Laws & Guidance HIGHER EDUCATION
1998 Amendments to Higher Education Act of 1965
P.L. 105-244

TITLE IV--STUDENT ASSISTANCE

Part A--Grants to Students

SEC. 403. GEAR UP PROGRAM

Chapter 2 of subpart 2 of part A of title IV (20 U.S.C. 1070a-21 et seq.) is amended to read as follows:

`CHAPTER 2--GAINING EARLY AWARENESS AND READINESS FOR UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

`SEC. 404A. EARLY INTERVENTION AND COLLEGE AWARENESS PROGRAM AUTHORIZED.

`(a) PROGRAM AUTHORIZED- The Secretary is authorized, in accordance with the requirements of this chapter, to establish a program that--

`(1) encourages eligible entities to provide or maintain a guarantee to eligible low-income students who obtain a secondary school diploma (or its recognized equivalent), of the financial assistance necessary to permit the students to attend an institution of higher education; and

`(2) supports eligible entities in providing--

`(A) additional counseling, mentoring, academic support, outreach, and supportive services to elementary school, middle school, and secondary school students who are at risk of dropping out of school; and

`(B) information to students and their parents about the advantages of obtaining a postsecondary education and the college financing options for the students and their parents.

`(b) AWARDS-

`(1) IN GENERAL- From funds appropriated under section 404H for each fiscal year, the Secretary shall make awards to eligible entities described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (c) to enable the entities to carry out the program authorized under subsection (a).

`(2) PRIORITY- In making awards to eligible entities described in paragraph (c)(1), the Secretary shall--

`(A) give priority to eligible entities that--

`(i) on the day before the date of enactment of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, carried out successful educational opportunity programs under this chapter (as this chapter was in effect on such day); and

`(ii) have a prior, demonstrated commitment to early intervention leading to college access through collaboration and replication of successful strategies;

`(B) ensure that students served under this chapter on the day before the date of enactment of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 continue to receive assistance through the completion of secondary school.

`(c) DEFINITION OF ELIGIBLE ENTITY- For the purposes of this chapter, the term `eligible entity' means--

`(1) a State; or

`(2) a partnership consisting of--

`(A) one or more local educational agencies acting on behalf of--

`(i) one or more elementary schools or secondary schools; and

`(ii) the secondary schools that students from the schools described in clause (i) would normally attend;

`(B) one or more degree granting institutions of higher education; and

`(C) at least two community organizations or entities, such as businesses, professional associations, community-based organizations, philanthropic organizations, State agencies, institutions or agencies sponsoring programs authorized under subpart 4, or other public or private agencies or organizations.

`SEC. 404B. REQUIREMENTS.

`(a) FUNDING RULES-

`(1) CONTINUATION AWARDS- From the amount appropriated under section 404H for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall continue to award grants to States under this chapter (as this chapter was in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998) in accordance with the terms and conditions of such grants.

`(2) DISTRIBUTION- From the amount appropriated under section 404H that remains after making continuation awards under paragraph (1) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall--

`(A) make available--

`(i) not less than 33 percent of the amount to eligible entities described in section 404A(c)(1); and

`(ii) not less than 33 percent of the amount to eligible entities described in section 404A(c)(2); and

`(B) award the remainder of the amount to eligible entities described in paragraph (1) or (2) of section 404A(c).

`(3) SPECIAL RULE- The Secretary shall annually reevaluate the distribution of funds described in paragraph (2)(B) based on number, quality, and promise of the applications and adjust the distribution accordingly.'.

`(b) LIMITATION- Each eligible entity described in section 404A(c)(1), and each eligible entity described in section 404A(c)(2) that conducts a scholarship component under section 404E, shall use not less than 25 percent and not more than 50 percent of grant funds received under this chapter for the early intervention component of an eligible entity's program under this chapter, except that the Secretary may waive the 50 percent limitation if the eligible entity demonstrates that the eligible entity has another means of providing the students with financial assistance that is described in the plan submitted under section 404C.

`(c) COORDINATION- Each eligible entity shall ensure that the activities assisted under this chapter are, to the extent practicable, coordinated with, and complement and enhance--

`(1) services under this chapter provided by other eligible entities serving the same school district or State; and

`(2) related services under other Federal or non-Federal programs.

`(d) DESIGNATION OF FISCAL AGENT- An eligible entity described in section 404A(c)(2) shall designate an institution of higher education or a local educational agency as the fiscal agent for the eligible entity.

`(e) COORDINATORS- An eligible entity described in section 404A(c)(2) shall have a full-time program coordinator or a part-time program coordinator, whose primary responsibility is a project under section 404C.

`(f) DISPLACEMENT- An eligible entity described in 404A(c)(2) shall ensure that the activities assisted under this chapter will not displace an employee or eliminate a position at a school assisted under this chapter, including a partial displacement such as a reduction in hours, wages or employment benefits.

`(g) COHORT APPROACH-

`(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall require that eligible entities described in section 404A(c)(2)--

`(A) provide services under this chapter to at least one grade level of students, beginning not later than 7th grade, in a participating school that has a 7th grade and in which at least 50 percent of the students enrolled are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch under the National School Lunch Act (or, if an eligible entity determines that it would promote the effectiveness of a program, an entire grade level of students, beginning not later than the 7th grade, who reside in public housing as defined in section 3(b)(1) of the United States Housing Act of 1937); and

`(B) ensure that the services are provided through the 12th grade to students in the participating grade level.

`(2) COORDINATION REQUIREMENT- In order for the Secretary to require the cohort approach described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall, where applicable, ensure that the cohort approach is done in coordination and collaboration with existing early intervention programs and does not duplicate the services already provided to a school or community.

`SEC. 404C. ELIGIBLE ENTITY PLANS.

`(a) PLAN REQUIRED FOR ELIGIBILITY-

`(1) IN GENERAL- In order for an eligible entity to qualify for a grant under this chapter, the eligible entity shall submit to the Secretary a plan for carrying out the program under this chapter. Such plan shall provide for the conduct of a scholarship component if required or undertaken pursuant to section 404E and an early intervention component required pursuant to section 404D.

`(2) CONTENTS- Each plan submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be in such form, contain or be accompanied by such information or assurances, and be submitted at such time as the Secretary may require by regulation. Each such plan shall--

`(A) describe the activities for which assistance under this chapter is sought; and

`(B) provide such additional assurances as the Secretary determines necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

`(b) MATCHING REQUIREMENT-

`(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall not approve a plan submitted under subsection (a) unless such plan--

`(A) provides that the eligible entity will provide, from State, local, institutional, or private funds, not less than 50 percent of the cost of the program, which matching funds may be provided in cash or in kind;

`(B) specifies the methods by which matching funds will be paid; and

`(C) includes provisions designed to ensure that funds provided under this chapter shall supplement and not supplant funds expended for existing programs.

`(2) SPECIAL RULE- Notwithstanding the matching requirement described in paragraph (1)(A), the Secretary may by regulation modify the percentage requirement described in paragraph (1)(A) for eligible entities described in section 404A(c)(2).

`(c) METHODS FOR COMPLYING WITH MATCHING REQUIREMENT- An eligible entity may count toward the matching requirement described in subsection (b)(1)(A)--

`(1) the amount of the financial assistance paid to students from State, local, institutional, or private funds under this chapter;

`(2) the amount of tuition, fees, room or board waived or reduced for recipients of financial assistance under this chapter; and

`(3) the amount expended on documented, targeted, long-term mentoring and counseling provided by volunteers or paid staff of nonschool organizations, including businesses, religious organizations, community groups, postsecondary educational institutions, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, and other organizations.

`(d) PEER REVIEW PANELS- The Secretary shall convene peer review panels to assist in making determinations regarding the awarding of grants under this chapter.

`SEC. 404D. EARLY INTERVENTION.

`(a) SERVICES-

`(1) IN GENERAL- In order to receive a grant under this chapter, an eligible entity shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary, in the plan submitted under section 404C, that the eligible entity will provide comprehensive mentoring, counseling, outreach, and supportive services to students participating in programs under this chapter. Such counseling shall include--

`(A) financial aid counseling and information regarding the opportunities for financial assistance under this title; and

`(B) activities or information regarding--

`(i) fostering and improving parent involvement in promoting the advantages of a college education, academic admission requirements, and the need to take college preparation courses;

`(ii) college admissions and achievement tests; and

`(iii) college application procedures.

`(2) METHODS- The eligible entity shall demonstrate in such plan, pursuant to regulations of the Secretary, the methods by which the eligible entity will target services on priority students described in subsection (c), if applicable.

`(b) USES OF FUNDS-

`(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall, by regulation, establish criteria for determining whether comprehensive mentoring, counseling, outreach, and supportive services programs may be used to meet the requirements of subsection (a).

`(2) PERMISSIBLE ACTIVITIES- Examples of activities that meet the requirements of subsection (a) include the following:

`(A) Providing eligible students in preschool through grade 12 with a continuing system of mentoring and advising that--

`(i) is coordinated with the Federal and State community service initiatives; and

`(ii) may include such support services as after school and summer tutoring, assistance in obtaining summer jobs, career mentoring, and academic counseling.

`(B) Requiring each student to enter into an agreement under which the student agrees to achieve certain academic milestones, such as completing a prescribed set of courses and maintaining satisfactory progress described in section 484(c), in exchange for receiving tuition assistance for a period of time to be established by each eligible entity.

`(C) Activities designed to ensure secondary school completion and college enrollment of at-risk children, such as identification of at-risk children, after school and summer tutoring, assistance in obtaining summer jobs, academic counseling, volunteer and parent involvement, providing former or current scholarship recipients as mentor or peer counselors, skills assessment, providing access to rigorous core courses that reflect challenging academic standards, personal counseling, family counseling and home visits, staff development, and programs and activities described in this subparagraph that are specially designed for students of limited English proficiency.

`(D) Summer programs for individuals who are in their sophomore or junior years of secondary school or are planning to attend an institution of higher education in the succeeding academic year that--

`(i) are carried out at an institution of higher education that has programs of academic year supportive services for disadvantaged students through projects authorized under section 402D or through comparable projects funded by the State or other sources;

`(ii) provide for the participation of the individuals who are eligible for assistance under section 402D or who are eligible for comparable programs funded by the State;

`(iii)(I) provide summer instruction in remedial, developmental or supportive courses;

`(II) provide such summer services as counseling, tutoring, or orientation; and

`(III) provide financial assistance to the individuals to cover the individuals' summer costs for books, supplies, living costs, and personal expenses; and

`(iv) provide the individuals with financial assistance during each academic year the individuals are enrolled at the participating institution after the summer program.

`(E) Requiring eligible students to meet other standards or requirements as the State determines necessary to meet the purposes of this section.

`(c) PRIORITY STUDENTS- For eligible entities not using a cohort approach, the eligible entity shall treat as priority students any student in preschool through grade 12 who is eligible--

`(1) to be counted under section 1124(c) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965;

`(2) for free or reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Act; or

`(3) for assistance pursuant to part A of title IV of the Social Security Act.

`(d) ALLOWABLE PROVIDERS- In the case of eligible entities described in section 404A(c)(1), the activities required by this section may be provided by service providers such as community-based organizations, schools, institutions of higher education, public and private agencies, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, businesses, institutions and agencies sponsoring programs authorized under subpart 4, and other organizations the State deems appropriate.

`SEC. 404E. SCHOLARSHIP COMPONENT.

`(a) IN GENERAL-

`(1) STATES- In order to receive a grant under this chapter, an eligible entity described in section 404A(c)(1) shall establish or maintain a financial assistance program that awards scholarships to students in accordance with the requirements of this section. The Secretary shall encourage the eligible entity to ensure that a scholarship provided pursuant to this section is available to an eligible student for use at any institution of higher education.

`(2) PARTNERSHIPS- An eligible entity described in section 404A(c)(2) may award scholarships to eligible students in accordance with the requirements of this section.

`(b) GRANT AMOUNTS- The maximum amount of a scholarship that an eligible student shall be eligible to receive under this section shall be established by the eligible entity. The minimum amount of the scholarship for each fiscal year shall not be less than the lesser of--

`(1) 75 percent of the average cost of attendance for an in-State student, in a 4-year program of instruction, at public institutions of higher education in such State, as determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary; or

`(2) the maximum Federal Pell Grant funded under section 401 for such fiscal year.

`(c) RELATION TO OTHER ASSISTANCE- Scholarships provided under this section shall not be considered for the purpose of awarding Federal grant assistance under this title, except that in no case shall the total amount of student financial assistance awarded to a student under this title exceed such student's total cost of attendance.

`(d) ELIGIBLE STUDENTS- A student eligible for assistance under this section is a student who--

`(1) is less than 22 years old at time of first scholarship award under this section;

`(2) receives 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 State's option, an eligible entity may offer scholarship program portability for recipients who attend institutions of higher education outside such State; and

`(4) who participated in the early intervention component required under section 404D.

`(e) PRIORITY- The Secretary shall ensure that each eligible entity places a priority on awarding scholarships to students who will receive a Federal Pell Grant for the academic year for which the scholarship is awarded under this section.

`(f) SPECIAL RULE- An eligible entity may consider students who have successfully participated in programs funded under chapter 1 to have met the requirements of subsection (d)(4).

`SEC. 404F. 21ST CENTURY SCHOLAR CERTIFICATES.

`(a) AUTHORITY- The Secretary, using funds appropriated under section 404H that do not exceed $200,000 for a fiscal year--

`(1) shall ensure that certificates, to be known as 21st Century Scholar Certificates, are provided to all students participating in programs under this chapter; and

`(2) may, as practicable, ensure that such certificates are provided to all students in grades 6 through 12 who attend schools at which at least 50 percent of the students enrolled are eligible for a free or reduced price lunch under the National School Lunch Act.

`(b) INFORMATION REQUIRED- A 21st Century Scholar Certificate shall be personalized for each student and indicate the amount of Federal financial aid for college which a student may be eligible to receive.

`SEC. 404G. EVALUATION AND REPORT.

`(a) EVALUATION- Each eligible entity receiving a grant under this chapter shall biennially evaluate the activities assisted under this chapter in accordance with the standards described in subsection (b) and shall submit to the Secretary a copy of such evaluation. The evaluation shall permit service providers to track eligible student progress during the period such students are participating in the activities and shall be consistent with the standards developed by the Secretary pursuant to subsection (b).

`(b) EVALUATION STANDARDS- The Secretary shall prescribe standards for the evaluation described in subsection (a). Such standards shall--

`(1) provide for input from eligible entities and service providers; and

`(2) ensure that data protocols and procedures are consistent and uniform.

`(c) FEDERAL EVALUATION- In order to evaluate and improve the impact of the activities assisted under this chapter, the Secretary shall, from not more than 0.75 percent of the funds appropriated under section 404H for a fiscal year, award one or more grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements to or with public and private institutions and organizations, to enable the institutions and organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and, as appropriate, disseminate the results of the evaluation.

`(d) REPORT- The Secretary shall biennially report to Congress regarding the activities assisted under this chapter and the evaluations conducted pursuant to this section.

`SEC. 404H. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

`There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this chapter $200,000,000 for fiscal year 1999 and such sums as may be necessary for each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.'.

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Last Modified: 09/23/2003