[Federal Register: November 13, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 219)]
[Page 60987-60989]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 60987]]


Part VI

Department of Education


Notice Inviting Application for Designation as an Eligible Institution 
for Fiscal Year 1998 for the Strengthening Institutions Program; Notice

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[CFDA No. 84.031A, CFDA No. 84.031G]

Notice Inviting Applications for Designation as an Eligible 
Institution for Fiscal Year 1998 for the Strengthening Institutions 


    The Secretary announces closing dates for applications from 
institutions that wish to be designated as an eligible institution 
under the Strengthening Institutions Program authorized under Title 
III, part A of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). If 
an institution qualifies as an eligible institution under that program, 
it is eligible to receive program funds if it submits a successful 
grant application. It is also eligible to have certain of its matching 
requirements waived under the Federal Supplemental Educational Grant 
(FSEOG) and Federal Work Study (FWS) Programs. Moreover, the 
institution is eligible for a waiver even if it does not apply for a 
grant under the Strengthening Institutions Program. (The FSEOG and FWS 
programs are student financial assistance programs authorized under 
Title IV of the HEA.)
    The Department will hold a Fiscal Year 1998 funding competition for 
new awards under the Strengthening Institutions Program and will 
publish a closing date notice in a future Federal Register. (There will 
be no competition for new awards under the Hispanic-Serving 
Institutions and Endowment Challenge Grant Programs because no funds 
were appropriated for those awards.)
    An institution that wishes to be designated as an eligible 
institution under the Strengthening Institutions Program for any 
purpose must submit its application to the Department by February 2, 
    If an institution submits its application by December 29, 1997, the 
Department will notify the applicant of its eligibility status by 
February 2, 1998. If an applicant believes it failed to be designated 
as an eligible institution because of errors in its application or 
insufficient information in its waiver request, it may submit an 
amended application to the Department no later than March 20, 1998.
    If an applicant submits its initial application after December 29, 
1997, but on or before February 2, 1998, the Department does not 
guarantee that it will be able to review the application and notify the 
applicant in time for the applicant to submit an amended application by 
March 20, 1998, the deadline date for amended applications.
    An applicant will not be designated as an eligible institution if 
the applicant misses the February 2, 1998 deadline for initial 
applications or the March 20,1998 deadline for amended applications. 
The Department strongly recommends that applicants apply by December 
29,1997 to take advantage of the opportunity to amend unapproved 

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications

    December 29, 1997 for early applications, February 2, 1998 for all 
initial applications, and March 20, 1998 for amended applications. 
These deadlines apply to institutions of higher education that 
anticipate competing for new awards under the Strengthening 
Institutions Program, and for institutions that plan to obtain a waiver 
of certain non-Federal share requirements under the FSEOG and FWS 

Applications Available

    November 20, 1997.

Eligibility Information

    To qualify as an eligible institution an applicant must (1) be 
accredited or preaccredited by a nationally recognized accrediting 
agency; (2) be legally authorized by the State in which it is located 
to be a junior or community college or to provide a bachelor's degree 
program; and (3) have a high enrollment of needy students. In addition, 
its educational and general (E&G) expenditures per full-time equivalent
(FTE) undergraduate student must be low in comparison with the average 
E&G expenditures per FTE undergraduate student of institutions that
offer similar instruction. The complete eligibility requirements are 
found in the Strengthening Institutions Program regulations, 34 CFR 

Enrollment of Needy Students

    Under 34 CFR Sec. 607.3(a), an institution is considered to have a 
high enrollment of needy students if--(1) At least 50 percent of its 
degree students received financial assistance under one or more of the 
following programs: Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG, FWS, and Federal Perkins 
Loan Programs; or (2) the percentage of its undergraduate degree 
students who were enrolled on at least a half-time basis and received 
Federal Pell Grants exceeded the median percentage of undergraduate 
degree students who were enrolled on at least a half-time basis and 
received Federal Pell Grants at comparable institutions that offered 
similar instruction. To qualify under this latter criterion, an 
institution's Federal Pell Grant percentage for base year 1995-96 must 
be more than the median for its category of comparable institutions 
provided in the table in this notice.

Educational and General Expenditures per Full-Time Equivalent 

    An institution should compare its average E&G expenditures per FTE
student to the average E&G expenditure per FTE student for its category
of comparable institutions contained in the table in this notice. If 
the institution's average E&G expenditure for the 1995-1996 base year
is less than the average for its category of comparable institutions, 
it meets this eligibility requirement.
    An institution's E&G expenditures are the total amount it expended
during the base year for instruction, research, public service, 
academic support, student services, institutional support, operation 
and maintenance, scholarships and fellowships, and mandatory transfers.
    The following table identifies the relevant median Federal Pell 
Grant percentages and the average E&G expenditures per FTE student for
the 1995-96 base year for the four categories of comparable 

                                                   Median    Average E&G
                                                   Federal   expenditure
                                                 Pell Grant    per FTE  
                                                 percentage    student  
2-year Public Institutions.....................      30.16       $7,114 
2-year Non-Profit Private Institutions.........      31.57       11,704 
4-year Public Institutions.....................      28.00       16,594 
4-year Non-Profit Private Institutions.........      28.53       22,479 

Waiver Information

    Institutions of higher education that are unable to meet the needy 
student enrollment requirement or the E&G expenditure requirement may
apply to the Secretary for waivers of these requirements, as described 
in 34 CFR 607.3(b) and 607.4(c) and (d). Institutions requesting a 
waiver of the needy student requirement must include the detailed 
information as set forth in the instructions for completing the 
    The waiver authority provided in 34 CFR 607.3(b)(2) and (3), refers 
to ``low-income'' students and families. The regulations define ``low-
income'' as an amount that does not exceed 150 percent of the amount 
equal to the poverty level in 1995-97 base year as established by the 
U.S. Bureau of the

[[Page 60989]]

Census, 34 CFR 607.3(c). For the purposes of this waiver provision, the 
following table sets forth the low-income levels for the various sizes 
of families:

                   1995-96 Base Year Low-Income Levels                  
                                     Contiguous 48                      
                                      States, the                       
                                      District of                       
        Size of family unit          Columbia, and    Alaska     Hawaii 
1..................................      $11,205      $14,010    $12,915
2..................................       15,045       18,810     17,325
3..................................       18,885       23,610     21,735
4..................................       22,725       28,410     26,145
5..................................       26,565       33,210     30,555
6..................................       30,405       38,010     34,965
7..................................       34,245       42,810     39,375
8..................................       38,085       47,610     43,710

    For family units with more than eight members, add the following 
amount for each additional family member: $3,840 for the contiguous 48 
states, the District of Columbia and outlying jurisdictions; $4,800 for 
Alaska; and $4,410 for Hawaii.
    The figures shown as low-income levels represent amounts equal to 
150 percent of the family income levels established by the U.S. Bureau 
of the Census for determining poverty status. The Census levels were 
published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the 
Federal Register on February 9, 1995 (Volume 60, Number 27, pages 7772-
    In reference to the waiver option specified in Sec. 607.3(b)(4) of 
the regulations, information about ``metropolitan statistical areas'' 
may be obtained by requesting the Metropolitan Statistical Areas, 1993, 
order number PB 93-192664, from the National Technical Information 
Services, Document Sales, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Virginia 
22161, telephone number (703) 487-4650. There is a charge for this 

Applicable Regulations

    Regulations applicable to the eligibility process include the 
Strengthening Institutions Program Regulations in 34 CFR part 607, and 
the Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR 
parts 74, 75, 77, 82, 85, and 86.

For Applications or Information Contact

    Blanca Westgate or Jane Wrenn, Institutional Development and 
Undergraduate Education Service, U.S. Department of Education, 600 
Independence Avenue, S.W., (Portals CY-80) Washington, D.C. 20202-5335. 
Telephone: (202) 708-8866, 708-9926 and 708-8839. Individuals who use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 
p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audio tape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed in the preceding 
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application 
package in an alternate format, also, by contacting that person. 
However, the Department is not able to reproduce in an alternate format 
the standard forms included in the application package.

Electronic Access to This Document

    Anyone may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or 
portable document format (pdf) on the World Wide Web at either of the 
following sites:


    To use the pdf you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader Program with 
Search, which is available free at either of the previous sites. If you 
have questions about using the pdf, call the U.S. Government Printing 
Office toll free at 1-888-293-6498.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1057, 1059c and 1065a.
    Dated: November 5, 1997.
David A. Longanecker,
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 97-29796 Filed 11-12-97; 8:45 am]