Grant Application Technical Assistance Resources
Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools

Completing Forms for a Discretionary Grant

Here are some tips to help you complete the Federal forms required to submit an application for funding from the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS). This information should be used as a supplement to the OMB-approved directions that accompany the official forms.

You will need to submit the following forms with your application:

  • ED Form 424--Application for Federal Education Assistance
  • ED Form 524--Budget Information, Non-Construction Programs
  • Standard Form 424B--Assurances, Non-Construction Programs
  • ED80-0013--Certifications Regarding Lobbying; Debarment, Suspension, and Other
  • Responsibility Matters; and Drug-Free Workplace Requirements
  • Standard Form LLL--Disclosure of Lobbying Activities
  • ED80-0014--Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility, and Voluntary Exclusion -- Lower Tier Covered Transactions

Your agency's authorized representative (usually not the project director) must sign each form. Electronic versions of these Federal forms and the OMB instructions can be found at

ED Form 424-Application for Federal Education Assistance

[Graphic of Sample Form]

This is the first page of your application and contains all of the administrative information ED needs to make a grant award. The form contains 15 blocks: 1-8 requests information about the applicant; 9-13 asks information about the application; 14 asks for the estimated (yearly) funding, and 15 asks information about the person who is authorized to legally bind the applicant entity. Below is a brief description of the information we are looking for in each block.

Applicant Information

  1. Name and Address is the name of the organization applying for the grant, for example, Enterprise School District, and its mailing address. The applicant will have fiscal and administrative control of the grant award funds. The Organizational Unit refers to the division within the applicant's organization that will be responsible for the grant (e.g., Office of Curriculum and Instruction). If you are unclear about the Organizational Unit for the applicant, leave the box empty.

  2. The D-U-N-S Number is a nine-digit number provided by Dun & Bradstreet, which provides unique identifiers of single business entities. This number does not convey any information about the recipient - a built-in check digit helps assure the accuracy of the number. If you do not have a D-U-N-S Number, you may obtain one at no charge by calling 800/333-0505 or by completing a D-U-N-S Number Request Form on the Internet at

  3. TIN (Tax Identification Number) should be available through your organization's accounting office.

  4. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number designates the competition under which you are applying. Every Federal grant program has its own identification number. You can find the CFDA number for the competition in the Federal Register notice and the application package. Title is the title of the grant competition. An example of a CFDA number and title is 84.215F, Carol M. White Physical Education Program.

  5. The Project Director is the person who will oversee the day-to-day operation of the grant program. If that person has not been selected, provide the name and complete contact information of someone who can answer questions about the application if we need additional information.

  6. Novice Applicant is defined in the application package if the grant program will give special consideration to a new applicant. You should read the notice in the Federal Register and the application package carefully to determine if this consideration will be applied to the grant competition under which you are applying.

  7. Debt Delinquency. If the organization applying for the grant is delinquent in any debt to the Federal government, such as audit disallowances, loans, or taxes, you should check "Yes" and include an explanation of the issue.

  8. Type of Applicant refers to the organization applying for the grant. The Federal Register notice and the application will include information about the types of organizations that are eligible applicants for a specific competition. Check the one that most closely describes your organization.

Application Information

  1. Type of Submission is Application, Non-Construction for discretionary grants from OSDFS.

  2. Executive Order 12372 applies to all OSDFS grants unless the applicant's state chooses not to participate. Check the State Single Point of Contacts list found in the application package to see if yours is a participating state. If your state does participate, you must submit a copy of your application to the state contact listed in the application package and list the date the letter was sent in this section of the application. Failure to do so may result in loss of a grant award. If your state declines to review your application, check the second box under "No - Program has not been selected by State for Review." If your state is not included in the Single State Point of Contact list, you are not subject to Executive Order 12372 and should check "No - Program is not covered by E.O. 12372."

  3. Proposed Project Dates should reflect the entire time period of the grant. Grant length varies according to the program's statute; the Federal Register notice and the application package will have guidelines for the length of the grant. Unless otherwise directed, you should keep these dates in line with the Federal fiscal year: October 1 through September 30.

  4. Human Subjects Research applies to all applicants that plan to conduct research activities involving human subjects at any time during the proposed project period. Research is defined as an activity following a deliberate plan whose purpose is to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge, such as an exploratory study or the collection of data to test a hypothesis. For additional information about the protection of human subjects in research, check the Department's Protection of Human Subjects in Research Web site at

  5. Title of your proposed project should be included in this section.

Estimated Funding

  1. Estimated Funding should reflect the funds requested for the first year of the project only. Federal refers to the amount of funds requested from ED. The other categories are sources of additional funding, if any, to support the program. Some competitions require matching funds from the applicant. Check the Federal Register announcement and application package to find out about the requirements of a specific program.

Authorized Representative

  1. The Authorized Representative is the designated representative of the applying agency. This person is authorized to commit the applying organization to the financial and programmatic plans set forth in the grant.

ED 524 Form-Budget Information, Non-Construction Programs

[Graphic of Sample Form]

This form is divided into three parts, each of which must be provided, as applicable.

  1. Section A is required of all applicants. In this section, you must list by budget category all funds you are requesting to operate your program.

  2. Section B may be optional, depending on the requirements of the program. Here you will record the non-Federal funds to be used to support the program, such as matching or in-kind funding. Not every competition requires matching funds. Check the application package and Federal Register notice for the program in which you are interested to see if it has a matching requirement. Remember that ED staff will monitor matching funds along with expenditures of Federal program funds. If you offer a match, you will be held accountable to provide it even if the program does not require a match.

  3. Section C is required of all applicants and is the budget narrative portion of your application. In this section you must provide a detailed explanation of all proposed expenditures for your project. These expenditures should be carefully linked to the goals, objectives, and activities described in the project narrative portion of your application. ED staff will review all information about your proposed expenditures and determine whether the expenditures are allowable (either permitted or not specifically prohibited), allocable (can be directly allocated to your project); and reasonable (costs that would be incurred by a "prudent person"). Any costs not fully described or justified can be deleted from your funding request during the budget review conducted by our staff. As you prepare your budget narrative, keep the following in mind:

    1. Personnel

      • Only project staff members that are employees of the applicant should be in this category.
      • Staff who are working on the project and are being paid with an in-kind contribution or whose salaries are included as part of a cost-sharing/matching requirement should be included in this category under Section B.
      • Examples include but are not limited to key personnel (e.g., Project Director, Project Coordinator), professional staff (e.g., trainer), paraprofessionals, and support staff.

    2. Fringe Benefits

      • This category includes the direct cost of all fringe benefits paid to staff whose salaries will be paid by the grant.
      • Examples include but are not limited to life insurance, health insurance, retirement plan, and vacation and sick pay.

    3. Travel

      • All travel must be justified and clearly linked to the goals and objectives of your project.
      • Travel costs are expenses for transportation, lodging, subsistence, and related items incurred by employees who are in travel status on official business of the organization.
      • Identify all staff that intends to travel, and include destination and duration, number of trips, and cost per trip.
      • Document the established mileage rate for any local travel.
      • Check the application package for information on ED-required travel for project directors and others.

    4. Equipment

      • Equipment is tangible, non-expendable items having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. However, consistent with the grantee's policy, the grantee may establish lower limits.

    5. Supplies

      • Supplies or materials are tangible, expendable items. Direct supplies and materials differ from equipment in that they are consumable, expendable, and have a relatively low unit cost. Computers are supplies if their unit cost is less than $5,000.
      • Supplies and materials purchased with grant funds should directly benefit the grant project and be necessary for achieving the goals of the project.

    6. Construction

      • Since discretionary grants available through the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools are Non-Construction grants, no costs should be listed in this category.
      • Minor remodeling is acceptable, such as putting a fresh coat of paint on office walls, as long as it is allocable to your project. These costs should be placed in the "Other" category.

    7. Contractual

      • For purposes of a discretionary grant, a contract is a written binding agreement between two or more parties for the purpose of acquiring property and/or services in accordance with specific terms and conditions. Property and/or services procured under a contract arrangement should directly benefit the grant project and be necessary to achieving the goals of the project.
      • All products or services delivered by a contractor should be fully described and justified.
      • Examples include but are not limited to professional services (e.g., consultants, evaluators, trainers), leases (e.g., office equipment, office space), miscellaneous services (e.g., transportation, printing) and maintenance/repair (e.g., building maintenance).

    8. Other

      • This category is where applicants may place all direct costs that are not clearly covered by the other direct cost categories. This category may include a wide variety of costs that do not seem to fit elsewhere in the budget.
      • Be sure to avoid the term "miscellaneous," and fully describe and justify all items.
      • Examples include but are not limited to communication costs (e.g., telephone, postage) and conference registration fees. Release time for teachers to attend training or substitute teachers compensation should be put in this category, not in personnel.

    9. Total Direct Costs are the sum of lines 1-8.

    10. Indirect Costs

      • Indirect costs are defined as charges an organization incurs that benefits all projects generally and not one in particular, and they cannot be assigned to specific activities of a project.
      • Examples may include but not be limited to utilities charges and facilities charges (e.g., telephone usage, rental fees).
      • Be sure to check the application package to determine if any restrictions have been placed on indirect costs.
      • If no restrictions have been placed on indirect costs, you may charge the negotiated indirect cost rate that has been established between the applicant and cognizant Federal agency. For local educational agencies, the allowable indirect cost rate is established by the State Department of Education.
      • For more information about indirect cost rates, please contact the Department of Education's Indirect Cost Group at 202/708-7770 or visit

    11. Training Stipends

      • There are basically three types of projects that might include budget requests for stipends, tuition allowances, or other types of similar charges to support the objectives of the project: fellowship or scholarship programs, educational training projects; and projects where students receive tuition remission or other forms of compensation as, or in lieu of, wages. If teachers are paid overtime to receive training after working hours or on weekends, the costs are added to the Other category.

    12. Total Costs (lines 9-11)

ED80-0013--Certifications Regarding Lobbying; Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters; and Drug-Free Workplace Requirements

The purpose of this form is to certify that the applying organization has not and will not lobby Congress in connection with the grant, and that if any non-Federal funds have been used to lobby, this information will be disclosed on Standard Form LLL; the applying organization is not debarred, suspended, or proposed for debarment, has not been convicted of fraud, and is not currently being indicted; and the applying organization, if awarded, will maintain a drug-free workplace.

Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion-Lower Tier Covered Transactions

If the applicant proposes to use contracts to carry out a portion of the work, the contractor (not the applicant) must sign the certification. If contracts will not be used, mark "not applicable" on the form.

Standard Form 424B--Assurances, Non-Construction Programs

The purpose of this form is to certify that the applying organization and its authorized representative are aware of the legal requirements of the grant and are willing to comply with them.

Standard Form LLL--Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

The purpose of this form is to disclose any lobbying activities that use any non-Federal funds to influence Congress in the grant-making process. If this does not apply to your grant, you should mark the form as "Not Applicable" and include it in the application.

General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) Requirement - Section 427

This requires an applicant, as a condition of receiving a grant, to identify barriers to equitable participation in its federally assisted program and to provide a description of the steps proposed to overcome those barriers. Barriers might include gender, race, national origin, disability, age, language background, or other unique factors in the setting in which the program will be carried out. The application package contains a full explanation of how to meet this requirement. Note that a general statement of the applicant's nondiscrimination policy is not sufficient to meet this requirement.

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Last Modified: 10/31/2007