel of peer reviewers in accordance with the 
requirements in section 402A(c)(8)(C)(iv)(III) of the HEA.
    (10) The average of the peer reviewers' scores from the second peer 
review are used in the second ranking of applications. The average 
score obtained from the second peer review panel is the final peer 
reviewer score for the application and will be used even if the second 
review results in a lower score for the application than that obtained 
in the initial review.
    (11) For applications in the funding band, the Secretary funds 
these applications in rank order based on adjusted scores and the 
available funds that have been set aside for the second review of 
applications.
    (d) Process for establishing a funding band. (1) For each 
competition, the Secretary establishes a funding band for the second 
review of applications.
    (2) The Secretary establishes the funding band for each competition 
based on the amount of funds the Secretary has set aside for the second 
review of applications.
    (3) The funding band is composed of those applications--
    (i) With a rank-order score before the second review that is below 
the lowest score of applications funded after the first review; and
    (ii) That would be funded if the Secretary had 150 percent of the 
funds that were set aside for the second review of applications for the 
competition.
    (e) Final decision. (1) The Secretary's determination of whether 
the applicant has met the requirements for a second review and the 
Secretary's decision on re-scoring of an application are final and not 
subject to further appeal or challenge.
    (2) An application that scored below the established funding band 
for the competition is not eligible for a second review.

    (Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW1)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11)



0
27. A new Sec.  642.26 is added to subpart C of part 642 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  642.26  How does the Secretary set the amount of a grant?

    (a) The Secretary sets the amount of a grant on the basis of--
    (1) 34 CFR 75.232 and 75.233, for a new grant; and
    (2) 34 CFR 75.253, for the second year of a project period.
    (b) The Secretary uses the available funds to set the amount of the 
grant at the lesser of--
    (1) 170,000; or
    (2) The amount requested by the applicant.

Subpart D of Part 642 [Amended]


Sec. Sec.  642.40 and 642.41  [Redesignated as Sec. Sec.  642.30 and 
642.31]

0
28. Newly redesignated subpart D of part 642 is amended by 
redesignating Sec. Sec.  642.40 and 642.41 as Sec. Sec.  642.30 and 
642.31, respectively.

0
29. Newly redesignated Sec.  642.30 is amended by:
0
A. Revising the section heading.
0
B. In paragraph (d), removing the words ``if approved in writing by the 
Secretary''.
    The revision reads as follow:


Sec.  642.30  What are allowable costs?

* * * * *


0
30. Newly redesignated Sec.  642.31 is amended by revising the section 
heading to read as follows:


Sec.  642.31  What are unallowable costs?

* * * * *

PART 643--TALENT SEARCH

0
31. The authority citation for part 643 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 1070a-12, unless otherwise 
noted.


0
32. Section 643.1 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (b), adding the words ``, and facilitate the 
application for,'' after the word ``of''.
0
B. Revising paragraph (c).
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  643.1  What is the Talent Search program?

* * * * *
    (c) Encourage persons who have not completed education programs at 
the secondary or postsecondary level to enter or reenter and complete 
these programs.
* * * * *

0
33. Section 643.2 is amended by:

[[Page 65775]]

0
A. In the introductory text, adding the word ``entities'' after the 
word ``following''.
0
B. In paragraph (b), adding the words ``, including a community-based 
organization with experience in serving disadvantaged youth'' after the 
word ``organization''.
0
C. Removing paragraph (d).
0
D. Redesignating paragraph (c) as paragraph (d).
0
E. Adding a new paragraph (c).
0
F. In newly redesignated paragraph (d), removing the words ``paragraphs 
(a) and (b)'' and adding, in their place, the words ``paragraphs (a), 
(b), and (c)''.
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  643.2  Who is eligible for a grant?

* * * * *
    (c) A secondary school.
* * * * *

0
34. Section 643.3 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (a)(3)(i), removing the words ``, has potential for a 
program of postsecondary education, and needs one or more of the 
services provided by the project in order to undertake such a 
program''.
0
B. In paragraph (a)(3)(ii), removing the words ``, has the ability to 
complete such a program, and needs one or more of the services provided 
by the project to reenter such a program''.
* * * * *

0
35. Section 643.4 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  643.4  What services does a project provide?

    (a) A Talent Search project must provide the following services:
    (1) Connections for participants to high quality academic tutoring 
services to enable the participants to complete secondary or 
postsecondary courses.
    (2) Advice and assistance in secondary school course selection and, 
if applicable, initial postsecondary course selection.
    (3) Assistance in preparing for college entrance examinations and 
completing college admission applications.
    (4)(i) Information on the full range of Federal student financial 
aid programs and benefits (including Federal Pell Grant awards and loan 
forgiveness) and on resources for locating public and private 
scholarships; and
    (ii) Assistance in completing financial aid applications, including 
the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    (5) Guidance on and assistance in--
    (i) Secondary school reentry;
    (ii) Alternative education programs for secondary school dropouts 
that lead to the receipt of a regular secondary school diploma;
    (iii) Entry into general educational development (GED) programs; or
    (iv) Entry into postsecondary education.
    (6) Connections for participants to education or counseling 
services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of the 
participants or the participants' parents, including financial planning 
for postsecondary education.
    (b) A Talent Search project may provide services such as the 
following:
    (1) Academic tutoring, which may include instruction in reading, 
writing, study skills, mathematics, science, and other subjects.
    (2) Personal and career counseling or activities.
    (3) Information and activities designed to acquaint youth with the 
range of career options available to the youth.
    (4) Exposure to the campuses of institutions of higher education, 
as well as to cultural events, academic programs, and other sites or 
activities not usually available to disadvantaged youth.
    (5) Workshops and counseling for families of participants served.
    (6) Mentoring programs involving elementary or secondary school 
teachers or counselors, faculty members at institutions of higher 
education, students, or any combination of these persons.
    (7) Programs and activities as described in this section that are 
specially designed for participants who are limited English proficient, 
from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary 
education, individuals with disabilities, homeless children and youths, 
foster care youth, or other disconnected participants.
    (8) Other activities designed to meet the purposes of the Talent 
Search Program in Sec.  643.1.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-12)



0
36. Section 643.5 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  643.5  How long is a project period?

    A project period under the Talent Search program is five years.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11)



0
37. Section 643.6 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  643.6  What regulations apply?

* * * * *
    (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations 
(EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75 (except for Sec. Sec.  75.215 through 
75.221), 77, 79, 80, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.
* * * * *


0
38. Section 643.7(b) is amended by:
0
A. Revising the definition of ``Institution of higher education''.
0
B. Revising the definition of ``Veteran''.
0
C. Adding, in alphabetical order, new definitions for ``Different 
population'', ``Financial and economic literacy'', ``Foster care 
youth'', ``Homeless children and youth'', ``Individual with a 
disability'', ``Regular secondary school diploma'', and ``Rigorous 
secondary school program of study''.
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  643.7  What definitions apply?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    Different population means a group of individuals that an eligible 
entity desires to serve through an application for a grant under the 
Talent Search program and that--
    (1) Is separate and distinct from any other population that the 
entity has applied for a grant to serve; or
    (2) While sharing some of the same needs as another population that 
the eligible entity has applied for a grant to serve, has distinct 
needs for specialized services.
    Financial and economic literacy means knowledge about personal 
financial decision-making, which may include but is not limited to 
knowledge about--
    (1) Personal and family budget planning;
    (2) Understanding credit building principles to meet long-term and 
short-term goals (e.g., loan to debt ratio, credit scoring, negative 
impacts on credit scores);
    (3) Cost planning for postsecondary or postbaccalaureate education 
(e.g., spending, saving, personal budgeting);
    (4) College cost of attendance (e.g., public vs. private, tuition 
vs. fees, personal costs);
    (5) Financial assistance (e.g., searches, application processes, 
and differences between private and government loans, assistanceships); 
and
    (6) Assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal 
Student Aid (FAFSA).
    Foster care youth means youth who are in foster care or are aging 
out of the foster care system.
* * * * *
    Homeless children and youth means persons defined in section 725 of 
the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a).

[[Page 65776]]

    Individual with a disability means a person who has a disability, 
as that term is defined in section 12102 of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
    Institution of higher education means an educational institution as 
defined in sections 101 and 102 of the HEA.
* * * * *
    Regular secondary school diploma means a level attained by 
individuals who meet or exceed the coursework and performance standards 
for high school completion established by the individual's State.
    Rigorous secondary school program of study means a program of study 
that is--
    (1) Established by a state educational agency (SEA) or local 
educational agency (LEA) and recognized as a rigorous secondary school 
program of study by the Secretary through the process described in 34 
CFR 691.16(a) through 691.16(c) for the Academic Competitiveness Grant 
(ACG) Program;
    (2) An advanced or honors secondary school program established by 
States and in existence for the 2004-2005 school year or later school 
years;
    (3) Any secondary school program in which a student successfully 
completes at a minimum the following courses:
    (i) Four years of English.
    (ii) Three years of mathematics, including algebra I and a higher-
level class such as algebra II, geometry, or data analysis and 
statistics.
    (iii) Three years of science, including one year each of at least 
two of the following courses: Biology, chemistry, and physics.
    (iv) Three years of social studies.
    (v) One year of a language other than English;
    (4) A secondary school program identified by a State-level 
partnership that is recognized by the State Scholars Initiative of the 
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), Boulder, 
Colorado;
    (5) Any secondary school program for a student who completes at 
least two courses from an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program 
sponsored by the International Baccalaureate Organization, Geneva, 
Switzerland, and receives a score of a ``4'' or higher on the 
examinations for at least two of those courses; or
    (6) Any secondary school program for a student who completes at 
least two Advanced Placement courses and receives a score of ``3'' or 
higher on the College Board's Advanced Placement Program Exams for at 
least two of those courses.
* * * * *
    Veteran means a person who--
    (1) Served on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the 
United States for a period of more than 180 days and was discharged or 
released under conditions other than dishonorable;
    (2) Served on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the 
United States and was discharged or released because of a service 
connected disability;
    (3) Was a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the 
United States and was called to active duty for a period of more than 
30 days; or
    (4) Was a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the 
United States who served on active duty in support of a contingency 
operation (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(13) of title 10, 
United States Code) on or after September 11, 2001.
* * * * *

Subpart B--How Does One Apply for an Award?

0
39. Subpart B of part 643 is amended by revising the subpart heading to 
read as set forth above.


Sec.  643.10  [Redesignated as Sec.  643.11]

0
39a. Redesignate Sec.  643.10 as Sec.  643.11.

0
40. A new Sec.  643.10 is added to Subpart B to read as follows:


Sec.  643.10  How many applications may an eligible applicant submit?

    (a) An applicant may submit more than one application for Talent 
Search grants as long as each application describes a project that 
serves a different target area or target schools, or another designated 
different population.
    (b) For each grant competition, the Secretary designates, in the 
Federal Register notice inviting applications and the other published 
application materials for the competition, the different populations 
for which an eligible entity may submit a separate application.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-12; 1221e-3)


0
41. Newly redesignated Sec.  643.11 is amended by:
0
A. In the introductory text, removing the word ``shall'' and adding, in 
its place, the word ``must''.
0
B. Revising paragraph (b).
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  643.11  What assurances must an applicant submit?

* * * * *
    (b) The project will collaborate with other Federal TRIO projects, 
GEAR UP projects, or programs serving similar populations that are 
serving the same target schools or target area in order to minimize the 
duplication of services and promote collaborations so that more 
students can be served.
* * * * *

0
42. Section 643.20 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (a)(2)(i), removing the word ``or'' after the words 
``same populations'' and adding, in its place, the word ``and''; 
removing the words ``in delivering services'' and adding, in their 
place, the words ``of high quality service delivery; and adding the 
word ``outcome'' before the word ``criteria''.
0
B. In paragraph (a)(2)(ii), adding the word ``total'' after the word 
``maximum'' the first time it appears.
0
C. Adding paragraphs (a)(2)(iii) through (a)(2)(v).
0
D. Removing paragraph (a)(3).
0
E. In paragraph (b), removing the words ``through (3)'' and adding, in 
their place, the words ``and (a)(2)''.
0
F. Revising paragraph (d).
    The additions and revision read as follows:


Sec.  643.20  How does the Secretary decide which new grants to make?

    (a) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (iii) The Secretary evaluates the PE of an applicant for each of 
the three project years that the Secretary designates in the Federal 
Register notice inviting applications and the other published 
application materials for the competition.
    (iv) An applicant may earn up to 15 PE points for each of the 
designated project years for which annual performance report data are 
available.
    (v) The final PE score is the average of the scores for the three 
project years assessed.
* * * * *
    (d) The Secretary does not make a new grant to an applicant if the 
applicant's prior project involved the fraudulent use of program funds.
* * * * *

0
43. Section 643.21 is amended by:
0
A. Revising paragraphs (a), (b), and (c).
0
B. Revising paragraph (d)(2).
0
C. In the OMB control number parenthetical following paragraph (g), 
removing the numbers ``1840-0549'' and adding, in their place, the 
numbers ``1840-0065''.
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  643.21  What selection criteria does the Secretary use?

* * * * *
    (a) Need for the project (24 points). The Secretary evaluates the 
need for a Talent Search project in the proposed target area on the 
basis of the extent to

[[Page 65777]]

which the application contains clear evidence of the following:
    (1) (4 points) A high number or high percentage of the following--
    (i) Low-income families residing in the target area; or
    (ii) Students attending the target schools who are eligible for 
free or reduced priced lunch as described in sections 9(b)(1) and 
17(c)(4) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act.
    (2) (2 points) Low rates of high school persistence among 
individuals in the target schools as evidenced by the annual student 
persistence rates in the proposed target schools for the most recent 
year for which data are available.
    (3) (4 points) Low rates of students in the target school or 
schools who graduate high school with a regular secondary school 
diploma in the standard number of years for the most recent year for 
which data are available.
    (4) (6 points) Low postsecondary enrollment and completion rates 
among individuals in the target area and schools as evidenced by--
    (i) Low rates of enrollment in programs of postsecondary education 
by graduates of the target schools in the most recent year for which 
data are available; and
    (ii) A high number or high percentage of individuals residing in 
the target area with education completion levels below the 
baccalaureate degree level.
    (5) (2 points) The extent to which the target secondary schools do 
not offer their students the courses or academic support to complete a 
rigorous secondary school program of study or have low participation or 
low success by low-income or first generation students in such courses.
    (6) (6 points) Other indicators of need for a TS project, including 
low academic achievement and low standardized test scores of students 
enrolled in the target schools, a high ratio of students to school 
counselors in the target schools, and the presence of unaddressed 
academic or socio-economic problems of eligible individuals, including 
foster care youth and homeless children and youth in the target schools 
or the target area.
    (b) Objectives (8 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality of 
the applicant's objectives and proposed targets (percentages) in the 
following areas on the basis of the extent to which they are both 
ambitious, as related to the need data provided under paragraph (a) of 
this section, and attainable, given the project's plan of operation, 
budget, and other resources:
    (1) (2 points) Secondary school persistence.
    (2) (2 points) Secondary school graduation (regular secondary 
school diploma).
    (3) (1 point) Secondary school graduation (rigorous secondary 
school program of study).
    (4) (2 points) Postsecondary education enrollment.
    (5) (1 point) Postsecondary degree attainment.
    (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) (3 points) The plan to inform the residents, schools, and 
community organizations in the target area of the purpose, objectives, 
and services of the project and the eligibility requirements for 
participation in the project.
    (2) (3 points) The plan to identify and select eligible project 
participants.
    (3) (10 points) The plan for providing the services delineated in 
Sec.  643.4 as appropriate based on the project's assessment of each 
participant's need for services.
    (4) (6 points) The plan to work in a coordinated, collaborative, 
and cost-effective manner as part of an overarching college access 
strategy with the target schools or school system and other programs 
for disadvantaged students to provide participants with access to and 
assistance in completing a rigorous secondary school program of study.
    (5) (6 points) The plan, including timelines, personnel, and other 
resources, to ensure the proper and efficient administration of the 
project, including the project's organizational structure; the time 
commitment of key project staff; and financial, personnel, and records 
management.
    (6) (2 points) The plan to follow former participants as they 
enter, continue in, and complete postsecondary education.
    (d) * * *
    (2) (8 points) Resources secured through written commitments from 
community partners.
    (i) An applicant that is an institution of higher education must 
include in its application commitments from the target schools and 
community organizations;
    (ii) An applicant that is a secondary school must include in its 
commitments from institutions of higher education, community 
organizations, and, as appropriate, other secondary schools and the 
school district; and
    (iii) An applicant that is a community organization must include in 
its application commitments from the target schools and institutions of 
higher education.
* * * * *

0
44. Section 643.22 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  643.22  How does the Secretary evaluate prior experience?

    (a) In the case of an application described in Sec.  
643.20(a)(2)(i), the Secretary--
    (1) Evaluates the applicant's performance under its expiring Talent 
Search project;
    (2) Uses the approved project objectives for the applicant's 
expiring Talent Search grant and the information the applicant 
submitted in its annual performance reports (APRs) to determine the 
number of PE points; and
    (3) May adjust a calculated PE score or decide not to award PE 
points if other information such as audit reports, site visit reports, 
and project evaluation reports indicates the APR data used to calculate 
PE are incorrect.
    (b) The Secretary does not award PE points for a given year to an 
applicant that does not serve at least 90 percent of the approved 
number of participants. For purposes of this section, the approved 
number of participants is the total number of participants the project 
would serve as agreed upon by the grantee and the Secretary.
    (c) The Secretary does not award any PE points for the criterion 
specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section (Number of participants) 
if the applicant did not serve at least the approved number of 
participants.
    (d) For purposes of the evaluation of grants awarded after January 
1, 2009, the Secretary evaluates the applicant's PE on the basis of the 
following outcome criteria:
    (1) (3 points) Number of participants. Whether the applicant 
provided services to no less than the approved number of participants.
    (2) (3 points) Secondary school persistence. Whether the applicant 
met or exceeded its objective regarding the continued secondary school 
enrollment of participants.
    (3) (3 points) Secondary school graduation (regular secondary 
school diploma). Whether the applicant met or exceeded its objective 
regarding the graduation of participants served during the project year 
from secondary school with a regular secondary school diploma in the 
standard number of years.
    (4) (1.5 points) Secondary school graduation (rigorous secondary 
school program of study). Whether the applicant met or exceeded its 
objective regarding the graduation of participants

[[Page 65778]]

served during the project year who completed a rigorous secondary 
school program of study.
    (5) (3 points) Postsecondary enrollment. Whether the applicant met 
or exceeded its objective regarding the participants expected to 
graduate from high school in the school year who enrolled in an 
institution of higher education within the time period specified in the 
approved objective.
    (6) (1.5 points) Postsecondary completion. Whether the applicant 
met or exceeded its objective regarding project participants who 
enrolled in and completed a program of postsecondary education within 
the number of years specified in the approved objective. The applicant 
may determine success in meeting the objective by using a randomly 
selected sample of participants in accordance with the parameters 
established by the Secretary in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications or other published application materials for the 
competition.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840--NEW7)


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-12)

Sec.  643.23  [Amended]


0
45. Section 643.23 is amended by:
0
A. In the introductory text of paragraph (b), removing the words 
``beginning in fiscal year 1994''.
0
B. In paragraph (b)(1), removing the amount ``$180,000'' and adding, in 
its place, the amount ``$200,000''.


0
46. A new Sec.  643.24 is added to subpart C of part 643 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  643.24  What is the review process for unsuccessful applicants?

    (a) Technical or administrative error for applications not 
reviewed. (1) An applicant whose grant application was not evaluated 
during the competition may request that the Secretary review the 
application if--
    (i) The applicant has met all application submission requirements 
included in the Federal Register notice inviting applications and the 
other published application materials for the competition; and
    (ii) The applicant provides evidence demonstrating that the 
Department or an agent of the Department made a technical or 
administrative error in the processing of the submitted application.
    (2) A technical or administrative error in the processing of an 
application includes--
    (i) A problem with the system for the electronic submission of 
applications that was not addressed in accordance with the procedures 
included in the Federal Register notice inviting applications for the 
competition;
    (ii) An error in determining an applicant's eligibility for funding 
consideration, which may include, but is not limited to--
    (A) An incorrect conclusion that the application was submitted by 
an ineligible applicant;
    (B) An incorrect conclusion that the application exceeded the 
published page limit;
    (C) An incorrect conclusion that the applicant requested funding 
greater than the published maximum award; or
    (D) An incorrect conclusion that the application was missing 
critical sections of the application; and
    (iii) Any other mishandling of the application that resulted in an 
otherwise eligible application not being reviewed during the 
competition.
    (3)(i) If the Secretary determines that the Department or the 
Department's agent made a technical or administrative error, the 
Secretary has the application evaluated and scored.
    (ii) If the total score assigned the application would have 

resulted in funding of the application during the competition and the 
program has funds available, the Secretary funds the application prior 
to the re-ranking of applications based on the second peer review of 
applications described in paragraph (c) of this section.
    (b) Administrative or scoring error for applications that were 
reviewed. (1) An applicant that was not selected for funding during a 
competition may request that the Secretary conduct a second review of 
the application if--
    (i) The applicant provides evidence demonstrating that the 
Department, an agent of the Department, or a peer reviewer made an 
administrative or scoring error in the review of its application; and
    (ii) The final score assigned to the application is within the 
funding band described in paragraph (d) of this section.
    (2) An administrative error relates to either the PE points or the 
scores assigned to the application by the peer reviewers.
    (i) For PE points, an administrative error includes mathematical 
errors made by the Department or the Department's agent in the 
calculation of the PE points or a failure to correctly add the earned 
PE points to the peer reviewer score.
    (ii) For the peer review score, an administrative error is applying 
the wrong peer reviewer scores to an application.
    (3)(i) A scoring error relates only to the peer review process and 
includes errors caused by a reviewer who, in assigning points--
    (A) Uses criteria not required by the applicable law or program 
regulations, the Federal Register notice inviting applications, the 
other published application materials for the competition, or guidance 
provided to the peer reviewers by the Secretary; or
    (B) Does not consider relevant information included in the 
appropriate section of the application.
    (ii) The term ``scoring error'' does not include--
    (A) A peer reviewer's appropriate use of his or her professional 
judgment in evaluating and scoring an application;
    (B) Any situation in which the applicant did not include 
information needed to evaluate its response to a specific selection 
criterion in the appropriate section of the application as stipulated 
in the Federal Register notice inviting applications or the other 
published application materials for the competition; or
    (C) Any error by the applicant.
    (c) Procedures for the second review. (1) To ensure the timely 
awarding of grants under the competition, the Secretary sets aside a 
percentage of the funds allotted for the competition to be awarded 
after the second review is completed.
    (2) After the competition, the Secretary makes new awards in rank 
order as described in Sec.  643.20 based on the available funds for the 
competition minus the funds set aside for the second review.
    (3) After the Secretary issues a notification of grant award to 
successful applicants, the Secretary notifies each unsuccessful 
applicant in writing as to the status of its application and the 
funding band for the second review and provides copies of the peer 
reviewers' evaluations of the applicant's application and the 
applicant's PE score, if applicable.
    (4) An applicant that was not selected for funding following the 
competition as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section and whose 
application received a score within the funding band as described in 
paragraph (d) of this section, may request a second review if the 
applicant demonstrates that the Department, the Department's agent, or 
a peer reviewer made an administrative or scoring error as provided in 
paragraph (b) of this section.
    (5) An applicant whose application was not funded after the first 
review as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section and whose 
application received a score within the funding band as described in 
paragraph (d) of this section has at least 15 calendar days

[[Page 65779]]

after receiving notification that its application was not funded in 
which to submit a written request for a second review in accordance 
with the instructions and due date provided in the Secretary's written 
notification.
    (6) An applicant's written request for a second review must be 
received by the Department or submitted electronically to the 
designated e-mail or Web address by the due date and time established 
by the Secretary.
    (7) If the Secretary determines that the Department or the 
Department's agent made an administrative error that relates to the PE 
points awarded, as described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, 
the Secretary adjusts the applicant's PE score to reflect the correct 
number of PE points. If the adjusted score assigned to the application 
would have resulted in funding of the application during the 
competition and the program has funds available, the Secretary funds 
the application prior to the re-ranking of applications based on the 
second peer review of applications described in paragraph (c)(9) of 
this section.
    (8) If the Secretary determines that the Department, the 
Department's agent or the peer reviewer made an administrative error 
that relates to the peer reviewers' score(s), as described in paragraph 
(b)(2)(ii) of this section, the Secretary adjusts the applicant's peer 
reviewers' score(s) to correct the error. If the adjusted score 
assigned to the application would have resulted in funding of the 
application during the competition and the program has funds available, 
the Secretary funds the application prior to the re-ranking of 
applications based on the second peer review of applications described 
in paragraph (c)(9) of this section.
    (9) If the Secretary determines that a peer reviewer made a scoring 
error, as described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the Secretary 
convenes a second panel of peer reviewers in accordance with the 
requirements in section 402A(c)(8)(C)(iv)(III) of the HEA.
    (10) The average of the peer reviewers' scores from the second peer 
review are used in the second ranking of applications. The average 
score obtained from the second peer review panel is the final peer 
reviewer score for the application and will be used even if the second 
review results in a lower score for the application than that obtained 
in the initial review.
    (11) For applications in the funding band, the Secretary funds 
these applications in rank order based on adjusted scores and the 
available funds that have been set aside for the second review of 
applications.
    (d) Process for establishing a funding band. (1) For each 
competition, the Secretary establishes a funding band for the second 
review of applications.
    (2) The Secretary establishes the funding band for each competition 
based on the amount of funds the Secretary has set aside for the second 
review of applications.
    (3) The funding band is composed of those applications--
    (i) With a rank-order score before the second review that is below 
the lowest score of applications funded after the first review; and
    (ii) That would be funded if the Secretary had 150 percent of the 
funds that were set aside for the second review of applications for the 
competition.
    (e) Final decision. (1) The Secretary's determination of whether 
the applicant has met the requirements for a second review and the 
Secretary's decision on re-scoring of an application are final and not 
subject to further appeal or challenge.
    (2) An application that scored below the established funding band 
for the competition is not eligible for a second review.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW2)


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11)



0
47. Section 643.30 is amended by:
0
A. In the introductory text, removing the words ``34 CFR part 74, 
subpart Q'' and adding, in their place, the words ``34 CFR 74.27, 
75.530, and 80.22, as applicable''.
0
B. In the introductory text of paragraph (a), adding the word 
``project'' before the word ``staff''.
0
C. In paragraph (a)(1), removing the words ``to obtain information 
relating to the admission of participants to those institutions''.
0
D. In paragraph (a)(2), removing the word ``and''.
0
E. In paragraph (a)(3), adding the words ``for participants'' after the 
word ``trips''; removing the words ``in the target area''; and removing 
the punctuation ``.'' at the end of the paragraph and adding, in its 
place, the words ``; and''.
0
F. Adding a new paragraph (a)(4).
0
G. In paragraph (b), adding the words ``and test preparation programs 
for participants'' after the word ``materials''.
0
H. Revising paragraph (c) introductory text.
0
I. Revising paragraph (f).
0
J. Adding new paragraphs (g) and (h).
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  643.30  What are allowable costs?

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (4) Transportation to institutions of higher education, secondary 
schools not attended by the participants, or other locations at which 
the participant receives instruction that is part of a rigorous 
secondary school program of study.
* * * * *
    (c) Fees required for admission applications for postsecondary 
education, college entrance examinations, or alternative education 
examinations if--
* * * * *
    (f) Purchase, lease, or rental of computer hardware, software, and 
other equipment, service agreements for such equipment, and supplies 
that support the delivery of services to participants, including 
technology used by participants in a rigorous secondary school program 
of study.
    (g) Purchase, lease, service agreement, or rental of computer 
equipment and software needed for project administration and 
recordkeeping.
    (h) Tuition costs for a course that is part of a rigorous secondary 
school program of study if--
    (1) The course or a similar course is not offered at the secondary 
school that the participant attends or at another school within the 
school district;
    (2) The grantee demonstrates to the Secretary's satisfaction that 
using grant funds is the most cost-effective way to deliver the course 
or courses necessary for the completion of a rigorous secondary school 
program of study for program participants;
    (3) The course is taken through an accredited institution of higher 
education;
    (4) The course is comparable in content and rigor to courses that 
are part of a rigorous secondary school program of study as defined in 
Sec.  643.7(b);
    (5) The secondary school accepts the course as meeting one or more 
of the course requirements for obtaining a regular secondary school 
diploma;
    (6) A waiver of the tuition costs is unavailable;
    (7) The tuition is paid with Talent Search grant funds to an 
institution of higher education on behalf of a participant; and
    (8) The Talent Search project pays for no more than the equivalent 
of two courses for a participant each school year.

0
48. Section 643.31 is amended in paragraph (a) by removing the phrase 
``Tuition, stipends,'' and by adding, in its place, the word 
``Stipends''.


0
49. Section 643.32 is amended by:

[[Page 65780]]

0
A. Revising paragraph (b).
0
B. In paragraph (c) introductory text, removing the word ``shall'' and 
adding, in its place, the word ``must''.
0
C. In paragraph (c)(3), removing the word ``and''.
0
D. In paragraph (c)(4), removing the punctuation ``.'' and adding, in 
its place, the words ``; and''.
0
E. Adding a new paragraph (c)(5).
0
F. Revising paragraph (d).
0
G. In the OMB control number parenthetical following paragraph (d), 
removing the numbers ``1840-0549'' and adding, in their place, the 
numbers ``1840-NEW2''.
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  643.32  What other requirements must a grantee meet?

* * * * *
    (b) Number of Participants. For each year of the project period, a 
grantee must serve at least the number of participants that the 
Secretary identifies in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications for a competition. Through this notice, the Secretary also 
provides the minimum and maximum grant award amounts for the 
competition.
* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (5) To the extent practicable, any services the TS participant 
receives during the project year from another Federal TRIO program or 
another federally funded program that serves populations similar to 
those served under the TS program.
    (d) Project director. (1) A grantee must employ a full-time project 
director unless--
    (i) The director is also administering one or two additional 
programs for disadvantaged students operated by the sponsoring 
institution or agency; or
    (ii) The Secretary grants a waiver of this requirement.
    (2) The grantee must give the project director sufficient authority 
to administer the project effectively.
    (3) The Secretary waives the requirements in paragraph (d)(1) of 
this section if the applicant demonstrates that the project director 
will be able to effectively administer more than three programs and 
that this arrangement would promote effective coordination between the 
TS program and other Federal TRIO Programs (sections 402B through 402F 
of the HEA) or similar programs funded through other sources.
* * * * *

PART 644--EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY CENTERS

0
50. The authority citation for part 644 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 1070a-16, unless otherwise 
noted.


0
51. Section 644.1 is amended by:
0
A. In the introductory text, removing the words ``to provide''.
0
B. In paragraph (a), removing the word ``Information'' and adding, in 
its place, the words ``To provide information''; removing the word 
``for'' and adding, in its place, the word ``to''; and removing the 
word ``and'' that appears after the punctuation ``;''.
0
C. In paragraph (b), removing the word ``Assistance'' and adding, in 
its place, the words ``To provide assistance''; and removing the 
punctuation ``.'' at the end of the sentence and adding, in its place, 
the word ``; and''.
0
D. Adding a new paragraph (c).
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  644.1  What is the Educational Opportunity Centers program?

* * * * *
    (c) To improve the financial and economic literacy of participants 
on topics such as--
    (1) Basic personal income, household money management, and 
financial planning skills; and
    (2) Basic economic decision-making skills.
* * * * *


0
52. Section 644.2 is amended by:
0
A. In the introductory text of the section, adding the word 
``entities'' after the word ``following''.
0
B. In paragraph (b), adding the words ``, including a community-based 
organization with experience in serving disadvantaged youth'' after the 
word ``organization''.
0
C. Removing paragraph (d).
0
D. Redesignating paragraph (c) as paragraph (d).
0
E. Adding a new paragraph (c).
0
F. In newly redesignated paragraph (d), removing the word ``and'' 
before the citation ``(b)'' and adding, in its place, the punctuation 
``,''; and adding the words ``, and (c)'' after the citation ``(b)''.
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  644.2  Who is eligible for a grant?

* * * * *
    (c) A secondary school.
* * * * *

0
53. Section 644.4 is amended by:
0
A. Redesignating paragraphs (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), and (k) as 
paragraphs (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l), respectively.
0
B. Adding a new paragraph (e).
0
C. In newly redesignated paragraph (g), removing the word ``Personal'' 
and adding, in its place, the words ``Individualized personal, career, 
and academic''.
0
D. Revising newly redesignated paragraph (k).
    The addition and revision read as follows:


Sec.  644.4  What services may a project provide?

* * * * *
    (e) Education or counseling services designed to improve the 
financial and economic literacy of participants.
* * * * *
    (k) Programs and activities described in this section that are 
specially designed for participants who are limited English proficient, 
participants from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in 
postsecondary education, participants who are individuals with 
disabilities, participants who are homeless children and youth, 
participants who are foster care youth, or other disconnected 
participants.
* * * * *

0
54. Section 644.5 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  644.5  How long is a project period?

    A project period under the Educational Opportunity Centers program 
is five years.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11)



0
55. Section 644.6 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  644.6  What regulations apply?

* * * * *
    (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations 
(EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75 (except for Sec. Sec.  75.215 through 
75.221), 77, 79, 80, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.
* * * * *

0
56. Section 644.7(b) is amended by:
0
A. Adding, in alphabetical order, new definitions for ``Different 
population'', ``Financial and economic literacy'', ``Foster care 
youth'', ``Homeless children and youth'', and ``Individual with a 
disability''.
0
B. Revising the definition of ``Institution of higher education''.
0
C. Revising the definition of ``Veteran''.
    The additions and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  644.7  What definitions apply?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    Different population means a group of individuals that an eligible 
entity desires to serve through an application for a grant under the 
Educational Opportunity Centers program and that--
    (i) Is separate and distinct from any other population that the 
entity has

[[Page 65781]]

applied for a grant under this chapter to serve; or
    (ii) While sharing some of the same needs as another population 
that the eligible entity has applied for a grant to serve, has distinct 
needs for specialized services.
    Financial and economic literacy means knowledge about personal 
financial decision-making, which may include but is not limited to 
knowledge about--
    (i) Personal and family budget planning;
    (ii) Understanding credit building principles to meet long-term and 
short-term goals (e.g., loan to debt ratio, credit scoring, negative 
impacts on credit scores);
    (iii) Cost planning for postsecondary or postbaccalaureate 
education (e.g., spending, saving, personal budgeting);
    (iv) College cost of attendance (e.g., public vs. private, tuition 
vs. fees, personal costs);
    (v) Financial assistance (e.g., searches, application processes, 
and differences between private and government loans, assistanceships); 
and
    (vi) Assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal 
Student Aid (FAFSA).
    Foster care youth means youth who are in foster care or are aging 
out of the foster care system.
* * * * *
    Homeless children and youth means those persons defined in section 
725 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a).
    Individual with a disability means a person who has a disability, 
as that term is defined in section 12102 of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
    Institution of higher education means an educational institution as 
defined in sections 101 and 102 of the HEA.
* * * * *
    Veteran means a person who--
    (i) Served on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the 
United States for a period of more than 180 days and was discharged or 
released under conditions other than dishonorable;
    (ii) Served on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the 
United States and was discharged or released because of a service 
connected disability;
    (iii) Was a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of 
the United States and was called to active duty for a period of more 
than 30 days; or
    (iv) Was a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the 
United States who served on active duty in support of a contingency 
operation (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(13) of title 10, 
United States Code) on or after September 11, 2001.
* * * * *

Subpart B--How Does One Apply for an Award?

0
57. The heading for subpart B of part 644 is revised to read as set 
forth above.


Sec.  644.10  [Redesignated as Sec.  644.11]

0
58. In subpart B of part 644, Sec.  644.10 is redesignated as Sec.  
644.11.

0
59. A new Sec.  644.10 is added to subpart B of part 644 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  644.10  How many applications may an eligible applicant submit?

    (a) An applicant may submit more than one application for 
Educational Opportunity Centers grants as long as each application 
describes a project that serves a different target area or another 
designated different population.
    (b) For each grant competition, the Secretary designates, in the 
Federal Register notice inviting applications and other published 
application materials for the competition, the different populations 
for which an eligible entity may submit a separate application.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11, 1221e-3)


0
60. Newly redesignated Sec.  644.11 is amended by:
0
A. In the introductory text, removing the word ``shall'' and adding, in 
its place, the word ``must''.
0
B. Revising paragraph (b).
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  644.11  What assurances must an applicant submit?

* * * * *
    (b) The project will collaborate with other Federal TRIO projects, 
GEAR UP projects, or programs serving similar populations that are 
serving the same target schools or target area in order to minimize the 
duplication of services and promote collaborations so that more 
students can be served.
* * * * *

0
61. Section 644.20 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (a)(2)(i), removing the word ``or'' after the words 
``same populations'' and adding, in its place, the word ``and''; 
removing the words ``in delivering services'' and adding, in their 
place, the words ``of high quality service delivery; and adding the 
word ``outcome'' before the word ``criteria''.
0
B. In paragraph (a)(2)(ii), adding the word ``total'' after the word 
``maximum'' the first time it appears.
0
C. Adding new paragraphs (a)(2)(iii) through (a)(2)(v).
0
D. Removing paragraph (a)(3).
0
E. In paragraph (b), removing the words ``paragraphs (a)(1) through 
(3)'' and adding, in their place, the words ``paragraph (a)''.
0
F. Revising paragraph (d).
    The revision and additions read as follows:


Sec.  644.20  How does the Secretary decide which new grants to make?

    (a) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (iii) The Secretary evaluates the PE of an applicant for each of 
the three project years that the Secretary designates in the Federal 
Register notice inviting applications and the other published 
application materials for the competition.
    (iv) An applicant may earn up to 15 PE points for each of the 
designated project years for which annual performance report data are 
available.
    (v) The final PE score is the average of the scores for the three 
project years assessed.
* * * * *
    (d) The Secretary does not make a new grant to an applicant if the 
applicant's prior project involved the fraudulent use of program funds.
* * * * *

0
62. Section 644.21 is amended by:
0
A. Revising paragraph (b).
0
B. In the OMB control number parenthetical following paragraph (g), 
removing the numbers ``1840-0065'' and adding, in their place, the 
numbers ``1840-NEW3''.
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  644.21  What selection criteria does the Secretary use?

* * * * *
    (b) Objectives (8 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality of 
the applicant's objectives and proposed targets (percentages) in the 
following areas on the basis of the extent to which they are both 
ambitious, as related to the need data provided under paragraph (a) of 
this section, and attainable, given the project's plan of operation, 
budget, and other resources:
    (1) (2 points) Secondary school diploma or equivalent.
    (2) (3 points) Postsecondary enrollment.
    (3) (1.5 points) Financial aid applications.
    (4) (1.5 points) College admission applications.
* * * * *

0
63. Section 644.22 is revised to read as follows:

[[Page 65782]]

Sec.  644.22  How does the Secretary evaluate prior experience?

    (a) In the case of an application described in Sec.  
644.20(a)(2)(i), the Secretary--
    (1) Evaluates the applicant's performance under its expiring 
Educational Opportunity Centers project;
    (2) Uses the approved project objectives for the applicant's 
expiring Educational Opportunity Centers grant and the information the 
applicant submitted in its annual performance reports (APRs) to 
determine the number of PE points; and
    (3) May adjust a calculated PE score or decide not to award PE 
points if other information such as audit reports, site visit reports, 
and project evaluation reports indicates the APR data used to calculate 
PE points are incorrect.
    (b) The Secretary does not award PE points for a given year to an 
applicant that does not serve at least 90 percent of the approved 
number of participants. For purposes of this section, the approved 
number of participants is the total number of participants the project 
would serve as agreed upon by the grantee and the Secretary.
    (c) The Secretary does not award PE points for the criterion 
specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section (Number of participants) 
if the applicant did not serve at least the approved number of 
participants.
    (d) For purposes of the PE evaluation of grants awarded after 
January 1, 2009, the Secretary evaluates the applicant's PE on the 
basis of the following outcome criteria:
    (1) (3 points) Number of participants. Whether the applicant 
provided services to no less than the approved number of participants.
    (2) (3 points) Secondary school diploma. Whether the applicant met 
or exceeded its approved objective with regard to participants served 
during the project year who do not have a secondary school diploma or 
its equivalent who receive a secondary school diploma or its equivalent 
within the time period specified in the approved objective.
    (3) (5 points) Postsecondary enrollment. Whether the applicant met 
or exceeded its approved objective with regard to the secondary school 
graduates served during the project year who enroll in programs of 
postsecondary education within the time period specified in the 
approved objective.
    (4) (2 points) Financial aid applications. Whether the applicant 
met or exceeded its objective regarding participants applying for 
financial aid.
    (5) (2 points) College admission applications. Whether the 
applicant met or exceeded its objective regarding participants applying 
for college admission.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW8)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-16)



0
64. Section 644.23 is amended by:
0
A. In the introductory text of paragraph (b), removing the words 
``beginning in fiscal year 1994''.
0
B. Revising paragraph (b)(1).
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  644.23  How does the Secretary set the amount of a grant?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) $200,000; or
* * * * *

0
65. Section 644.24 is added to subpart C of part 644 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  644.24  What is the review process for unsuccessful applicants?

    (a) Technical or administrative error for applications not 
reviewed. (1) An applicant whose grant application was not evaluated 
during the competition may request that the Secretary review the 
application if--
    (i) The applicant has met all of the application submission 
requirements included in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications and the other published application materials for the 
competition; and
    (ii) The applicant provides evidence demonstrating that the 
Department or an agent of the Department made a technical or 
administrative error in the processing of the submitted application.
    (2) A technical or administrative error in the processing of an 
application includes--
    (i) A problem with the system for the electronic submission of 
applications that was not addressed in accordance with the procedures 
included in the Federal Register notice inviting applications for the 
competition;
    (ii) An error in determining an applicant's eligibility for funding 
consideration, which may include, but is not limited to--
    (A) An incorrect conclusion that the application was submitted by 
an ineligible applicant;
    (B) An incorrect conclusion that the application exceeded the 
published page limit;
    (C) An incorrect conclusion that the applicant requested funding 
greater than the published maximum award; or
    (D) An incorrect conclusion that the application was missing 
critical sections of the application; and
    (iii) Any other mishandling of the application that resulted in an 
otherwise eligible application not being reviewed during the 
competition.
    (3)(i) If the Secretary determines that the Department or the 
Department's agent made a technical or administrative error, the 
Secretary has the application evaluated and scored.
    (ii) If the total score assigned the application would have 
resulted in funding of the application during the competition and the 
program has funds available, the Secretary funds the application prior 
to the re-ranking of applications based on the second peer review of 
applications described in paragraph (c) of this section.
    (b) Administrative or scoring error for applications that were 
reviewed. (1) An applicant that was not selected for funding during a 
competition may request that the Secretary conduct a second review of 
the application if--
    (i) The applicant provides evidence demonstrating that the 
Department, an agent of the Department, or a peer reviewer made an 
administrative or scoring error in the review of its application; and
    (ii) The final score assigned to the application is within the 
funding band described in paragraph (d) of this section.
    (2) An administrative error relates to either the PE points or the 
scores assigned to the application by the peer reviewers.
    (i) For PE points, an administrative error includes mathematical 
errors made by the Department or the Department's agent in the 
calculation of the PE points or a failure to correctly add the earned 
PE points to the peer reviewer score.
    (ii) For the peer review score, an administrative error is applying 
the wrong peer reviewer scores to an application.
    (3)(i) A scoring error relates only to the peer review process and 
includes errors caused by a reviewer who, in assigning points--
    (A) Uses criteria not required by the applicable law or program 
regulations, the Federal Register notice inviting applications, the 
other published application materials for the competition, or guidance 
provided to the peer reviewers by the Secretary; or
    (B) Does not consider relevant information included in the 
appropriate section of the application.
    (ii) The term ``scoring error'' does not include--
    (A) A peer reviewer's appropriate use of his or her professional 
judgment in evaluating and scoring an application;
    (B) Any situation in which the applicant did not include 
information

[[Page 65783]]

needed to evaluate its response to a specific selection criterion in 
the appropriate section of the application as stipulated in the Federal 
Register notice inviting applications or the other published 
application materials for the competition; or
    (C) Any error by the applicant.
    (c) Procedures for the second review. (1) To ensure the timely 
awarding of grants under the competition, the Secretary sets aside a 
percentage of the funds allotted for the competition to be awarded 
after the second review is completed.
    (2) After the competition, the Secretary makes new awards in rank 
order as described in Sec.  644.20 based on the available funds for the 
competition minus the funds set aside for the second review.
    (3) After the Secretary issues a notification of grant award to 
successful applicants, the Secretary notifies each unsuccessful 
applicant in writing as to the status of its application and the 
funding band for the second review and provides copies of the peer 
reviewers' evaluations of the applicant's application and the 
applicant's PE score, if applicable.
    (4) An applicant that was not selected for funding following the 
competition as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section and whose 
application received a score within the funding band as described in 
paragraph (d) of this section, may request a second review if the 
applicant demonstrates that the Department, the Department's agent, or 
a peer reviewer made an administrative or scoring error as provided in 
paragraph (b) of this section.
    (5) An applicant whose application was not funded after the first 
review as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section and whose 
application received a score within the funding band as described in 
paragraph (d) of this section has at least 15 calendar days after 
receiving notification that its application was not funded in which to 
submit a written request for a second review in accordance with the 
instructions and due date provided in the Secretary's written 
notification.
    (6) An applicant's written request for a second review must be 
received by the Department or submitted electronically to the 
designated e-mail or Web address by the due date and time established 
by the Secretary.
    (7) If the Secretary determines that the Department or the 
Department's agent made an administrative error that relates to the PE 
points awarded, as described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, 
the Secretary adjusts the applicant's PE score to reflect the correct 
number of PE points. If the adjusted score assigned to the application 
would have resulted in funding of the application during the 
competition and the program has funds available, the Secretary funds 
the application prior to the re-ranking of applications based on the 
second peer review of applications described in paragraph (c)(9) of 
this section.
    (8) If the Secretary determines that the Department, the 
Department's agent or the peer reviewer made an administrative error 
that relates to the peer reviewers' score(s), as described in paragraph 
(b)(2)(ii) of this section, the Secretary adjusts the applicant's peer 
reviewers' score(s) to correct the error. If the adjusted score 
assigned to the application would have resulted in funding of the 
application during the competition and the program has funds available, 
the Secretary funds the application prior to the re-ranking of 
applications based on the second peer review of applications described 
in paragraph (c)(9) of this section.
    (9) If the Secretary determines that a peer reviewer made a scoring 
error, as described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the Secretary 
convenes a second panel of peer reviewers in accordance with the 
requirements in section 402A(c)(8)(C)(iv)(III) of the HEA.
    (10) The average of the peer reviewers' scores from the second peer 
review are used in the second ranking of applications. The average 
score obtained from the second peer review panel is the final peer 
reviewer score for the application and will be used even if the second 
review results in a lower score for the application than that obtained 
in the initial review.
    (11) For applications in the funding band, the Secretary funds 
these applications in rank order based on adjusted scores and the 
available funds that have been set aside for the second review of 
applications.
    (d) Process for establishing a funding band. (1) For each 
competition, the Secretary establishes a funding band for the second 
review of applications.
    (2) The Secretary establishes the funding band for each competition 
based on the amount of funds the Secretary has set aside for the second 
review of applications.
    (3) The funding band is composed of those applications--
    (i) With a rank-order score before the second review that is below 
the lowest score of applications funded after the first review; and
    (ii) That would be funded if the Secretary had 150 percent of the 
funds that were set aside for the second review of applications for the 
competition.
    (e) Final decision. (1) The Secretary's determination of whether 
the applicant has met the requirements for a second review and the 
Secretary's decision on re-scoring of an application are final and not 
subject to further appeal or challenge.
    (2) An application that scored below the established funding band 
for the competition is not eligible for a second review.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840--NEW3)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11)



0
66. Section 644.30 is amended by:
0
A. In the introductory text, removing the words ``34 CFR part 74, 
subpart Q'' and adding, in their place, the words ``34 CFR 74.27, 
75.530, and 80.22, as applicable''.
0
B. In the introductory text of paragraph (a), adding the word 
``project'' before the word ``staff''.
0
C. In paragraph (a)(1), removing the words ``to obtain information 
relating to the admission of participants to those institutions''.
0
D. Revising paragraph (a)(3).
0
E. In paragraph (b), adding the words ``and test preparation programs 
for participants'' after the word ``materials''.
0
F. Revising paragraph (c) introductory text.
0
G. Revising paragraph (f).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  644.30  What are allowable costs?

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (3) Field trips for participants to observe and meet with persons 
who are employed in various career fields and can act as role models 
for participants.
* * * * *
    (c) Fees required for admission applications for postsecondary 
education, college entrance examinations, or alternative education 
examinations if--
* * * * *
    (f) Purchase, lease, or rental of computer hardware, software, and 
other equipment, service agreements for such equipment, and supplies 
for participant development, project administration, or project 
recordkeeping.
* * * * *

0
67. Section 644.32 is amended by:
0
A. Revising paragraph (b).
0
B. In paragraph (c) introductory text, removing the word ``shall'' and 
adding, in its place, the word ``must''.
0
C. In paragraph (c)(2), removing the word ``and''.
0
D. In paragraph (c)(3), removing the punctuation ``.'' and adding, in 
its place, the words ``; and''.

[[Page 65784]]

0
E. Adding a new paragraph (c)(4).
0
F. Revising paragraph (d).
0
G. In the OMB control number parenthetical following paragraph (d), 
removing the numbers ``1840-0065'' and adding, in their place, the 
numbers ``1840--NEW8''.
    The revisions and addition reads as follows:


Sec.  644.32  What other requirements must a grantee meet?

* * * * *
    (b) Number of Participants. For each year of the project period, a 
grantee must serve at least the number of participants that the 
Secretary identifies in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications for a competition. Through this notice, the Secretary also 
provides the minimum and maximum grant award amounts for the 
competition.
    (c) * * *
    (4) To the extent practicable, any services the participant 
receives during the project year from another Federal TRIO program or 
another federally funded program that serves populations similar to 
those served under the EOC program.
    (d) Project director. (1) A grantee must employ a full-time project 
director unless--
    (i) The director is also administering one or two additional 
programs for disadvantaged students operated by the sponsoring 
institution or agency; or
    (ii) The Secretary grants a waiver of this requirement.
    (2) The grantee must give the project director sufficient authority 
to administer the project effectively.
    (3) The Secretary waives the requirements in paragraph (d)(1) of 
this section if the applicant demonstrates that that the project 
director will be able to effectively administer more than three 
programs and that this arrangement would promote effective coordination 
between the program and other Federal TRIO programs (sections 402B 
through 402F of the HEA) and similar programs funded through other 
sources.
* * * * *

PART 645--UPWARD BOUND PROGRAM

0
68. The authority citation for part 645 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 1070a-13, unless otherwise 
noted.


0
69. Section 645.2 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (a), removing the word ``Institutions'' and adding, in 
its place, the words ``An institution''.
0
B. Revising paragraphs (b), (c), and (d).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  645.2  Who is eligible for a grant?

* * * * *
    (b) A public or private agency or organization, including a 
community-based organization with experience in serving disadvantaged 
youth.
    (c) A secondary school.
    (d) A combination of the types of institutions, agencies, and 
organizations described in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this 
section.
* * * * *
0
70. Section 645.3 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (b)(1), removing the word ``or'' after the punctuation 
``;'';
0
B. In paragraph (b)(2), removing the punctuation ``.'' and adding, in 
its place, the word ``; or'';
0
C. Adding a new paragraph (b)(3).
0
D. In paragraph (d), removing the words ``but has not entered the 
twelfth grade''.
    The addition reads as follows:


Sec.  645.3  Who is eligible to participate in an Upward Bound project?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) An individual who has a high risk for academic failure.
* * * * *

0
71. Section 645.4 is amended by:
0
A. Revising the section heading.
0
B. Removing paragraph (a).
0
C. Redesignating paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) as paragraphs (a), (b), 
and (c), respectively.
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  645.4  What are the grantee requirements for documenting the low-
income and first-generation status of participants?

* * * * *

0
72. Section 645.5 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  645.5  What regulations apply?

* * * * *
    (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations 
(EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75 (except for Sec. Sec.  75.215 through 
75.221), 77, 79, 80, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.
* * * * *

0
73. Section 645.6(b) is amended by:
0
A. Revising the definition of ``Institution of higher education''.
0
B. Revising the definition of ``Veteran''.
0
C. Adding, in alphabetical order, new definitions for ``Different 
population'', ``Financial and economic literacy'', ``Foster care 
youth'', ``Homeless children and youth'', ``Individual who has a high 
risk for academic failure'', ``Individual with a disability'', 
``Regular secondary school diploma'', ``Rigorous secondary school 
program of study'', and ``Veteran who has a high risk for academic 
failure''.
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  645.6  What definitions apply to the Upward Bound Program?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    Different population means a group of individuals that an eligible 
entity desires to serve through an application for a grant under the 
Upward Bound program and that--
    (1) Is separate and distinct from any other population that the 
entity has applied for a grant to serve; or
    (2) While sharing some of the same needs as another population that 
the eligible entity has applied for a grant to serve, has distinct 
needs for specialized services.
* * * * *
    Financial and economic literacy means knowledge about personal 
financial decision-making, which may include but is not limited to 
knowledge about--
    (1) Personal and family budget planning;
    (2) Understanding credit building principles to meet long-term and 
short-term goals (e.g., loan to debt ratio, credit scoring, negative 
impacts on credit scores);
    (3) Cost planning for postsecondary or postbaccalaureate education 
(e.g., spending, saving, personal budgeting);
    (4) College cost of attendance (e.g., public vs. private, tuition 
vs. fees, personal costs);
    (5) Financial assistance (e.g., searches, application processes, 
and differences between private and government loans, assistanceships); 
and
    (6) Assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal 
Student Aid (FAFSA).
    Foster care youth means youth who are in foster care or are aging 
out of the foster care system.
    Homeless children and youth means persons defined in section 725 of 
the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a).
* * * * *
    Individual who has a high risk for academic failure (regular Upward 
Bound participant) means an individual who--
    (1) Has not achieved at the proficient level on State assessments 
in reading or language arts;
    (2) Has not achieved at the proficient level on State assessments 
in math;
    (3) Has not successfully completed pre-algebra or algebra by the 
beginning of the tenth grade; or

[[Page 65785]]

    (4) Has a grade point average of 2.5 or less (on a 4.0 scale) for 
the most recent school year for which grade point averages are 
available.
    Individual with a disability means a person who has a disability, 
as that term is defined in section 12102 of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
    Institution of higher education means an educational institution as 
defined in sections 101 and 102 of the HEA.
* * * * *
    Regular secondary school diploma means a diploma attained by 
individuals who meet or exceed the coursework and performance standards 
for high school completion established by the individual's State.
    Rigorous secondary school program of study means a program of study 
that is--
    (1) Established by a State educational agency (SEA) or local 
educational agency (LEA) and recognized as a rigorous secondary school 
program of study by the Secretary through the process described in 34 
CFR 691.16(a) through (c) for the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) 
Program;
    (2) An advanced or honors secondary school program established by 
States and in existence for the 2004-2005 school year or later school 
years;
    (3) Any secondary school program in which a student successfully 
completes at a minimum the following courses:
    (i) Four years of English.
    (ii) Three years of mathematics, including algebra I and a higher-
level class such as algebra II, geometry, or data analysis and 
statistics.
    (iii) Three years of science, including one year each of at least 
two of the following courses: biology, chemistry, and physics.
    (iv) Three years of social studies.
    (v) One year of a language other than English;
    (4) A secondary school program identified by a State-level 
partnership that is recognized by the State Scholars Initiative of the 
Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), Boulder, 
Colorado;
    (5) Any secondary school program for a student who completes at 
least two courses from an International Baccalaureate Diploma Program 
sponsored by the International Baccalaureate Organization, Geneva, 
Switzerland, and receives a score of a ``4'' or higher on the 
examinations for at least two of those courses; or
    (6) Any secondary school program for a student who completes at 
least two Advanced Placement courses and receives a score of ``3'' or 
higher on the College Board's Advanced Placement Program Exams for at 
least two of those courses.
* * * * *
    Veteran means a person who--
    (1) Served on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the 
United States for a period of more than 180 days and was discharged or 
released under conditions other than dishonorable;
    (2) Served on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the 
United States and was discharged or released because of a service 
connected disability;
    (3) Was a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the 
United States and was called to active duty for a period of more than 
30 days; or
    (4) Was a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the 
United States who served on active duty in support of a contingency 
operation (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(13) of title 10, 
United States Code) on or after September 11, 2001.
    Veteran who has a high risk for academic failure means a veteran 
who--
    (1) Has been out of high school or dropped out of a program of 
postsecondary education for five or more years;
    (2) Has scored on standardized tests below the level that 
demonstrates a likelihood of success in a program of postsecondary 
education; or
    (3) Meets the definition of an individual with a disability as 
defined in Sec.  645.6(b).
* * * * *

0
74. Section 645.11 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  645.11  What services do all Upward Bound projects provide?

    (a) Any project assisted under this part must provide--
    (1) Academic tutoring to enable students to complete secondary or 
postsecondary courses, which may include instruction in reading, 
writing, study skills, mathematics, science, and other subjects;
    (2) Advice and assistance in secondary and postsecondary course 
selection;
    (3) Assistance in preparing for college entrance examinations and 
completing college admission applications;
    (4)(i) Information on the full range of Federal student financial 
aid programs and benefits (including Federal Pell Grant awards and loan 
forgiveness) and resources for locating public and private 
scholarships; and
    (ii) Assistance in completing financial aid applications, including 
the Free Application for Federal Student Aid;
    (5) Guidance on and assistance in--
    (i) Secondary school reentry;
    (ii) Alternative education programs for secondary school dropouts 
that lead to the receipt of a regular secondary school diploma;
    (iii) Entry into general educational development (GED) programs; or
    (iv) Entry into postsecondary education; and
    (6) Education or counseling services designed to improve the 
financial and economic literacy of students or the students' parents, 
including financial planning for postsecondary education.
    (b) Any project that has received funds under this part for at 
least two years must include as part of its core curriculum in the next 
and succeeding years, instruction in--
    (1) Mathematics through pre-calculus;
    (2) Laboratory science;
    (3) Foreign language;
    (4) Composition; and
    (5) Literature.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-13)

Sec. Sec.  645.12, 645.13, and 645.14   [Redesignated as Sec. Sec.  
645.13, 645.14, and 645.15]

0
75. Sections 645.12, 645.13, and 645.14 of subpart B of part 645 are 
redesignated as Sec. Sec.  645.13, 645.14, and 645.15 of subpart B of 
part 645, respectively.
0
76. A new Sec.  645.12 is added to subpart B of part 645 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  645.12  What services may regular Upward Bound and Upward Bound 
Math-Science projects provide?

    Any project assisted under this part may provide such services as--
    (a) Exposure to cultural events, academic programs, and other 
activities not usually available to disadvantaged youth;
    (b) Information, activities, and instruction designed to acquaint 
youth participating in the project with the range of career options 
available to the youth;
    (c) On-campus residential programs;
    (d) Mentoring programs involving elementary school or secondary 
school teachers or counselors, faculty members at institutions of 
higher education, students, or any combination of these persons;
    (e) Work-study positions where youth participating in the project 
are exposed to careers requiring a postsecondary degree;
    (f) Programs and activities as described in Sec.  645.11 that are 
specially designed for participants who are limited English proficient, 
participants from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in 
postsecondary

[[Page 65786]]

education, participants who are individuals with disabilities, 
participants who are homeless children and youths, participants in or 
who are aging out of foster care, or other disconnected participants; 
and
    (g) Other activities designed to meet the purposes of the Upward 
Bound program in Sec.  645.1.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-13)


0
77. Newly redesignated Sec.  645.15 is amended by--
0
A. Revising the section heading.
0
B. In the introductory text, removing the words ``Sec.  645.11(a) and 
may be provided under Sec.  645.11(b)'' and adding, in their place, the 
citation ``Sec.  645.11''.
0
C. In paragraph (b), removing the word ``and''.
0
D. In paragraph (c), removing the punctuation ``.'' and adding, in its 
place, the word ``; and''.
0
E. Adding a new paragraph (d).
    The revision and addition read as follows:


Sec.  645.15  What additional services may Veterans Upward Bound 
projects provide?

* * * * *
    (d) Provide special services, including mathematics and science 
preparation, to enable veterans to make the transition to postsecondary 
education.
* * * * *

0
78. Section 645.20 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  645.20  How many applications for an Upward Bound award may an 
eligible applicant submit?

    (a) An applicant may submit more than one application as long as 
each application describes a project that serves a different target 
area or target school, or another designated different population.
    (b) For each grant competition, the Secretary designates, in the 
Federal Register notice inviting applications and other published 
application materials for the competition, the different populations 
for which an eligible entity may submit a separate application.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-13, 1221e-3)


0
79. Section 645.21 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  645.21  What assurances must an applicant include in an 
application?

    (a) An applicant for a Regular Upward Bound award must assure the 
Secretary that--
    (1) Not less than two-thirds of the project's participants will be 
low-income individuals who are potential first-generation college 
students;
    (2) The remaining participants will be low-income individuals, 
potential first-generation college students, or individuals who have a 
high risk for academic failure;
    (3) No student will be denied participation in a project because 
the student would enter the project after the 9th grade; and
    (4) The project will collaborate with other Federal TRIO projects, 
GEAR UP projects, or programs serving similar populations that are 
serving the same target schools or target area in order to minimize the 
duplication of services and promote collaborations so that more 
students can be served.
    (b) An applicant for an Upward Bound Math and Science Centers award 
must assure the Secretary that--
    (1) Not less than two-thirds of the project's participants will be 
low-income individuals who are potential first-generation college 
students;
    (2) The remaining participants will be either low-income 
individuals or potential first-generation college students;
    (3) No student will be denied participation in a project because 
the student would enter the project after the 9th grade; and
    (4) The project will collaborate with other Federal TRIO projects, 
GEAR UP projects, or programs serving similar populations that are 
serving the same target schools or target area in order to minimize the 
duplication of services and promote collaborations so that more 
students can be served.
    (c) An applicant for a Veterans Upward Bound award must assure the 
Secretary that--
    (1) Not less than two-thirds of the project's participants will be 
low-income individuals who are potential first-generation college 
students;
    (2) The remaining participants will be low-income individuals, 
potential first-generation college students, or veterans who have a 
high risk for academic failure; and
    (3) The project will collaborate with other Federal TRIO projects 
or programs serving similar populations in the target area in order to 
minimize the duplication of services and promote collaborations so that 
more students can be served.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-13)



0
80. Section 645.30 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (a)(2)(i), removing the word ``or'' after the words 
``same target population'' and adding, in its place, the word ``and''; 
removing the words ``in delivering services'' and adding, in their 
place, the words ``of high quality service delivery''; and adding the 
word ``outcome'' before the word ``criteria''.
0
B. In paragraph (a)(2)(ii), adding the word ``total'' after the word 
``maximum'' the first time it appears.
0
C. Adding new paragraphs (a)(2)(iii) through (a)(2)(v).
0
D. Revising paragraph (d).
    The additions and revision read as follows:


Sec.  645.30  How does the Secretary decide which grants to make?

    (a) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (iii) The Secretary evaluates the PE of an applicant for each of 
the three project years that the Secretary designates in the Federal 
Register notice inviting applications and the other published 
application materials for the competition.
    (iv) An applicant may earn up to 15 PE points for each of the 
designated project years for which annual performance report data are 
available.
    (v) The final PE score is the average of the scores for the three 
project years assessed.
* * * * *
    (d) The Secretary does not make a new grant to an applicant if the 
applicant's prior project involved the fraudulent use of program funds.
* * * * *

0
81. Section 645.31 is amended by:
0
A. Revising paragraph (b).
0
B. Revising paragraph (d)(2).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  645.31  What selection criteria does the Secretary use?

* * * * *
    (b) Objectives (9 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality of 
the applicant's objectives and proposed targets (percentages) in the 
following areas on the basis of the extent to which they are both 
ambitious, as related to the need data provided under paragraph (a) of 
this section, and attainable, given the project's plan of operation, 
budget, and other resources:
    (1) For Regular Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science 
Centers--
    (i) (1 point) Academic performance (GPA);
    (ii) (1 point) Academic performance (standardized test scores);
    (iii) (2 points) Secondary school retention and graduation (with 
regular secondary school diploma);
    (iv) (1 point) Completion of rigorous secondary school program of 
study;
    (v) (3 points) Postsecondary enrollment; and
    (vi) (1 point) Postsecondary completion.
    (2) For Veterans Upward Bound--
    (i) (2 points) Academic performance (standardized test scores);

[[Page 65787]]

    (ii) (3 points) Education program retention and completion;
    (iii) (3 points) Postsecondary enrollment; and
    (iv) (1 point) Postsecondary completion.
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (2) Resources secured through written commitments from community 
partners.
    (i) An applicant that is an institution of higher education must 
include in its application commitments from the target schools and 
community organizations;
    (ii) An applicant that is a secondary school must include in its 
commitments from institutions of higher education, community 
organizations, and, as appropriate, other secondary schools and the 
school district;
    (iii) An applicant that is a community organization must include in 
its application commitments from the target schools and institutions of 
higher education.
* * * * *

0
82. Section 645.32 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  645.32  How does the Secretary evaluate prior experience?

    (a) In the case of an application described in Sec.  
645.30(a)(2)(i), the Secretary--
    (1) Evaluates the applicant's performance under its expiring Upward 
Bound project;
    (2) Uses the approved project objectives for the applicant's 
expiring Upward Bound grant and the information the applicant submitted 
in its annual performance reports (APRs) to determine the number of PE 
points; and
    (3) May adjust a calculated PE score or decide not to award any PE 
points if other information such as audit reports, site visit reports, 
and project evaluation reports indicates the APR data used to calculate 
PE points are incorrect.
    (b) The Secretary does not award PE points for a given year to an 
applicant that does not serve at least 90 percent of the approved 
number of participants. For purposes of this section, the approved 
number of participants is the total number of participants the project 
would serve as agreed upon by the grantee and the Secretary.
    (c) The Secretary does not award PE points for the criteria 
specified in paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (e)(2)(i) of this section (Number 
of participants) if the applicant did not serve at least the approved 
number of participants.
    (d) The Secretary uses the approved number of participants, or the 
actual number of participants served in a given year if greater than 
the approved number of participants, as the denominator for calculating 
whether the applicant has met its approved objectives related to the 
following PE criteria:
    (1) Regular Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science Centers 
PE criteria in paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section (Academic 
performance) and paragraph (e)(1)(iii) of this section (Secondary 
school retention and graduation).
    (2) Veterans Upward Bound PE criteria in paragraph (e)(2)(iii) of 
this section (Education program retention and completion).
    (e) For purposes of the PE evaluation of grants awarded after 
January 1, 2009, the Secretary evaluates the applicant's PE on the 
basis of the following outcome criteria:
    (1) Regular Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science Centers.
    (i) (3 points) Number of participants. Whether the applicant 
provided services to no less than the approved number of participants.
    (ii) Academic Performance. (A) (1.5 points) Whether the applicant 
met or exceeded its approved objective with regard to participants 
served during the project year who had a cumulative GPA at the end of 
the school year that was not less than the GPA specified in the 
approved objective.
    (B) (1.5 points) Whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved 
objective with regard to participants served during the project period 
who met the academic performance levels on standardized tests as 
specified in the approved objectives.
    (iii) (3 points) Secondary school retention and graduation. Whether 
the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective with regard to 
participants served during the project year who returned the next 
school year or graduated from secondary school with a regular secondary 
school diploma.
    (iv) (1.5 points) Rigorous secondary school program of study. 
Whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective with 
regard to current and prior participants with an expected high school 
graduation date in the school year who completed a rigorous secondary 
school program of study.
    (v) (3 points) Postsecondary enrollment. Whether the applicant met 
or exceeded its approved objective with regard current and prior 
participants with an expected high school graduation date in the school 
year who enrolled in a program of postsecondary education within the 
time period specified in the approved objective.
    (vi) (1.5 points) Postsecondary completion. Whether the applicant 
met or exceeded its approved objective with regard to participants who 
enrolled in a program of postsecondary education and attained a 
postsecondary degree within the number of years specified in the 
approved objective.
    (2) Veterans Upward Bound.
    (i) (3 points) Number of participants. Whether the applicant 
provided services to no less than the approved number of participants.
    (ii) (3 points) Academic improvement on standardized test. Whether 
the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective with regard to 
participants who completed their Veterans Upward Bound educational 
program during the project year and who improved their academic 
performance as measured by a standardized test taken by participants 
before and after receiving services from the project.
    (iii) (3 points) Education program retention and completion. 
Whether the applicant met or exceeded its approved objective with 
regard to participants served during the project year who remained in 
or completed their Veterans Upward Bound educational program.
    (iv) (3 points) Postsecondary enrollment. Whether the applicant met 
or exceeded its approved objective with regard to participants who 
completed their Veterans Upward Bound educational program and enrolled 
in an institution of higher education within the time period specified 
in the approved objective.
    (v) (3 points) Postsecondary completion. Whether the applicant met 
or exceeded its approved objective with regard to participants who 
enrolled in and completed a program of postsecondary education within 
the number of years specified in the approved objective.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW9)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 1070a-13)

Sec.  645.33  [Amended]

0
83. Section 645.33 is amended by, in paragraph (b)(1), removing the 
amount ``$190,000'' and adding, in its place, the amount ``$200,000''.

0
84. Section 645.34 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  645.34  How long is a project period?

    A project period under the Upward Bound program is five years.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11)


[[Page 65788]]



0
85. A new Sec.  645.35 is added to subpart D of part 645 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  645.35  What is the review process for unsuccessful applicants?

    (a) Technical or administrative error for applications not 
reviewed. (1) An applicant whose grant application was not evaluated 
during the competition may request that the Secretary review the 
application if--
    (i) The applicant has met all of the application submission 
requirements included in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications and the other published application materials for the 
competition; and
    (ii) The applicant provides evidence demonstrating that the 
Department or an agent of the Department made a technical or 
administrative error in the processing of the submitted application.
    (2) A technical or administrative error in the processing of an 
application includes--
    (i) A problem with the system for the electronic submission of 
applications that was not addressed in accordance with the procedures 
included in the Federal Register notice inviting applications for the 
competition;
    (ii) An error in determining an applicant's eligibility for funding 
consideration, which may include, but is not limited to--
    (A) An incorrect conclusion that the application was submitted by 
an ineligible applicant;
    (B) An incorrect conclusion that the application exceeded the 
published page limit;
    (C) An incorrect conclusion that the applicant requested funding 
greater than the published maximum award; or
    (D) An incorrect conclusion that the application was missing 
critical sections of the application; and
    (iii) Any other mishandling of the application that resulted in an 
otherwise eligible application not being reviewed during the 
competition.
    (3)(i) If the Secretary determines that the Department or the 
Department's agent made a technical or administrative error, the 
Secretary has the application evaluated and scored.
    (ii) If the total score assigned the application would have 
resulted in funding of the application during the competition and the 
program has funds available, the Secretary funds the application prior 
to the re-ranking of applications based on the second peer review of 
applications described in paragraph (c) of this section.
    (b) Administrative or scoring error for applications that were 
reviewed. (1) An applicant that was not selected for funding during a 
competition may request that the Secretary conduct a second review of 
the application if--
    (i) The applicant provides evidence demonstrating that the 
Department, an agent of the Department, or a peer reviewer made an 
administrative or scoring error in the review of its application; and
    (ii) The final score assigned to the application is within the 
funding band described in paragraph (d) of this section.
    (2) An administrative error relates to either the PE points or the 
scores assigned to the application by the peer reviewers.
    (i) For PE points, an administrative error includes mathematical 
errors made by the Department or the Department's agent in the 
calculation of the PE points or a failure to correctly add the earned 
PE points to the peer reviewer score.
    (ii) For the peer review score, an administrative error is applying 
the wrong peer reviewer scores to an application.
    (3)(i) A scoring error relates only to the peer review process and 
includes errors caused by a reviewer who, in assigning points--
    (A) Uses criteria not required by the applicable law or program 
regulations, the Federal Register notice inviting applications, the 
other published application materials for the competition, or guidance 
provided to the peer reviewers by the Secretary; or
    (B) Does not consider relevant information included in the 
appropriate section of the application.
    (ii) The term ``scoring error'' does not include--
    (A) A peer reviewer's appropriate use of his or her professional 
judgment in evaluating and scoring an application;
    (B) Any situation in which the applicant did not include 
information needed to evaluate its response to a specific selection 
criterion in the appropriate section of the application as stipulated 
in the Federal Register notice inviting applications or the other 
published application materials for the competition; or
    (C) Any error by the applicant.
    (c) Procedures for the second review. (1) To ensure the timely 
awarding of grants under the competition, the Secretary sets aside a 
percentage of the funds allotted for the competition to be awarded 
after the second review is completed.
    (2) After the competition, the Secretary makes new awards in rank 
order as described in Sec.  645.30 based on the available funds for the 
competition minus the funds set aside for the second review.
    (3) After the Secretary issues a notification of grant award to 
successful applicants, the Secretary notifies each unsuccessful 
applicant in writing as to the status of its application and the 
funding band for the second review and provides copies of the peer 
reviewers' evaluations of the applicant's application and the 
applicant's PE score, if applicable.
    (4) An applicant that was not selected for funding following the 
competition as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section and whose 
application received a score within the funding band as described in 
paragraph (d) of this section, may request a second review if the 
applicant demonstrates that the Department, the Department's agent, or 
a peer reviewer made an administrative or scoring error as provided in 
paragraph (b) of this section.
    (5) An applicant whose application was not funded after the first 
review as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section and whose 
application received a score within the funding band as described in 
paragraph (d) of this section has at least 15 calendar days after 
receiving notification that its application was not funded in which to 
submit a written request for a second review in accordance with the 
instructions and due date provided in the Secretary's written 
notification.
    (6) An applicant's written request for a second review must be 
received by the Department or submitted electronically to the 
designated e-mail or Web address by the due date and time established 
by the Secretary.
    (7) If the Secretary determines that the Department or the 
Department's agent made an administrative error that relates to the PE 
points awarded, as described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, 
the Secretary adjusts the applicant's PE score to reflect the correct 
number of PE points. If the adjusted score assigned to the application 
would have resulted in funding of the application during the 
competition and the program has funds available, the Secretary funds 
the application prior to the re-ranking of applications based on the 
second peer review of applications described in paragraph (c)(9) of 
this section.
    (8) If the Secretary determines that the Department, the 
Department's agent or the peer reviewer made an administrative error 
that relates to the peer reviewers' score(s), as described in paragraph 
(b)(2)(ii) of this section, the Secretary adjusts the applicant's peer 
reviewers' score(s) to correct the error. If the adjusted score 
assigned to the application would have resulted in funding of the 
application during the competition and the program has funds

[[Page 65789]]

available, the Secretary funds the application prior to the re-ranking 
of applications based on the second peer review of applications 
described in paragraph (c)(9) of this section.
    (9) If the Secretary determines that a peer reviewer made a scoring 
error, as described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the Secretary 
convenes a second panel of peer reviewers in accordance with the 
requirements in section 402A(c)(8)(C)(iv)(III) of the HEA.
    (10) The average of the peer reviewers' scores from the second peer 
review are used in the second ranking of applications. The average 
score obtained from the second peer review panel is the final peer 
reviewer score for the application and will be used even if the second 
review results in a lower score for the application than that obtained 
in the initial review.
    (11) For applications in the funding band, the Secretary funds 
these applications in rank order based on adjusted scores and the 
available funds that have been set aside for the second review of 
applications.
    (d) Process for establishing a funding band. (1) For each 
competition, the Secretary establishes a funding band for the second 
review of applications.
    (2) The Secretary establishes the funding band for each competition 
based on the amount of funds the Secretary has set aside for the second 
review of applications.
    (3) The funding band is composed of those applications--
    (i) With a rank-order score before the second review that is below 
the lowest score of applications funded after the first review; and
    (ii) That would be funded if the Secretary had 150 percent of the 
funds that were set aside for the second review of applications for the 
competition.
    (e) Final decision. (1) The Secretary's determination of whether 
the applicant has met the requirements for a second review and the 
Secretary's decision on re-scoring of an application are final and not 
subject to further appeal or challenge.
    (2) An application that scored below the established funding band 
for the competition is not eligible for a second review.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW4)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11)



0
86. Section 645.40 is amended by:
0
A. In the introductory text, removing the words ``34 CFR part 74, 
subpart Q'' and adding, in their place, the words ``34 CFR 74.27, 
75.530, and 80.22, as applicable''.
0
B. Revising paragraph (n).
0
C. Redesignating paragraph (o) as paragraph (p).
0
D. Adding new paragraph (o).
0
E. Adding new paragraph (q).
    The revision and additions read as follows:


Sec.  645.40  What are allowable costs?

* * * * *
    (n) Purchase, lease, or rental of computer hardware, software, and 
other equipment, service agreements for such equipment, and supplies 
that support the delivery of services to participants, including 
technology used by participants in a rigorous secondary school program 
of study.
    (o) Purchase, lease, or rental of computer equipment and software, 
service agreements for such equipment, and supplies needed for project 
administration and recordkeeping.
* * * * *
    (q) Tuition costs for a course that is part of a rigorous secondary 
school program of study if--
    (1) The course or a similar course is not offered at the secondary 
school that the participant attends or at another school within the 
school district;
    (2) The grantee demonstrates to the Secretary's satisfaction that 
using grant funds is the most cost-effective way to deliver the course 
or courses necessary for the completion of a rigorous secondary school 
program of study for program participants;
    (3) The course is taken through an accredited institution of higher 
education;
    (4) The course is comparable in content and rigor to courses that 
are part of a rigorous secondary school program of study as defined in 
Sec.  645.6(b);
    (5) The secondary school accepts the course as meeting one or more 
of the course requirements for obtaining a regular secondary school 
diploma;
    (6) A waiver of the tuition costs is unavailable;
    (7) The tuition is paid with Upward Bound grant funds to an 
institution of higher education on behalf of a participant; and
    (8) The Upward Bound project pays for no more than the equivalent 
of two courses for a participant each school year.
* * * * *

0
87. Section 645.42 is amended by revising paragraph (d)(1)(ii) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  645.42  What are Upward Bound stipends?

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ii) The stipend may not exceed $60 per month for the summer school 
recess for a period not to exceed three months, except that youth 
participating in a work-study position may be paid $300 per month 
during the summer school recess.
* * * * *

0
88. Section 645.43 is amended by:
0
A. Revising paragraph (a).
0
B. Revising paragraph (b).
0
C. In paragraph (c) introductory text, removing the word ``shall'' and 
adding, in its place, the word ``must''.
0
D. In paragraph (c)(4), removing the punctuation ``.'' and adding, in 
its place, the words ``; and''.
0
E. Adding a new paragraph (c)(5).
0
F. Adding an OMB control number parenthetical following paragraph (c).
    The additions read as follows:


Sec.  645.43  What other requirements must a grantee meet?

    (a) Number of Participants. For each year of the project period, a 
grantee must serve at least the number of participants that the 
Secretary identifies in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications for a competition. Through this notice, the Secretary also 
provides the minimum and maximum grant award amounts for the 
competition.
    (b) Project director. (1) A grantee must employ a full-time project 
director unless--
    (i) The director is also administering one or two additional 
programs for disadvantaged students operated by the sponsoring 
institution or agency; or
    (ii) The Secretary grants a waiver of this requirement.
    (2) The grantee must give the project director sufficient authority 
to administer the project effectively.
    (3) The Secretary waives the requirements in paragraph (b)(1) of 
this section if the applicant demonstrates that the project director 
will be able to effectively administer more than three programs and 
that this arrangement would promote effective coordination between the 
program and other Federal TRIO programs (sections 402B through 402F of 
the HEA) and similar programs funded through other sources.
    (c) * * *
    (5) To the extent practicable, any services the participant 
receives during the project year from another Federal TRIO program or 
another federally funded program that serves populations similar to 
those served under the UB program.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW9)
* * * * *

[[Page 65790]]

PART 646--STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

0
89. The authority citation for part 646 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 1070a-14, unless otherwise 
noted.


0
90. Section 646.1 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (a), adding the word ``college'' before the word 
``retention''.
0
B. Revising paragraph (c).
0
C. Adding new paragraph (d).
    The revision and addition read as follows:


Sec.  646.1  What is the Student Support Services program?

* * * * *
    (c) 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, 
individuals with disabilities, homeless children and youth, foster care 
youth, or other disconnected students; and
    (d) Improve the financial and economic literacy of students in 
areas such as--
    (1) Basic personal income, household money management, and 
financial planning skills; and
    (2) Basic economic decision-making skills.
* * * * *

0
91. Section 646.4 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  646.4  What activities and services does a project provide?

    (a) A Student Support Services project must provide the following 
services:
    (1) Academic tutoring, directly or through other services provided 
by the institution, to enable students to complete postsecondary 
courses, which may include instruction in reading, writing, study 
skills, mathematics, science, and other subjects.
    (2) Advice and assistance in postsecondary course selection.
    (3)(i) Information on both the full range of Federal student 
financial aid programs and benefits (including Federal Pell Grant 
awards and loan forgiveness) and resources for locating public and 
private scholarships; and
    (ii) Assistance in completing financial aid applications, including 
the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
    (4) Education or counseling services designed to improve the 
financial and economic literacy of students, including financial 
planning for postsecondary education.
    (5) Activities designed to assist participants enrolled in four-
year institutions of higher education in applying for admission to, and 
obtaining financial assistance for enrollment in, graduate and 
professional programs.
    (6) Activities designed to assist students enrolled in two-year 
institutions of higher education in applying for admission to, and 
obtaining financial assistance for enrollment in, a four-year program 
of postsecondary education.
    (b) A Student Support Services project may provide the following 
services:
    (1) Individualized counseling for personal, career, and academic 
matters provided by assigned counselors.
    (2) Information, activities, and instruction designed to acquaint 
students participating in the project with the range of career options 
available to the students.
    (3) Exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually 
available to disadvantaged students.
    (4) Mentoring programs involving faculty or upper class students, 
or a combination thereof.
    (5) Securing temporary housing during breaks in the academic year 
for--
    (i) Students who are homeless children and youths or were formerly 
homeless children and youths; and
    (ii) Foster care youths.
    (6) Programs and activities as described in paragraph (a) of this 
section or paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(4) of this section that are 
specially designed for students who are limited English proficient, 
students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in 
postsecondary education, students who are individuals with 
disabilities, students who are homeless children and youths, students 
who are foster care youth, or other disconnected students.
    (7) Other activities designed to meet the purposes of the Student 
Support Services Program in Sec.  646.1.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-14)



0
92. Section 646.5 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  646.5  How long is a project period?

    A project period under the Student Support Services program is five 
years.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11)



0
93. Section 646.6 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  646.6  What regulations apply?

* * * * *
    (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations 
(EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75 (except for Sec. Sec.  75.215 through 
75.221), 77, 79, 80, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.
* * * * *

0
94. Section 646.7 is amended by:
0
A. Removing paragraph (a).
0
B. Redesignating paragraphs (b) and (c) as paragraphs (a) and (b), 
respectively.
0
C. In newly redesignated paragraph (b), revising the definition of 
``Different campus''; removing the definition of ``Different population 
of participants''; revising the definition of ``Individual with a 
disability''; and adding, in alphabetical order, new definitions for 
``Different population'', ``Financial and economic literacy'', ``First 
generation college student'', ``Foster care youth'', ``Homeless 
children and youth'', ``Institution of higher education'', and ``Low-
income individual''.
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  646.7  What definitions apply?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    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.
    Different population means a group of individuals that an eligible 
entity desires to serve through an application for a grant under the 
Student Support Services program and that--
    (1) Is separate and distinct from any other population that the 
entity has applied for a grant to serve; or
    (2) While sharing some of the same needs as another population that 
the eligible entity has applied for a grant to serve, has distinct 
needs for specialized services.
    Financial and economic literacy means knowledge about personal 
financial decision-making, which may include but is not limited to 
knowledge about--
    (1) Personal and family budget planning;
    (2) Understanding credit building principles to meet long-term and 
short-term goals (e.g., loan to debt ratio, credit scoring, negative 
impacts on credit scores);
    (3) Cost planning for postsecondary or postbaccalaureate education 
(e.g., spending, saving, personal budgeting);
    (4) College cost of attendance (e.g., public vs. private, tuition 
vs. fees, personal costs);
    (5) Financial assistance (e.g., searches, application processes, 
differences between private and government loans, assistanceships); and

[[Page 65791]]

    (6) Assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal 
Student Aid (FAFSA).
    First generation college student means--
    (1) A student neither of whose natural or adoptive parents received 
a baccalaureate degree;
    (2) A student who, prior to the age of 18, regularly resided with 
and received support from only one parent and whose supporting parent 
did not receive a baccalaureate degree; or
    (3) An individual who, prior to the age of 18, did not regularly 
reside with or receive support from a natural or an adoptive parent.
    Foster care youth means youth who are in foster care or are aging 
out of the foster care system.
    Homeless children and youth means persons defined in section 725 of 
the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 1143a).
    Individual with a disability means a person who has a disability, 
as that term is defined in section 12102 of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
    Institution of higher education means an educational institution as 
defined in sections 101 and 102 of the Act.
* * * * *
    Low-income individual means an individual whose family's taxable 
income did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount in the 
calendar year preceding the year in which the individual initially 
participated in the project. The poverty level amount is determined by 
using criteria of poverty established by the Bureau of the Census of 
the U.S. Department of Commerce.
* * * * *

0
95. Subpart B of part 646 is revised to read as follows:
Subpart B--How Does One Apply for an Award?
Sec.
646.10 How many applications may an eligible applicant submit and 
for what different populations may an eligible application be 
submitted?
646.11 What assurances and other information must an applicant 
include in an application?

Subpart B--How Does One Apply for an Award?


Sec.  646.10  How many applications may an eligible applicant submit 
and for what different populations may an eligible application be 
submitted?

    (a) An eligible applicant may submit more than one application as 
long as each application describes a project that serves a different 
campus or a designated different population.
    (b) For each grant competition, the Secretary designates, in the 
Federal Register notice inviting applications and other published 
application materials for the competition, the different populations 
for which an eligible entity may submit a separate application.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 1070a-14; 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3)


Sec.  646.11  What assurances and other information must an applicant 
include in an application?

    (a) An applicant must assure the Secretary in the application 
that--
    (1) Not less than two-thirds of the project participants will be--
    (i) Low-income individuals who are first generation college 
students; or
    (ii) Individuals with disabilities;
    (2) The remaining project participants will be low-income 
individuals, first generation college students, or individuals with 
disabilities; and
    (3) Not less than one-third of the individuals with disabilities 
served also will be low-income individuals.
    (b) The applicant must describe in the application its efforts, and 
where applicable, past history, in--
    (1) Providing sufficient financial assistance to meet the full 
financial need of each student in the project; and
    (2) Maintaining the loan burden of each student in the project at a 
manageable level.
    (c) The applicant must assure the Secretary in the application that 
a student will not be served by more than one SSS project at any one 
time and that the SSS project will collaborate with other SSS and 
McNair projects and other State and institutional programs at the 
grantee-institution so that more students can be served.
    (d) The applicant must assure the Secretary in the application that 
the institution's financial aid office will consult with the SSS 
project with respect to which SSS participants should receive grant aid 
and the amount of the grant aid awards.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW5)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-14)



0
96. Section 646.20 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (a)(2)(i), removing the word ``or'' after the words 
``same population'' and adding, in its place, the word ``and''; 
removing the words ``in delivering services'' and adding, in their 
place, the words ``of high quality service delivery; and adding the 
word ``outcome'' before the word ``criteria''.
0
B. Revising paragraph (a)(2)(ii).
0
C. Adding new paragraphs (a)(2)(iii) through (a)(2)(v).
0
D. Revising paragraph (d).
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  646.20  How does the Secretary decide which new grants to make?

    (a) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) The maximum total score for all the criteria in Sec.  646.22 
is 15 points. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in 
parentheses with the criterion.
    (iii) The Secretary evaluates the PE of an applicant for each of 
the three project years that the Secretary designates in the Federal 
Register notice inviting applications and the other published 
application materials for the competition.
    (iv) An applicant may earn up to 15 PE points for each of the 
designated project years for which annual performance report data are 
available.
    (v) The final PE score is the average of the scores for the three 
project years assessed.
* * * * *
    (d) The Secretary does not make a new grant to an applicant if the 
applicant's prior project involved the fraudulent use of program funds.
* * * * *

0
97. Section 646.21 is amended by:
0
A. Revising paragraph (b).
0
B. Revising the OMB control number at the end of the section.
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  646.21  What selection criteria does the Secretary use to 
evaluate an application?

* * * * *
    (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) (3 points) Retention in postsecondary education.
    (2) (2 points) In good academic standing at grantee institution.
    (3) Two-year institutions only. (i) (1 point) Certificate or degree 
completion; and
    (ii) (2 points) Certificate or degree completion and transfer to a 
four-year institution.
    (4) Four-year institutions only. (3 points) Completion of a 
baccalaureate degree.
* * * * *

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW5)

* * * * *

[[Page 65792]]


0
98. Section 646.22 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  646.22  How does the Secretary evaluate prior experience?

    (a) In the case of an application described in Sec.  
646.20(a)(2)(i), the Secretary--
    (1) Evaluates the applicant's performance under its expiring 
Student Support Services project;
    (2) Uses the approved project objectives for the applicant's 
expiring Student Support Services grant and the information the 
applicant submitted in its annual performance reports (APRs) to 
determine the number of prior PE points; and
    (3) May adjust a calculated PE score or decide not to award PE 
points if other information such as audit reports, site visit reports, 
and project evaluation reports indicates the APR data used to calculate 
PE points are incorrect.
    (b) The Secretary does not award PE points for a given year to an 
applicant that does not serve at least 90 percent of the approved 
number of participants. For purposes of this section, the approved 
number of participants is the total number of participants the project 
would serve as agreed upon by the grantee and the Secretary.
    (c) The Secretary does not award PE points for the criterion 
specified in paragraph (e)(1) of this section (Number of participants) 
if the applicant did not serve at least the approved number of 
participants.
    (d) The Secretary uses the approved number of participants, or the 
actual number of participants served in a given year if greater than 
the approved number of participants, as the denominator for calculating 
whether the applicant has met its approved objectives related to 
paragraph (e)(2) of this section (Postsecondary retention) and 
paragraph (e)(3) of this section (Good academic standing).
    (e) For purposes of the PE evaluation of grants awarded after 
January 1, 2009, the Secretary evaluates the applicant's PE on the 
basis of the following outcome criteria:
    (1) (3 points) Number of participants. Whether the applicant 
provided services to no less than the approved number of participants.
    (2) (4 points) Postsecondary retention. Whether the applicant met 
or exceeded its objective regarding the participants served during the 
project year who continue to be enrolled in a program of postsecondary 
education from one academic year to the beginning of the next academic 
year or who complete a program of postsecondary education at the 
grantee institution during the academic year or transfer from a two-
year institution to a four-year institution during the academic year.
    (3) (4 points) Good academic standing. Whether the applicant met or 
exceeded its objective regarding the participants served during the 
project year who are in good academic standing at the grantee 
institution.
    (4) (4 points) Degree completion (for an applicant institution of 
higher education offering primarily a baccalaureate or higher degree). 
Whether the applicant met or exceeded its objective regarding the 
current and prior participants receiving a baccalaureate degree at the 
grantee institution within the specified number of years.
    (5) Degree completion and transfer (for an applicant institution of 
higher education offering primarily an associate degree). Whether the 
applicant met or exceeded its objectives regarding the current and 
prior participants at the grantee institution who--
    (i) (2 points) Complete a degree or certificate within the number 
of years specified in the approved objective; and
    (ii) (2 points) Transfer within the number of years specified in 
the approved objective to institutions of higher education that offer 
baccalaureate degrees.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW10)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11; 1070a-14)


Sec.  646.23  [Amended]

0
99. Section 646.23(b)(1) is amended by removing the amount ``$170,000'' 
and adding, in its place, the amount ``$200,000''.

0
100. A new Sec.  646.24 is added to subpart C of part 646 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  646.24  What is the review process for unsuccessful applicants?

    (a) Technical or administrative error for applications not 
reviewed. (1) An applicant whose grant application was not evaluated 
during the competition may request that the Secretary review the 
application if--
    (i) The applicant has met all of the application submission 
requirements included in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications and the other published application materials for the 
competition; and
    (ii) The applicant provides evidence demonstrating that the 
Department or an agent of the Department made a technical or 
administrative error in the processing of the submitted application.
    (2) A technical or administrative error in the processing of an 
application includes--
    (i) A problem with the system for the electronic submission of 
applications that was not addressed in accordance with the procedures 
included in the Federal Register notice inviting applications for the 
competition;
    (ii) An error in determining an applicant's eligibility for funding 
consideration, which may include, but is not limited to--
    (A) An incorrect conclusion that the application was submitted by 
an ineligible applicant;
    (B) An incorrect conclusion that the application exceeded the 
published page limit;
    (C) An incorrect conclusion that the applicant requested funding 
greater than the published maximum award; or
    (D) An incorrect conclusion that the application was missing 
critical sections of the application; and
    (iii) Any other mishandling of the application that resulted in an 
otherwise eligible application not being reviewed during the 
competition.
    (3)(i) If the Secretary determines that the Department or the 
Department's agent made a technical or administrative error, the 
Secretary has the application evaluated and scored.
    (ii) If the total score assigned the application would have 
resulted in funding of the application during the competition and the 
program has funds available, the Secretary funds the application prior 
to the re-ranking of applications based on the second peer review of 
applications described in paragraph (c) of this section.
    (b) Administrative or scoring error for applications that were 
reviewed. (1) An applicant that was not selected for funding during a 
competition may request that the Secretary conduct a second review of 
the application if--
    (i) The applicant provides evidence demonstrating that the 
Department, an agent of the Department, or a peer reviewer made an 
administrative or scoring error in the review of its application; and
    (ii) The final score assigned to the application is within the 
funding band described in paragraph (d) of this section.
    (2) An administrative error relates to either the PE points or the 
scores assigned to the application by the peer reviewers.
    (i) For PE points, an administrative error includes mathematical 
errors made by the Department or the Department's agent in the 
calculation of the PE points or a failure to correctly add the earned 
PE points to the peer reviewer score.
    (ii) For the peer review score, an administrative error is applying 
the

[[Page 65793]]

wrong peer reviewer scores to an application.
    (3)(i) A scoring error relates only to the peer review process and 
includes errors caused by a reviewer who, in assigning points--
    (A) Uses criteria not required by the applicable law or program 
regulations, the Federal Register notice inviting applications, the 
other published application materials for the competition, or guidance 
provided to the peer reviewers by the Secretary; or
    (B) Does not consider relevant information included in the 
appropriate section of the application.
    (ii) The term ``scoring error'' does not include--
    (A) A peer reviewer's appropriate use of his or her professional 
judgment in evaluating and scoring an application;
    (B) Any situation in which the applicant did not include 
information needed to evaluate its response to a specific selection 
criterion in the appropriate section of the application as stipulated 
in the Federal Register notice inviting applications or the other 
published application materials for the competition; or
    (C) Any error by the applicant.
    (c) Procedures for the second review. (1) To ensure the timely 
awarding of grants under the competition, the Secretary sets aside a 
percentage of the funds allotted for the competition to be awarded 
after the second review is completed.
    (2) After the competition, the Secretary makes new awards in rank 
order as described in Sec.  646.20 based on the available funds for the 
competition minus the funds set aside for the second review.
    (3) After the Secretary issues a notification of grant award to 
successful applicants, the Secretary notifies each unsuccessful 
applicant in writing as to the status of its application and the 
funding band for the second review and provides copies of the peer 
reviewers' evaluations of the applicant's application and the 
applicant's PE score, if applicable.
    (4) An applicant that was not selected for funding following the 
competition as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section and whose 
application received a score within the funding band as described in 
paragraph (d) of this section, may request a second review if the 
applicant demonstrates that the Department, the Department's agent, or 
a peer reviewer made an administrative or scoring error as provided in 
paragraph (b) of this section.
    (5) An applicant whose application was not funded after the first 
review as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section and whose 
application received a score within the funding band as described in 
paragraph (d) of this section has at least 15 calendar days after 
receiving notification that its application was not funded in which to 
submit a written request for a second review in accordance with the 
instructions and due date provided in the Secretary's written 
notification.
    (6) An applicant's written request for a second review must be 
received by the Department or submitted electronically to the 
designated e-mail or Web address by the due date and time established 
by the Secretary.
    (7) If the Secretary determines that the Department or the 
Department's agent made an administrative error that relates to the PE 
points awarded, as described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, 
the Secretary adjusts the applicant's PE score to reflect the correct 
number of PE points. If the adjusted score assigned to the application 
would have resulted in funding of the application during the 
competition and the program has funds available, the Secretary funds 
the application prior to the re-ranking of applications based on the 
second peer review of applications described in paragraph (c)(9) of 
this section.
    (8) If the Secretary determines that the Department, the 
Department's agent or the peer reviewer made an administrative error 
that relates to the peer reviewers' score(s), as described in paragraph 
(b)(2)(ii) of this section, the Secretary adjusts the applicant's peer 
reviewers' score(s) to correct the error. If the adjusted score 
assigned to the application would have resulted in funding of the 
application during the competition and the program has funds available, 
the Secretary funds the application prior to the re-ranking of 
applications based on the second peer review of applications described 
in paragraph (c)(9) of this section.
    (9) If the Secretary determines that a peer reviewer made a scoring 
error, as described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the Secretary 
convenes a second panel of peer reviewers in accordance with the 
requirements in section 402A(c)(8)(C)(iv)(III) of the HEA.
    (10) The average of the peer reviewers' scores from the second peer 
review are used in the second ranking of applications. The average 
score obtained from the second peer review panel is the final peer 
reviewer score for the application and will be used even if the second 
review results in a lower score for the application than that obtained 
in the initial review.
    (11) For applications in the funding band, the Secretary funds 
these applications in rank order based on adjusted scores and the 
available funds that have been set aside for the second review of 
applications.
    (d) Process for establishing a funding band. (1) For each 
competition, the Secretary establishes a funding band for the second 
review of applications.
    (2) The Secretary establishes the funding band for each competition 
based on the amount of funds the Secretary has set aside for the second 
review of applications.
    (3) The funding band is composed of those applications--
    (i) With a rank-order score before the second review that is below 
the lowest score of applications funded after the first review; and
    (ii) That would be funded if the Secretary had 150 percent of the 
funds that were set aside for the second review of applications for the 
competition.
    (e) Final decision. (1) The Secretary's determination of whether 
the applicant has met the requirements for a second review and the 
Secretary's decision on re-scoring of an application are final and not 
subject to further appeal or challenge.
    (2) An application that scored below the established funding band 
for the competition is not eligible for a second review.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW5)


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11)



0
101. Section 646.30 is amended by:
0
A. In the introductory text, removing the words ``34 CFR part 74, 
subpart Q'' and adding, in their place, the words ``34 CFR 74.27, 
75.530, and 80.22, as applicable''.
0
B. Revising paragraph (e)
0
C. Revising paragraph (f).
0
D. Adding new paragraphs (i) and (j).
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  646.30  What are allowable costs?

* * * * *
    (e) Transportation and, with the prior approval of the Secretary, 
meals and lodging for participants and staff during approved 
educational and cultural activities sponsored by the project.
    (f) Purchase, lease, or rental of computer hardware, software, and 
other equipment, service agreements for such equipment, and supplies 
for participant development, project administration, or project 
recordkeeping.
* * * * *
    (i) Grant aid to eligible students who--
    (1) Are in their first two years of postsecondary education and who 
are receiving Federal Pell Grants under

[[Page 65794]]

subpart 1 of part A of title IV of the Act; or
    (2) Have completed their first two years of postsecondary education 
and who are receiving Federal Pell Grants under subpart 1 of part A of 
title IV of the Act if the institution demonstrates to the satisfaction 
of the Secretary that--
    (i) These students are at high risk of dropping out; and
    (ii) It will first meet the needs of all its eligible first- and 
second-year students for services under this paragraph.
    (j) Temporary housing during breaks in the academic year for--
    (1) Students who are homeless children and youths or were formerly 
homeless children and youths; and
    (2) Students who are foster care youth.
* * * * *


Sec.  646.31  [Amended]


0
102. Section 646.31(b) is amended by adding the words ``, except for 
Grant aid under Sec.  646.30(i)'' after the word ``support''.


Sec.  646.32  [Amended]


0
103. Section 646.32 is amended by:
0
A. Redesignating paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d) as paragraphs (b), 
(c), and (d), and (e) respectively.
0
B. Adding a new paragraph (a).
0
C. In newly redesignated paragraph (b)(2), removing the words ``Higher 
Education''.
0
D. In newly redesignated paragraph (b), removing paragraph (b)(3).
0
E. In newly redesignated paragraph (c) introductory text, removing the 
word ``shall'' and adding, in its place, the word ``must''.
0
F. In newly redesignated paragraph (c)(3), removing the word ``and''.
0
G. In newly redesignated paragraph (c)(4), removing the punctuation 
``.'' and adding, in its place, the words ``; and''.
0
H. Adding a new paragraph (c)(5).
0
I. Revising newly redesignated paragraph (d).
0
J. In the OMB control number parenthetical following paragraph (e), 
removing the numbers ``1840-0017'' and adding, in their place, the 
numbers ``1840-NEW5''.
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  646.32  What other requirements must a grantee meet?

    (a) Number of Participants. For each year of the project period, a 
grantee must serve at least the number of participants that the 
Secretary identifies in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications for a competition. Through this notice, the Secretary also 
provides the minimum and maximum grant award amounts for the 
competition.
* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (5) To the extent practicable, any services the participant 
receives during the project year from another Federal TRIO program or 
another federally funded program that serves populations similar to 
those served under the SSS program.
    (d) Project director. (1) A grantee must employ a full-time project 
director unless--
    (i) The director is also administering one or two additional 
programs for disadvantaged students operated by the sponsoring 
institution or agency; or
    (ii) The Secretary grants a waiver of this requirement.
    (2) The grantee must give the project director sufficient authority 
to administer the project effectively.
    (3) The Secretary waives the requirements in paragraph (d)(1) of 
this section if the applicant demonstrates that the project director 
will be able to effectively administer more than three programs and 
that this arrangement would promote effective coordination between the 
program and other Federal TRIO programs (sections 402B through 402F of 
the HEA) or similar programs funded through other sources.
* * * * *

0
104. Section 646.33 is added to subpart D of part 646 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  646.33  What are the matching requirements for a grantee that 
uses Student Support Services program funds for student grant aid?

    (a) Except for grantees described in paragraph (b) of this section, 
a grantee that uses Student Support Services program funds for grant 
aid to eligible students described in Sec.  646.30(i) must--
    (1) Match the Federal funds used for grant aid, in cash, from non-
Federal funds, in an amount that is not less than 33 percent of the 
total amount of Federal grant funds used for Grant aid; and
    (2) Use no more than 20 percent of the Federal program funds 
awarded the grantee each year for grant aid.
    (b) A grant recipient that is an institution of higher education 
eligible to receive funds under part A or B of title III or title V of 
the HEA, as amended, is not required to match the Federal funds used 
for grant aid.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW10)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11)

PART 647--RONALD E. MCNAIR POSTBACCALAUREATE ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAM

0
105. The authority citation for part 647 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 1070a-15, unless otherwise 
noted.


0
106. Section 647.4 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  647.4  What activities and services does a project provide?

    (a) A McNair project must provide the following services and 
activities:
    (1) Opportunities for research or other scholarly activities at the 
grantee institution or at graduate centers that are designed to provide 
students with effective preparation for doctoral study.
    (2) Summer internships.
    (3) Seminars and other educational activities designed to prepare 
students for doctoral study.
    (4) Tutoring.
    (5) Academic counseling.
    (6) Assistance to students in securing admission to, and financial 
assistance for, enrollment in graduate programs.
    (b) A McNair project may provide the following services and 
activities:
    (1) Education or counseling services designed to improve the 
financial and economic literacy of students, including financial 
planning for postsecondary education.
    (2) Mentoring programs involving faculty members at institutions of 
higher education, students, or a combination of faculty members and 
students.
    (3) Exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually 
available to disadvantaged students.
    (4) Other activities designed to meet the purpose of the McNair 
Program in Sec.  647.1.


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-15)


0
107. Section 647.5 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  647.5  How long is a project period?

    A project period under the McNair program is five years.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11)


0
108. Section 647.6 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  647.6  What regulations apply?

* * * * *
    (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations 
(EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75 (except for Sec. Sec.  75.215 through 
75.221), 77, 79, 80, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.
* * * * *

0
109. Section 647.7(b) is amended by:
0
A. Removing the definition of ``Summer internship''.

[[Page 65795]]

0
B. In the definition of ``Graduate center'', revising the introductory 
text.
0
C. Revising the definition of ``Groups underrepresented in graduate 
education''.
0
D. Revising the definition of ``Institution of higher education''.
0
E. Adding, in alphabetical order, new definitions for ``Different 
campus'', ``Different population'', ``Financial and economic 
literacy'', and ``Research or scholarly activity''.
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  647.7  What definitions apply?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    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.
    Different population means a group of individuals that an eligible 
entity desires to serve through an application for a grant under the 
McNair TRIO program and that--
    (1) Is separate and distinct from any other population that the 
entity has applied for a grant to serve; or
    (2) While sharing some of the same needs as another population that 
the eligible entity has applied for a grant to serve, has distinct 
needs for specialized services.
    Financial and economic literacy means knowledge about personal 
financial decision-making, which may include but is not limited to 
knowledge about--
    (1) Personal and family budget planning;
    (2) Understanding credit-building principles to meet long-term and 
short-term goals (e.g., loan to debt ratio, credit scoring, negative 
impacts on credit scores);
    (3) Cost planning for postsecondary or postbaccalaureate education 
(e.g., spending, saving, personal budgeting);
    (4) College cost of attendance (e.g., public vs. private, tuition 
vs. fees, personal costs);
    (5) Financial assistance (e.g., searches, application processes, 
and differences between private and government loans, assistanceships); 
and
    (6) Assistance in completing the Free Application for Federal 
Student Aid (FAFSA).
* * * * *
    Graduate center means an institution of higher education as defined 
in sections 101 and 102 of the HEA; and that--
* * * * *
    Groups underrepresented in graduate education. The following ethnic 
and racial groups are considered underrepresented in graduate 
education: Black (non-Hispanic), Hispanic, American Indian, Alaskan 
Native (as defined in section 7306 of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA)), Native Hawaiians (as defined 
in section 7207 of the ESEA), and Native American Pacific Islanders (as 
defined in section 320 of the HEA).
    Institution of higher education means an educational institution as 
defined in sections 101 and 102 of the HEA.
* * * * *
    Research or scholarly activity means an educational activity that 
is more rigorous than is typically available to undergraduates in a 
classroom setting, that is definitive in its start and end dates, 
contains appropriate benchmarks for completion of various components, 
and is conducted under the guidance of an appropriate faculty member 
with experience in the relevant discipline.
* * * * *

Subpart B--How Does One Apply for an Award?

0
110. Subpart B of part 647 is amended by revising the subpart heading 
to read as set forth above.


Sec.  647.10  [Redesignated as Sec.  647.11]

0
110a. Redesignate Sec.  647.10 as Sec.  647.11.


0
111. Section 647.10 is added to subpart B of part 647 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  647.10  How many applications may an eligible applicant submit?

    (a) An applicant may submit more than one application for McNair 
grants as long as each application describes a project that serves a 
different campus or a designated different population.
    (b) For each grant competition, the Secretary designates, in the 
Federal Register notice inviting applications and the other published 
application materials for the competition, the different populations 
for which an eligible entity may submit a separate application.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-15; 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3))



0
112. Newly redesignated Sec.  647.11 is amended by adding paragraph (d) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  647.11  What assurances must an applicant submit?

* * * * *
    (d) A student will not be served by more than one McNair project at 
any one time and that the McNair project will collaborate with other 
McNair and SSS projects and other State and institutional programs at 
the grantee-institution, including those supporting undergraduate 
research, so that more students can be served.
* * * * *

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-15; 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3))


0
113. Section 647.20 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (a)(2)(i), adding the words ``of high quality service 
delivery'' after the words ``prior experience'' and adding the word 
``outcome'' before the word ``criteria''.
0
B. Revising paragraph (a)(2)(ii).
0
C. Adding new paragraphs (a)(2)(iv), (a)(2)(v), and (a)(2)(vi).
0
D. Revising paragraph (d).
    The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec.  647.20  How does the Secretary decide which new grants to make?

    (a) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) The maximum total score for all the criteria in Sec.  647.22 
is 15 points. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in 
parentheses with the criterion.
* * * * *
    (iv) The Secretary evaluates the PE of an applicant for each of the 
three project years that the Secretary designates in the Federal 
Register notice inviting applications and the other published 
application materials for the competition.
    (v) An applicant may earn up to 15 PE points for each of the 
designated project years for which annual performance report data are 
available.
    (vi) The final PE score is the average of the scores for the three 
project years assessed.
* * * * *
    (d) The Secretary does not make a new grant to an applicant if the 
applicant's prior project involved the fraudulent use of program funds.
* * * * *

0
114. Section 647.21 is amended by:
0
A. Revising paragraph (b).
0
B. Adding an OMB control number parenthetical following paragraph (d).
    The revision and addition read as follows:


Sec.  647.21  What selection criteria does the Secretary use?

* * * * *

[[Page 65796]]

    (b) Objectives (9 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality of 
the applicant's objectives and proposed targets (percentages) in the 
following areas on the basis of the extent to which they are both 
ambitious, as related to the need data provided under paragraph (a) of 
this section, and attainable, given the project's plan of operation, 
budget, and other resources:
    (1) (2 points) Research or scholarly activity.
    (2) (3 points) Enrollment in a graduate program.
    (3) (2 points) Continued enrollment in graduate study.
    (4) (2 points) Doctoral degree attainment.
* * * * *

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW6)

* * * * *

0
115. Section 647.22 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  647.22  How does the Secretary evaluate prior experience?

    (a) In the case of an applicant described in Sec.  647.20(a)(2)(i), 
the Secretary--
    (1) Evaluates an applicant's performance under its expiring McNair 
project;
    (2) Uses the approved project objectives for the applicant's 
expiring McNair grant and the information the applicant submitted in 
its annual performance reports (APRs) to determine the number of PE 
points; and
    (3) May adjust a calculated PE score or decide not to award PE 
points if other information such as audit reports, site visit reports, 
and project evaluation reports indicates the APR data used to calculate 
PE are incorrect.
    (b) The Secretary does not award PE points for a given year to an 
applicant that does not serve at least 90 percent of the approved 
number of participants. For purposes of this section, the approved 
number of participants is the total number of participants the project 
would serve as agreed upon by the grantee and the Secretary.
    (c) The Secretary does not award any PE points for the criteria 
specified in paragraph (e)(1) of this section (Number of participants) 
if the applicant did not serve at least the approved number of 
participants.
    (d) The Secretary uses the approved number of participants, or the 
actual number of participants served in a given year if greater than 
the approved number of participants, as the denominator for calculating 
whether the applicant has met its approved objective related to 
paragraph (e)(2) of this section (Research and scholarly activities).
    (e) For purposes of the PE evaluation of grants awarded after 
January 1, 2009, the Secretary evaluates the applicant's PE on the 
basis of the following outcome criteria:
    (1) (3 points) Number of participants. Whether the applicant 
provided services to no less than the approved number of participants.
    (2) (3 points) Research or scholarly activities. Whether the 
applicant met or exceeded its objective for providing participants 
served during the project year with appropriate research and scholarly 
activities each academic year.
    (3) (3 points) Graduate school enrollment. Whether the applicant 
met or exceeded its objective with regard to the acceptance and 
enrollment in graduate programs of participants served during the 
project year who complete the baccalaureate program during the academic 
year.
    (4) (4 points) Continued enrollment in graduate school. Whether the 
applicant met or exceeded its objective with regard to the continued 
enrollment in graduate school of prior participants.
    (5) (2 points) Doctoral degree attainment. Whether the applicant 
met or exceeded its objective with regard to the attainment of doctoral 
level degrees of prior participants in the specified number of years.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW11)


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11 and 1070a-15)


Sec.  647.23  [Amended]

0
116. Section 647.23 is amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (b), introductory text, removing the words ``beginning 
in fiscal year 1995''.
0
B. In paragraph (b)(1), removing the amount ``$190,000'' and adding, in 
its place, the amount ``$200,000''.


0
117. Section 647.24 is added to subpart C of part 647 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  647.24  What is the review process for unsuccessful applicants?

    (a) Technical or administrative error for applications not 
reviewed. (1) An applicant whose grant application was not evaluated 
during the competition may request that the Secretary review the 
application if--
    (i) The applicant has met all of the application submission 
requirements included in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications and the other published application materials for the 
competition; and
    (ii) The applicant provides evidence demonstrating that the 
Department or an agent of the Department made a technical or 
administrative error in the processing of the submitted application.
    (2) A technical or administrative error in the processing of an 
application includes--
    (i) A problem with the system for the electronic submission of 
applications that was not addressed in accordance with the procedures 
included in the Federal Register notice inviting applications for the 
competition;
    (ii) An error in determining an applicant's eligibility for funding 
consideration, which may include, but is not limited to--
    (A) An incorrect conclusion that the application was submitted by 
an ineligible applicant;
    (B) An incorrect conclusion that the application exceeded the 
published page limit;
    (C) An incorrect conclusion that the applicant requested funding 
greater than the published maximum award; or
    (D) An incorrect conclusion that the application was missing 
critical sections of the application; and
    (iii) Any other mishandling of the application that resulted in an 
otherwise eligible application not being reviewed during the 
competition.
    (3)(i) If the Secretary determines that the Department or the 
Department's agent made a technical or administrative error, the 
Secretary has the application evaluated and scored.
    (ii) If the total score assigned the application would have 
resulted in funding of the application during the competition and the 
program has funds available, the Secretary funds the application prior 
to the re-ranking of applications based on the second peer review of 
applications described in paragraph (c) of this section.
    (b) Administrative or scoring error for applications that were 
reviewed. (1) An applicant that was not selected for funding during a 
competition may request that the Secretary conduct a second review of 
the application if--
    (i) The applicant provides evidence demonstrating that the 
Department, an agent of the Department, or a peer reviewer made an 
administrative or scoring error in the review of its application; and
    (ii) The final score assigned to the application is within the 
funding band described in paragraph (d) of this section.
    (2) An administrative error relates to either the PE points or the 
scores assigned to the application by the peer reviewers.
    (i) For PE points, an administrative error includes mathematical 
errors made by the Department or the Department's

[[Page 65797]]

agent in the calculation of the PE points or a failure to correctly add 
the earned PE points to the peer reviewer score.
    (ii) For the peer review score, an administrative error is applying 
the wrong peer reviewer scores to an application.
    (3)(i) A scoring error relates only to the peer review process and 
includes errors caused by a reviewer who, in assigning points--
    (A) Uses criteria not required by the applicable law or program 
regulations, the Federal Register notice inviting applications, the 
other published application materials for the competition, or guidance 
provided to the peer reviewers by the Secretary; or
    (B) Does not consider relevant information included in the 
appropriate section of the application.
    (ii) The term ``scoring error'' does not include--
    (A) A peer reviewer's appropriate use of his or her professional 
judgment in evaluating and scoring an application;
    (B) Any situation in which the applicant did not include 
information needed to evaluate its response to a specific selection 
criterion in the appropriate section of the application as stipulated 
in the Federal Register notice inviting applications or the other 
published application materials for the competition; or
    (C) Any error by the applicant.
    (c) Procedures for the second review. (1) To ensure the timely 
awarding of grants under the competition, the Secretary sets aside a 
percentage of the funds allotted for the competition to be awarded 
after the second review is completed.
    (2) After the competition, the Secretary makes new awards in rank 
order as described in Sec.  647.20 based on the available funds for the 
competition minus the funds set aside for the second review.
    (3) After the Secretary issues a notification of grant award to 
successful applicants, the Secretary notifies each unsuccessful 
applicant in writing as to the status of its application and the 
funding band for the second review and provides copies of the peer 
reviewers' evaluations of the applicant's application and the 
applicant's PE score, if applicable.
    (4) An applicant that was not selected for funding following the 
competition as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section and whose 
application received a score within the funding band as described in 
paragraph (d) of this section, may request a second review if the 
applicant demonstrates that the Department, the Department's agent, or 
a peer reviewer made an administrative or scoring error as provided in 
paragraph (b) of this section.
    (5) An applicant whose application was not funded after the first 
review as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section and whose 
application received a score within the funding band as described in 
paragraph (d) of this section has at least 15 calendar days after 
receiving notification that its application was not funded in which to 
submit a written request for a second review in accordance with the 
instructions and due date provided in the Secretary's written 
notification.
    (6) An applicant's written request for a second review must be 
received by the Department or submitted electronically to a designated 
e-mail or Web address by the due date and time established by the 
Secretary.
    (7) If the Secretary determines that the Department or the 
Department's agent made an administrative error that relates to the PE 
points awarded, as described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, 
the Secretary adjusts the applicant's PE score to reflect the correct 
number of PE points. If the adjusted score assigned to the application 
would have resulted in funding of the application during the 
competition and the program has funds available, the Secretary funds 
the application prior to the re-ranking of applications based on the 
second peer review of applications described in paragraph (c)(9) of 
this section.
    (8) If the Secretary determines that the Department, the 
Department's agent or the peer reviewer made an administrative error 
that relates to the peer reviewers' score(s), as described in paragraph 
(b)(2)(ii) of this section, the Secretary adjusts the applicant's peer 
reviewers' score(s) to correct the error. If the adjusted score 
assigned to the application would have resulted in funding of the 
application during the competition and the program has funds available, 
the Secretary funds the application prior to the re-ranking of 
applications based on the second peer review of applications described 
in paragraph (c)(9) of this section.
    (9) If the Secretary determines that a peer reviewer made a scoring 
error, as described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the Secretary 
convenes a second panel of peer reviewers in accordance with the 
requirements in section 402A(c)(8)(C)(iv)(III) of the HEA.
    (10) The average of the peer reviewers' scores from the second peer 
review are used in the second ranking of applications. The average 
score obtained from the second peer review panel is the final peer 
reviewer score for the application and will be used even if the second 
review results in a lower score for the application than that obtained 
in the initial review.
    (11) For applications in the funding band, the Secretary funds 
these applications in rank order based on adjusted scores and the 
available funds that have been set aside for the second review of 
applications.
    (d) Process for establishing a funding band. (1) For each 
competition, the Secretary establishes a funding band for the second 
review of applications.
    (2) The Secretary establishes the funding band for each competition 
based on the amount of funds the Secretary has set aside for the second 
review of applications.
    (3) The funding band is composed of those applications--
    (i) With a rank-order score before the second review that is below 
the lowest score of applications funded after the first review; and
    (ii) That would be funded if the Secretary had 150 percent of the 
funds that were set aside for the second review of applications for the 
competition.
    (e) Final decision. (1) The Secretary's determination of whether 
the applicant has met the requirements for a second review and the 
Secretary's decision on re-scoring of an application are final and not 
subject to further appeal or challenge.
    (2) An application that scored below the established funding band 
for the competition is not eligible for a second review.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW6)


(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-11)



0
118. Section 647.30 amended by:
0
A. In paragraph (b), removing the amount ``$2,400'' and, adding, in its 
place, the amount ``$2,800''.
0
B. Revising paragraph (d).
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  647.30  What are allowable costs?

* * * * *
    (d) Purchase, lease, or rental of computer hardware, software, and 
other equipment, service agreements for such equipment, and supplies 
for participant development, project administration, or project 
recordkeeping.


0
119. Section 647.32 is amended by:
0
A. Redesignating paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d) as (b), (c), (d), 
and (e), respectively.
0
B. Adding a new paragraph (a).
0
C. In newly redesignated paragraph (c), adding a new paragraph (c)(5).
0
D. Adding an OMB control number parenthetical following newly-
redesignated paragraph (e).
    The addition and revisions read as follows:

[[Page 65798]]

Sec.  647.32  What other requirements must a grantee meet?

    (a) Number of Participants. For each year of the project period, a 
grantee must serve at least the number of participants that the 
Secretary identifies in the Federal Register notice inviting 
applications for a competition. Through this notice, the Secretary also 
provides the minimum and maximum grant award amounts for the 
competition.
* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (5) To the extent practicable, any services the participant 
receives during the project year from another Federal TRIO program or 
another federally funded program that serves populations similar to 
those served under the McNair program.
* * * * *

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 1840-NEW11)

* * * * *

PART 694--GAINING EARLY AWARENESS AND READINESS FOR UNDERGRADUATE 
PROGRAMS (GEAR UP)

0
120. The authority citation for Part 694 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  20 U.S.C. 1070a-21 to 1070a-28.


0
121. Section 694.1 is amended by revising paragraph (a) introductory 
text to read as follows:


Sec.  694.1  What is the maximum amount that the Secretary may award 
each fiscal year to a Partnership or a State under this program?

    (a) Partnership grants. The Secretary may establish the maximum 
amount that may be awarded each fiscal year for a GEAR UP Partnership 
grant in a notice published in the Federal Register. The maximum amount 
for which a Partnership may apply may not exceed the lesser of the 
maximum amount established by the Secretary, if applicable, or the 
amount calculated by multiplying--
* * * * *

0
122. Section 694.4 is amended by revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  694.4  Which students must a State or Partnership serve when 
there are changes in the cohort?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) Must continue to provide GEAR UP services to at least those 
students in the cohort who attend one or more participating schools 
that together enroll a substantial majority of the students in the 
cohort.
* * * * *

0
123. Section 694.7 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  694.7  What are the matching requirements for a GEAR UP grant?

    (a) In order to be eligible for GEAR UP funding--
    (1) An applicant must state in its application the percentage of 
the cost of the GEAR UP project the applicant will provide for each 
year from non-Federal funds, subject to the requirements in paragraph 
(b) of this section; and
    (2) A grantee must make substantial progress towards meeting the 
matching percentage stated in its approved application for each year of 
the project period.
    (b) Except as provided in Sec. Sec.  694.8 and 694.9, the non-
Federal share of the cost of the GEAR UP project must be not less than 
50 percent of the total cost of the project (i.e., one dollar of non-
Federal contributions for every one dollar of Federal funds obligated 
for the project) over the project period.
    (c) The non-Federal share of the cost of a GEAR UP project may be 
provided in cash or in-kind.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-23)



0
124. Part 694 is amended by redesignating Sec. Sec.  694.8, 694.9, 
694.10, 694.11, 694.12, 694.13, and 694.15 as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Old section                          New section
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sec.   694.8............................................   Sec.   694.10
Sec.   694.9............................................   Sec.   694.11
Sec.   694.10...........................................   Sec.   694.13
Sec.   694.11...........................................   Sec.   694.15
Sec.   694.12...........................................   Sec.   694.17
Sec.   694.13...........................................   Sec.   694.18
Sec.   694.15...........................................   Sec.   694.19
------------------------------------------------------------------------



0
125. New Sec.  694.8 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  694.8  Under what conditions may the Secretary approve a request 
from a Partnership applying for a GEAR UP grant to waive a portion of 
the matching requirement?

    (a) The Secretary may approve a Partnership applicant's request for 
a waiver of up to 75 percent of the matching requirement for up to two 
years if the applicant demonstrates in its application a significant 
economic hardship that stems from a specific, exceptional, or 
uncontrollable event, such as a natural disaster, that has a 
devastating effect on the members of the Partnership and the community 
in which the project would operate.
    (b)(1) The Secretary may approve a Partnership applicant's request 
to waive up to 50 percent of the matching requirement for up to two 
years if the applicant demonstrates in its application a pre-existing 
and an on-going significant economic hardship that precludes the 
applicant from meeting its matching requirement.
    (2) In determining whether an applicant is experiencing an on-going 
economic hardship that is significant enough to justify a waiver under 
this paragraph, the Secretary considers documentation of such factors 
as:
    (i) Severe distress in the local economy of the community to be 
served by the grant (e.g., there are few employers in the local area, 
large employers have left the local area, or significant reductions in 
employment in the local area).
    (ii) Local unemployment rates that are higher than the national 
average.
    (iii) Low or decreasing revenues for State and County governments 
in the area to be served by the grant.
    (iv) Significant reductions in the budgets of institutions of 
higher education that are participating in the grant.
    (v) Other data that reflect a significant economic hardship for the 
geographical area served by the applicant.
    (3) At the time of application, the Secretary may provide tentative 
approval of an applicant's request for a waiver under paragraph (b)(1) 
of this section for all remaining years of the project period. Grantees 
that receive tentative approval of a waiver for more than two years 
under this paragraph must submit to the Secretary every two years by 
such time as the Secretary may direct documentation that demonstrates 
that--
    (i) The significant economic hardship upon which the waiver was 
granted still exists; and
    (ii) The grantee tried diligently, but unsuccessfully, to obtain 
contributions needed to meet the matching requirement.
    (c) The Secretary may approve a Partnership applicant's request in 
its application to match its contributions to its scholarship fund, 
established under section 404E of the HEA, on the basis of two non-
Federal dollars for every one Federal dollar of GEAR UP funds.
    (d) The Secretary may approve a request by a Partnership applicant 
that has three or fewer institutions of higher education as members to 
waive up to 70 percent of the matching requirement if the Partnership 
applicant includes--
    (1) A fiscal agent that is eligible to receive funds under title V, 
or Part B of

[[Page 65799]]

title III, or section 316 or 317 of the HEA, or a local educational 
agency;
    (2) Only participating schools with a 7th grade cohort in which at 
least 75 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price 
lunch under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act; and
    (3) Only local educational agencies in which at least 50 percent of 
the students enrolled are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch 
under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-23)



0
126. New Sec.  694.9 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  694.9  Under what conditions may the Secretary approve a request 
from a Partnership that has received a GEAR UP grant to waive a portion 
of the matching requirement?

    (a) After a grant is awarded, the Secretary may approve a 
Partnership grantee's written request for a waiver of up to--
    (1) 50 percent of the matching requirement for up to two years if 
the grantee demonstrates that--
    (i) The matching contributions described for those two years in the 
grantee's approved application are no longer available; and
    (ii) The grantee has exhausted all funds and sources of potential 
contributions for replacing the matching funds.
    (2) 75 percent of the matching requirement for up to two years if 
the grantee demonstrates that matching contributions from the original 
application are no longer available due to an uncontrollable event, 
such as a natural disaster, that has a devastating economic effect on 
members of the Partnership and the community in which the project would 
operate.
    (b) In determining whether the grantee has exhausted all funds and 
sources of potential contributions for replacing matching funds, the 
Secretary considers the grantee's documentation of key factors such as 
the following and their direct impact on the grantee:
    (1) A reduction of revenues from State government, County 
government, or the local educational agency (LEA).
    (2) An increase in local unemployment rates.
    (3) Significant reductions in the operating budgets of institutions 
of higher education that are participating in the grant.
    (4) A reduction of business activity in the local area (e.g., large 
employers have left the local area).
    (5) Other data that reflect a significant decrease in resources 
available to the grantee in the local geographical area served by the 
grantee.
    (c) If a grantee has received one or more waivers under this 
section or under Sec.  694.8, the grantee may request an additional 
waiver of the matching requirement under this section no earlier than 
60 days before the expiration of the grantee's existing waiver.
    (d) The Secretary may grant an additional waiver request for up to 
50 percent of the matching requirement for a period of up to two years 
beyond the expiration of any previous waiver.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-23)



0
127. New Sec.  694.12 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  694.12  Under what conditions do State and Partnership GEAR UP 
grantees make section 404E scholarship awards?

    (a)(1) State Grantees. All State grantees must establish or 
maintain a financial assistance program that awards section 404E 
scholarships to students in accordance with the requirements of Sec.  
694.13 or Sec.  694.14, as applicable.
    (2) Partnership Grantees. Partnerships may, but are not required, 
to award scholarships to eligible students. If a Partnership awards 
scholarships to eligible students pursuant to section 404E of the HEA, 
it must comply with the requirements of Sec.  694.13 or Sec.  694.14, 
as applicable.
    (b)(1) Section 404E scholarship awards for grantees whose initial 
GEAR UP grant awards were made prior to August 14, 2008. A State or 
Partnership grantee making section 404E scholarship awards using funds 
from GEAR UP grant awards that were made prior to August 14, 2008, must 
provide such scholarship awards in accordance with the requirements of 
Sec.  694.13 unless it elects to provide the scholarships in accordance 
with the requirements of Sec.  694.14 pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of 
this section.
    (2) Election to use Sec.  694.14 requirements. A State or 
Partnership grantee making section 404E scholarship awards using funds 
from GEAR UP grant awards that were made prior to August 14, 2008, may 
provide such scholarship awards in accordance with the requirements of 
Sec.  694.14 (rather than the requirements of Sec.  694.13) provided 
that the grantee--
    (i) Informs the Secretary, in writing, of its election to make the 
section 404E scholarship awards in accordance with the requirements of 
Sec.  694.14; and
    (ii) Such election does not decrease the amount of the scholarship 
promised to any individual student under the grant.
    (c) Section 404E scholarship awards for grantees whose initial GEAR 
UP grant awards were made on or after August 14, 2008. A State or 
Partnership grantee making section 404E scholarship awards using funds 
from GEAR UP grant awards that were made on or after August 14, 2008, 
must provide such scholarship awards in accordance with the 
requirements of Sec.  694.14.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-25)



0
128. Newly redesignated Sec.  694.13 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  694.13  What are the requirements concerning section 404E 
scholarship awards for grantees whose initial GEAR UP grant awards were 
made prior to August 14, 2008?

    The following requirements apply to section 404E scholarship awards 
for grantees whose initial GEAR UP grant awards were made prior to 
August 14, 2008 unless the grantee elects to provide such scholarship 
awards in accordance with the requirements of Sec.  694.14 pursuant to 
Sec.  694.12(b)(2).
    (a)(1) The maximum scholarship amount that an eligible student may 
receive under this section must be established by the grantee.
    (2) The minimum scholarship amount that an eligible student 
receives in a fiscal year pursuant to this section must not be less 
than the lesser of--
    (i) 75 percent of the average cost of attendance for an in-State 
student, in a four-year program of instruction, at public institutions 
of higher education in the student's State; or
    (ii) The maximum Federal Pell Grant award funded under section 401 
of the HEA for the award year in which the scholarship is awarded.
    (3) If an eligible student who is awarded a GEAR UP scholarship 
attends an institution of higher education on a less than full-time 
basis during any award year, the State or Partnership awarding the GEAR 
UP scholarship may reduce the scholarship amount, but in no case may 
the percentage reduction in the scholarship be greater than the 
percentage reduction in tuition and fees charged to that student.
    (b) Scholarships provided under this section may not be considered 
for the purpose of awarding Federal grant assistance under title IV of 
the HEA, except that in no case may the total amount of student 
financial assistance awarded to a student under title IV of the HEA 
exceed the student's total cost of attendance.
    (c) Grantees providing section 404E scholarship awards in 
accordance with this section--

[[Page 65800]]

    (1) Must award GEAR UP scholarships first to students who will 
receive, or are eligible to receive, a Federal Pell Grant during the 
award year in which the GEAR UP scholarship is being awarded; and
    (2) May, if GEAR UP scholarship funds remain after awarding 
scholarships to students under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, award 
GEAR UP scholarships to other eligible students (i.e., students who are 
not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) after considering the 
need of those students for GEAR UP scholarships.
    (d) For purposes of this section, an eligible student is a student 
who--
    (1) Is less than 22 years old at the time of award of the student's 
first GEAR UP scholarship;
    (2) Has received a secondary school diploma or its recognized 
equivalent on or after January 1, 1993;
    (3) Is enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a program of 
undergraduate instruction at an institution of higher education that is 
located within the State's boundaries, except that, at the grantee's 
option, a State or Partnership may offer scholarships to students who 
attend institutions of higher education outside the State; and
    (4) Has participated in activities under Sec.  694.21 or Sec.  
694.22.
    (e) A State using a priority approach may award scholarships under 
paragraph (a) of this section to eligible students identified by 
priority at any time during the grant award period rather than 
reserving scholarship funds for use only in the seventh year of a 
project or after the grant award period.
    (f) A State or a Partnership that makes scholarship awards from 
GEAR UP funds in accordance with this section must award continuation 
scholarships in successive award years to each student who received an 
initial scholarship and who is enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a 
program of undergraduate instruction at an institution of higher 
education.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-21 to 1070a-28)




0
129. Section 694.14 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  694.14  What are the requirements concerning section 404E 
scholarship awards for grantees whose initial GEAR UP grant awards were 
made on or after August 14, 2008?

    The following requirements apply to section 404E scholarship awards 
provided by grantees whose initial GEAR UP grant awards were made on or 
after August 14, 2008 and any section 404E scholarship awards for 
grantees whose initial GEAR UP grant awards were issued prior to August 
14, 2008, but who, pursuant to Sec.  694.12(b)(2), elected to use the 
Sec.  694.14 requirements (rather than the Sec.  694.13 requirements).
    (a)(1) The maximum scholarship amount that an eligible student may 
receive under section 404E of the HEA must be established by the 
grantee.
    (2) The minimum scholarship amount that an eligible student 
receives in a fiscal year must not be less than the minimum Federal 
Pell Grant award under section 401 of the HEA at the time of award.
    (3) If an eligible student who is awarded a GEAR UP scholarship 
attends an institution of higher education on a less than full-time 
basis during any award year, the State or Partnership awarding the GEAR 
UP scholarship may reduce the scholarship amount, but in no case may 
the percentage reduction in the scholarship be greater than the 
percentage reduction in tuition and fees charged to that student.
    (b) For purposes of this section, an eligible student is a student 
who--
    (1) Is less than 22 years old at the time of award of the first 
GEAR UP scholarship;
    (2) Has received a secondary school diploma or its recognized 
equivalent on or after January 1, 1993;
    (3) Is enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a program of 
undergraduate instruction at an institution of higher education that is 
located within the State's boundaries, except that, at the grantee's 
option, a State or Partnership may offer scholarships to students who 
attend institutions of higher education outside the State; and
    (4) Has participated in the activities required under Sec.  694.21.
    (c)(1) By the time students who have received services from a State 
grant have completed the twelfth grade, a State that has not received a 
waiver under section 404E(b)(2) of the HEA of the requirement to spend 
at least 50 percent of its GEAR UP funds on scholarships must have in 
reserve an amount that is not less than the minimum Federal Pell Grant 
multiplied by the number of students the State estimates will enroll in 
an institution of higher education.
    (2) Consistent with paragraph (a) of this section and Sec.  
694.16(a), States must use funds held in reserve to make scholarships 
to eligible students.
    (3) Scholarships must be made to all students who are eligible 
under the definition in paragraph (b) of this section. A grantee may 
not impose additional eligibility criteria that would have the effect 
of limiting or denying a scholarship to an eligible student.
    (d) A State using a priority approach may award scholarships under 
paragraph (a) of this section to eligible students identified by 
priority at any time during the grant award period rather than 
reserving scholarship funds for use only in the seventh year of a 
project or after the grant award period.
    (e) States providing scholarships must provide information on the 
eligibility requirements for the scholarships to all participating 
students upon the students' entry into the GEAR UP program.
    (f) A State must provide scholarship funds as described in this 
section to all eligible students who attend an institution of higher 
education in the State, and may provide these scholarship funds to 
eligible students who attend institutions of higher education outside 
the State.
    (g) A State or a Partnership that chooses to participate in the 
scholarship component in accordance with section 404E of the HEA may 
award continuation scholarships in successive award years to each 
student who received an initial scholarship and who is enrolled or 
accepted for enrollment in a program of undergraduate instruction at an 
institution of higher education.
    (h) A GEAR UP scholarship, provided under section 404E of the HEA, 
may not be considered in the determination of a student's eligibility 
for other grant assistance provided under title IV of the HEA, except 
that in no case may the total amount of student financial assistance 
awarded to a student under title IV of the HEA exceed the student's 
total cost of attendance.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-25)



0
130. Newly redesignated Sec.  694.15 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  694.15  May a Partnership that does not award scholarships under 
section 404E of the HEA provide, as part of a GEAR UP project, 
financial assistance for postsecondary education using non-Federal 
funds?

    A GEAR UP Partnership that does not participate in the GEAR UP 
scholarship component may provide financial assistance for 
postsecondary education with non-Federal funds, and those funds may be 
used to satisfy the matching requirement.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-21 to 1070a-28)



0
131. Section 694.16 is added to read as follows:

[[Page 65801]]

Sec.  694.16  What are the requirements for redistribution or return of 
scholarship funds not awarded to a project's eligible students?

    The following requirements apply only to section 404E scholarship 
awards for grantees whose initial GEAR UP grant awards were made on or 
after August 14, 2008, and to any section 404E scholarship awards for 
grantees whose initial GEAR UP grant awards were made prior to August 
14, 2008, but who, pursuant to Sec.  694.12(b)(2), elect to use the 
Sec.  694.14 requirements (rather than the Sec.  694.13 requirements):
    (a) Scholarship funds held in reserve by States under Sec.  
694.14(c) or by Partnerships under section 404D(b)(7) of the HEA that 
are not used by eligible students as defined in Sec.  694.14(b) within 
six years of the students' scheduled completion of secondary school may 
be redistributed by the grantee to other eligible students.
    (b) Any Federal scholarship funds that are not used by eligible 
students within six years of the students' scheduled completion of 
secondary school, and are not redistributed by the grantee to other 
eligible students, must be returned to the Secretary within 45 days 
after the six-year period for expending the scholarship funds expires.
    (c) Grantees that reserve funds for scholarships must annually 
furnish information, as the Secretary may require, on the amount of 
Federal and non-Federal funds reserved and held for GEAR UP 
scholarships and the disbursement of these scholarship funds to 
eligible students until these funds are fully expended or returned to 
the Secretary.
    (d) A scholarship fund is subject to audit or monitoring by 
authorized representatives of the Secretary throughout the life of the 
fund.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-25(e))



0
132. Newly redesignated Sec.  694.18 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  694.18  What requirements must be met by a Partnership or State 
participating in GEAR UP with respect to 21st Century Scholarship 
Certificates?

    (a) A State or Partnership must provide, in accordance with 
procedures the Secretary may specify, a 21st Century Scholar 
Certificate to each student participating in its GEAR UP project.
    (b) 21st Century Scholarship Certificates must be personalized and 
indicate the amount of Federal financial aid for college and the 
estimated amount of any scholarship provided under section 404E of the 
HEA, if applicable, that a student may be eligible to receive.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-26)



0
133. Newly redesignated Sec.  694.19 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  694.19  What priorities does the Secretary establish for a GEAR 
UP grant?

    The Secretary awards competitive preference priority points to an 
eligible applicant for a State grant that has both--
    (a) Carried out a successful State GEAR UP grant prior to August 
14, 2008, determined on the basis of data (including outcome data) 
submitted by the applicant as part of its annual and final performance 
reports, and the applicant's history of compliance with applicable 
statutory and regulatory requirements; and
    (b) A prior, demonstrated commitment to early intervention leading 
to college access through collaboration and replication of successful 
strategies.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-21(b))



0
134. New Sec.  694.20 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  694.20  When may a GEAR UP grantee provide services to students 
attending an institution of higher education?

    (a) The Secretary authorizes an eligible State or Partnership to 
provide GEAR UP services to students attending an institution of higher 
education if the State or Partnership--
    (1) Applies for and receives a new GEAR UP award after August 14, 
2008, and
    (2) In its application, requested a seventh year so that it may 
continue to provide services to students through their first year of 
attendance at an institution of higher education.
    (b) A State grantee that uses a priority (rather than or in 
addition to a cohort) approach to identify participating students may, 
consistent with its approved application and at any time during the 
project period, provide services to students during their first year of 
attendance at an institution of higher education, provided that the 
grantee continues to provide all required services throughout the 
Federal budget period to GEAR UP students still enrolled in a local 
educational agency.
    (c) If a grantee is awarded a seven year grant, consistent with the 
grantee's approved application, during the seventh year of the grant 
the grantee--
    (1) Must provide services to students in their first year of 
attendance at an institution of higher education; and
    (2) May choose to provide services to high school students who have 
yet to graduate.
    (d) Grantees that continue to provide services under this part to 
students through their first year of attendance at an institution of 
higher education must, to the extent practicable, coordinate with other 
campus programs, including academic support services to enhance, not 
duplicate service.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-21(b)(2))



0
135. New Sec.  694.21 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  694.21  What are required activities for GEAR UP projects?

    A grantee must provide comprehensive mentoring, outreach, and 
supportive services to students participating in the GEAR UP program. 
These services must include the following activities:
    (a) Providing information regarding financial aid for postsecondary 
education to eligible participating students.
    (b) Encouraging student enrollment in rigorous and challenging 
curricula and coursework, in order to reduce the need for remedial 
coursework at the postsecondary level.
    (c) Implementing activities to improve the number of participating 
students who--
    (1) Obtain a secondary school diploma, and
    (2) Complete applications for, and enroll in, a program of 
postsecondary education.
    (d) In the case of a State grantee that has not received a 100-
percent waiver under section 404E(b)(2) of the HEA, providing 
scholarships in accordance with section 404E of the HEA.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-24(a))



0
136. New Sec.  694.22 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  694.22  What other activities may all GEAR UP projects provide?

    A grantee may use grant funds to carry out one or more of the 
following services and activities:
    (a) Providing tutors and mentors, who may include adults or former 
participants in a GEAR UP program, for eligible students.
    (b) Conducting outreach activities to recruit priority students 
(identified in section 404D(d) of the HEA) to participate in program 
activities.
    (c) Providing supportive services to eligible students.
    (d) Supporting the development or implementation of rigorous 
academic curricula, which may include college

[[Page 65802]]

preparatory, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate 
programs, and providing participating students access to rigorous core 
academic courses that reflect challenging State academic standards.
    (e) Supporting dual or concurrent enrollment programs between the 
secondary school and institution of higher education partners of a GEAR 
UP Partnership, and other activities that support participating 
students in--
    (1) Meeting challenging State academic standards;
    (2) Successfully applying for postsecondary education;
    (3) Successfully applying for student financial aid; and
    (4) Developing graduation and career plans, including career 
awareness and planning assistance as they relate to a rigorous academic 
curriculum.
    (f) Providing special programs or tutoring in science, technology, 
engineering, or mathematics.
    (g) For Partnerships, providing scholarships described in section 
404E of the HEA, and for all grantees providing appropriate 
administrative support for GEAR UP scholarships.
    (h) Introducing eligible students to institutions of higher 
education, through trips and school-based sessions.
    (i) Providing an intensive extended school day, school year, or 
summer program that offers--
    (1) Additional academic classes; or
    (2) Assistance with college admission applications.
    (j) Providing other activities designed to ensure secondary school 
completion and postsecondary education enrollment of at-risk children, 
such as:
    (1) Identification of at-risk children.
    (2) After-school and summer tutoring.
    (3) Assistance to at-risk children in obtaining summer jobs.
    (4) Academic counseling.
    (5) Financial and economic literacy education or counseling.
    (6) Volunteer and parent involvement.
    (7) Encouraging former or current participants of a GEAR UP program 
to serve as peer counselors.
    (8) Skills assessments.
    (9) Personal and family counseling, and home visits.
    (10) Staff development.
    (11) Programs and activities that are specially designed for 
students who are limited English proficient.
    (k) Enabling eligible students to enroll in Advanced Placement or 
International Baccalaureate courses, or college entrance examination 
preparation courses.
    (l) Providing services to eligible students in the participating 
cohort described in Sec.  694.3 through the first year of attendance at 
an institution of higher education.
    (m) Fostering and improving parent and family involvement in 
elementary and secondary education by promoting the advantages of a 
college education, and emphasizing academic admission requirements and 
the need to take college preparation courses, through parent engagement 
and leadership activities.
    (n) Disseminating information that promotes the importance of 
higher education, explains college preparation and admission 
requirements, and raises awareness of the resources and services 
provided by the eligible entities to eligible students, their families, 
and communities.
    (o) For a GEAR UP Partnership grant, in the event that matching 
funds described in the approved application are no longer available, 
engaging other potential partners in a collaborative manner to provide 
matching resources and to participate in other activities authorized in 
Sec. Sec.  694.21, 694.22, and 694.23.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-24(b))



0
137. New Sec.  694.23 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  694.23  What additional activities are allowable for State GEAR 
UP projects?

    In addition to the required and permissible activities identified 
in Sec. Sec.  694.21 and 694.22, a State may use grant funds to carry 
out one or more of the following services and activities:
    (a) Providing technical assistance to--
    (1) Secondary schools that are located within the State; or
    (2) Partnerships that are eligible to apply for a GEAR UP grant and 
that are located within the State.
    (b) Providing professional development opportunities to individuals 
working with eligible cohorts of students.
    (c) Providing administrative support to help build the capacity of 
Partnerships to compete for and manage grants awarded under the GEAR UP 
program.
    (d) Providing strategies and activities that align efforts in the 
State to prepare eligible students to attend and succeed in 
postsecondary education, which may include the development of 
graduation and career plans.
    (e) Disseminating information on the use of scientifically valid 
research and best practices to improve services for eligible students.
    (f)(1) Disseminating information on effective coursework and 
support services that assist students in achieving the goals described 
in paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section, and
    (2) Identifying and disseminating information on best practices 
with respect to--
    (i) Increasing parental involvement; and
    (ii) Preparing students, including students with disabilities and 
students who are limited English proficient, to succeed academically 
in, and prepare financially for, postsecondary education.
    (g) Working to align State academic standards and curricula with 
the expectations of postsecondary institutions and employers.
    (h) Developing alternatives to traditional secondary school that 
give students a head start on attaining a recognized postsecondary 
credential (including an industry-recognized certificate, an 
apprenticeship, or an associate's or a bachelor's degree), including 
school designs that give students early exposure to college-level 
courses and experiences and allow students to earn transferable college 
credits or an associate's degree at the same time as a secondary school 
diploma.
    (i) Creating community college programs for individuals who have 
dropped out of high school that are personalized drop-out recovery 
programs, and that allow drop-outs to complete a secondary school 
diploma and begin college-level work.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-24)



0
138. New Sec.  694.24 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  694.24  What services may a GEAR UP project provide to students 
in their first year at an institution of higher education?

    Consistent with their approved applications and Sec.  694.20, a 
grantee may provide any services to students in their first year of 
attendance at an institution of higher education that will help those 
students succeed in school, and that do not duplicate services 
otherwise available to them. Examples of services that may be provided 
include--
    (a) Orientation services including introduction to on-campus 
services and resources;
    (b) On-going counseling to students either in person or though 
electronic or other means of correspondence;
    (c) Assistance with course selection for the second year of 
postsecondary education;
    (d) Assistance with choosing and declaring an academic major;
    (e) Assistance regarding academic, social, and personal areas of 
need;
    (f) Referrals to providers of appropriate services;
    (g) Tutoring, mentoring, and supplemental academic support;

[[Page 65803]]

    (h) Assistance with financial planning;
    (i) Career counseling and advising services; or
    (j) Advising students about transferring to other schools.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-24)



0
139. New Sec.  694.25 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  694.25  Are GEAR UP grantees required to provide services to 
students who were served under a previous GEAR UP grant?

    If a Partnership or State is awarded a GEAR UP grant on or after 
August 14, 2008 (i.e., initial grant), the grant ends before all 
students who received GEAR UP services under the grant have completed 
the twelfth grade, and the grantee receives a new award in a subsequent 
GEAR UP competition (i.e., new grant), the grantee must--
    (a) Continue to provide services required by or authorized under 
Sec. Sec.  694.21, 694.22, and 694.23 to all students who received GEAR 
UP services under the initial grant and remain enrolled in secondary 
schools until they complete the twelfth grade; and
    (b) Provide the services specified in paragraph (a) of this section 
by using Federal GEAR UP funds awarded for the new grant or funds from 
the non-Federal matching contribution required under the new grant.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-21(b)(3)(B) and 1070a-22(d)(1)(C))


[FR Doc. 2010-24324 Filed 10-25-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P