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Basic Needs for Postsecondary Students Program

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Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. Who is eligible to apply?
  2. Can students apply for a grant under this program?
  3. Under the Basic Needs Program, can we provide transportation reimbursement for unpaid interns?
  4. Are consortiums of 2 or more community colleges eligible to apply, or does it need to be a single institution?
  5. What file types can I upload to grants.gov?
  6. Are subawards/subgrants allowable?
  7. Can funds be used to construct a dorm or other type of residence for students?
  8. Can an IHE submit more than one application.
  9. Are indirect costs allowed?
  10. Is direct student aid included in MTDC (modified total direct cost)?

1. Who is eligible to apply?

Any Community College (as defined in the Notice Inviting Applications) and 2- and 4-year public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (as defined in the Notice Inviting Applications), Tribal Colleges and Universities (as defined in the Notice Inviting Applications), and other Minority-Serving Institutions (as defined in the Notice Inviting Applications).

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2. Can students apply for a grant under this program?

No. Only eligible Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) are eligible to apply.

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3. Under the Basic Needs Program, can we provide transportation reimbursement for unpaid interns?

Transportation support is allowable.

Projects must satisfy the absolute priorities as stated in the Notice Inviting Applications. Activities must directly align with project objectives and adhere to applicable EDGAR and Uniform Guidance citations that govern the program.

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4. Are consortiums of 2 or more community colleges eligible to apply, or does it need to be a single institution?

A single institution must apply as the lead institution. Eligible institutions, however, may partner with other institutions.

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5. What file types can I upload to grants.gov?

In years past, only .pdf documents were accepted here at the Department of Education. Now, it is acceptable to upload Microsoft Word documents, as well as .pdf documents.

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6. Are subawards/subgrants allowable?

A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application. Partnerships can be in the form of MOUs, contracts, etc. and be paid on a reimbursement basis. If partnership entities are not named within a grantee’s application for funding, grantees must follow their own procurement procedures and those outlined in 2 CFR Part 200 when procuring goods and services for the purposes of their Basic Needs grant.

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7. Can funds be used to construct a dorm or other type of residence for students?

No. Grantees are prohibited from using Basic Needs funding for the acquisition of real property or construction under 34 CFR § 75.533. However, examples of the resources and services that could be provided using Basic Needs funds include housing voucher application assistance and other services to secure temporary housing for students.

Projects must also satisfy the absolute priorities as stated in the Notice Inviting Applications. Activities must directly align with project objectives and adhere to applicable EDGAR and Uniform Guidance citations that govern the program.

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8. Can an IHE submit more than one application.

No, IHEs may only submit one application. If more than one is submitted, only the latest submission will be reviewed.

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9. Are indirect costs allowed?

This program uses an unrestricted indirect cost rate. For more information regarding indirect costs, or to obtain a negotiated indirect cost rate, please see www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocfo/intro.html.

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10. Is direct student aid included in MTDC (modified total direct cost)?

No. MTDC excludes direct student aid which falls under “participant support costs.”

2CFR 200.68
MTDC means all direct salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each subaward (regardless of the period of performance of the subawards under the award). MTDC excludes equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000. Other items may only be excluded when necessary to avoid a serious inequity in the distribution of indirect costs, and with the approval of the cognizant agency for indirect costs.

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Last Modified: 08/19/2022