Archived Information

Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

Subpart 4 - High Hopes for College

SEC. ---. Subpart 4 of part A of title IV of the Act is amended as follows:

"SEC. 415A. (a) FINDINGS.--The Congress finds that:
"(1) Among low-income students who, despite high test scores, are not planning on attending college, nearly 60 percent cite an inability to afford school as the reason.
"(2) About 80 percent of our 12th graders who are interested in continuing their education after high school go on to college if their parents read materials about financial aid, compared to only 55 percent of such students if their parents do not read this material.
"(3) In 1996, the American Council on Education found that the public overestimated the tuition of public two-year colleges by about 3 times the actual average tuition, of public four-year colleges by over twice the actual average tuition, and of private four-year universities by almost 1/3 more than the actual average tuition.
"(4) There is a need for, and a significant benefit from, providing students, and through them their parents, with information about the variety of Federal student financial assistance programs, such as Pell grants, federal work-study and loans, and the AmeriCorps Education Awards that make college more affordable than ever before.
"(b) AUTHORITY.--(1) The Secretary, using funds appropriated under section 416H(a) of this Act--
"(A) shall ensure that certificates, to be known as 21st Century Scholar Certificates, are provided to all students participating in projects under chapter 2; and
"(B) 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 free or reduced-price lunch.
"(2) A 21st Century Scholar Certificate shall be personalized for each student and indicate the amount of Federal financial aid for college for which a student may be eligible.
"SEC. 416A. It is the purpose of this chapter to encourage and prepare students in low-income communities, beginning not later than the 7th grade, to prepare for, enter, and successfully complete college by assisting college-school-community partnerships to--
"(1) provide in-school and on-campus early college awareness activities to these students and their parents;
"(2) ensure on-going adult guidance and other support to these students;
"(3) provide useful, early information to these students and their parents on the need for, options related to, and financing (including the availability of financial assistance) of a college education; and
"(4) help ensure that these students have access to rigorous core courses, such as algebra and geometry, that prepare them for college.
"SEC. 416B. (a) GRANTS AUTHORIZED.--From funds appropriated under section 416H(a), the Secretary shall make grants to college-school-community partnerships for activities under section 416D.
"(b) ELIGIBLE PARTNERSHIP.--For purposes of this chapter, an eligible partnership shall include--
"(1) one or more local educational agencies acting on behalf of--
"(A) one or more participating schools; and
"(B) the public secondary schools that students from these schools would normally attend;
"(2) one or more degree-granting institutions of higher education; and
"(3) at least two community organizations or entities, such as businesses, professional associations, community-based organizations, or other public or private agencies or organizations.
"(c) DEFINITIONS.--For the purpose of this chapter--
"(1) a 'participating school' means a public school in which--
"(A) there is a 7th grade;
"(B) one or more cohorts of students receive services under this chapter; and
"(C) at least 50 percent of the students enrolled are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch; and
"(2) a 'cohort of students' means--
"(A) an entire grade level of students in a participating school; or
"(B) if the partnership determines that it would promote the effectiveness of a project, 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.
"(d) DURATION.--Each grant awarded under this chapter shall be for a six-year period.
"(e) COST SHARING.--(1) Federal funds shall provide no more than 80 percent of the cost of the project in the first year, 70 percent of the cost in the second year, 60 percent of the cost in the third year, 50 percent of the cost in the fourth year, 40 percent of the cost in the fifth year, and 30 percent of the cost in the sixth year.
"(2) The non-Federal share of grants awarded under this chapter may--
"(A) be in cash or in kind, fairly evaluated, including services, supplies, or equipment; and
"(B) include the non-Federal share of work-study grants under part C of title IV of this Act awarded to students who serve as tutors or mentors in projects under this chapter.
"(3) The Secretary may waive the cost-sharing requirement described in paragraph (1) for any eligible partnership that demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary an extraordinary hardship that prevents compliance with that requirement.
"(f) EQUITABLE GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION.--To the extent possible, the Secretary shall award grants under this chapter in a manner that achieves an equitable geographic distribution of those grants.
"(g) PRIORITY AWARDS UNDER CHAPTER 2.--Before making grants under this chapter for fiscal year 1999, the Secretary shall, as appropriate, make awards to recipients eligible for continuation awards under chapter 2 of subpart 2 of this title as it was in effect prior to the enactment of Higher Education Act Amendments Act of 1998.
"SEC. 416C. (a) APPLICATION REQUIRED.--An eligible partnership desiring to receive a grant under this chapter shall submit an application to the Secretary, in such form and containing such information, as the Secretary may require.
"(b) APPLICATION CONTENTS.--Each application shall include--
"(1) the name of each partner and a description of its responsibilities, including the designation of either an institution of higher education or a local educational agency as the fiscal agent for the partnership;
"(2) a description of the need for the project, including a description of how the project will build on existing services and activities, if any.
"(3) a listing of the human, financial (other than funds under this chapter), and other resources that each member of the partnership will contribute to the partnership, and a description of the efforts each member of the partnership will make in seeking additional resources;
"(4) a description of how the project will operate, including how grant funds will be used to meet the purpose of this chapter;
"(5) a description of how services will be coordinated with, and will complement and enhance, services received by participating schools and students under other related Federal and non-federal programs, including programs under title I, part A of title VII, and part 1 of title X of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994, section 402 of this Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
"(6) a description of how the partnership will support and continue the services under this chapter after the grant has expired;
"(7) an assurance from each local educational agency using funds under this chapter that--
"(A) at least 50 percent of the students enrolled in each participating school are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch;
"(B) its aggregate expenditures per student for activities described in this chapter will not be reduced from the level of such expenditures in the year prior to the grant; and
"(C) someone at each participating school will be designated as the primary point of contact for the partnership;
"(8) an assurance that participating students will have access to rigorous core academic courses that reflect challenging State or local academic standards; and
"(9) an assurance that members will provide the performance information described in section 140(b) of this Act, which would be used to base continuation of the grant.
"(c) PREFERENCES.--In reviewing applications under this chapter, the Secretary shall give preference to projects that--
"(1) will serve participating schools in which at least 75 percent of the students enrolled are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch;
"(2) provide a commitment from non-federal sources to pay all or part of the cost of college, through tuition assistance or guarantees (not already available), such as 'last-dollar grants', for participating students; and
"(3) hold participating students responsible for school or community service and high academic performance.
"SEC. 416D. (a) PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS.--Projects under this chapter shall--
"(1) have a program coordinator who is either full-time or whose primary responsibility is the project under this chapter;
"(2) provide services to at least one cohort of students, beginning not later than the 7th grade;
"(3) ensure that the services authorized under this chapter are provided through the 12th grade to students in the cohort, including students who attend another participating school or a secondary school identified under section 416B(b)(1)(B);
"(4) include activities and information that foster and improve parent involvement in promoting postsecondary education for their children, including the provision of useful early information on the advantages of a college education, academic admissions requirements and the need to take core courses, admissions and achievement tests, application procedures, college costs and options, and the availability of student financial aid;
"(5) include academic counseling, career awareness, and tutoring or mentoring from trained personnel, as well as other student support services that enable students to succeed academically and apply for, enter, and complete college;
"(6) include training in promoting early college awareness for classroom teachers, guidance counselors, and staff of the schools involved in the project; faculty and program personnel in participating institutions of higher education; and participating mentors and tutors;
"(7) include activities on college campuses and enrichment activities associated with postsecondary education; and
"(8) include arrangements that ensure that all participating students have access to rigorous core courses that reflect challenging State or local academic standards and that prepare them for college.
"(b) USE OF FUNDS.--In addition to the activities described in subsection (a), a recipient of funds under this chapter may use them--
"(1) where necessary and appropriate to ensure active participation, to pay stipends to participating students and their mentors;
"(2) where necessary and appropriate to ensure active participation, to pay transportation costs for participants to attend project-sponsored activities;
"(3) to provide out-of-school and summer activities related to the project;
"(4) for project evaluation; and
"(5) to recognize the responsibility and achievement of participating students through ceremonies, awards, and other means.
"SEC. 416E. A local educational agency that participates in an eligible partnership shall provide services supported with Federal funds under this chapter on an equitable basis, consistent with section 14503 of Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, to students in private schools that--
"(1) have a 7th grade;
"(2) have at least 50 percent of the students it enrolls eligible for free or reduced-price lunch; and
"(3) are located in the normal attendance area of a participating school.
"SEC. 416F. In order to improve the operation of the program assisted under this chapter, the Secretary shall, with funds appropriated under section 416H(a) or section 140(a) of this Act, make grants to, and enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with, institutions of higher education and other public and private institutions and organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of the program assisted under this chapter and, as appropriate, disseminate such results.

"SEC. 416G. The Secretary shall use a peer-review process to review applications under this chapter and make recommendations for funding to the Secretary.

"SEC. 416H. (a) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATION.--There are authorized to be appropriated $140,000,000 for fiscal year 1999 and such sums as may be necessary for each of the 5 succeeding fiscal years to carry out this chapter.
"(b) RESERVATION FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND PEER REVIEW.--From the amount appropriated under subsection (a) for any fiscal year, the Secretary may reserve up to one-half of one percent of that amount to obtain additional qualified readers and additional staff to review applications, to increase the level of oversight monitoring, to support impact studies, program assessments and reviews, and to provide technical assistance to potential applicants and current grantees.



Last updated: April 8, 2002 by [pss]

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