[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 107 (Wednesday, June 4, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32241-32248]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-12984]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Gaining Early Awareness and 
Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (State Grants)

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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Overview Information:

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR 
UP)

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 
2014.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.334S.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: June 4, 2014.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 7, 2014.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 2, 2014.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The GEAR UP Program is a discretionary grant 
program that provides funding for academic and related support services 
to eligible low-income students, including students with disabilities, 
to help them to obtain a secondary school diploma and to prepare for 
and succeed in postsecondary education. Services must include providing 
financial aid information, encouraging enrollment in challenging 
coursework in order to reduce the need for remediation at the 
postsecondary level, and implementing

[[Page 32242]]

activities to improve the number of students who obtain a high school 
diploma and complete applications for and enroll in a program of 
postsecondary education. GEAR UP funds may also be used to provide a 
number of additional support services such as mentoring, tutoring, 
academic and career counseling, and exposure to college campuses.
    Priorities: This notice contains three competitive preference 
priorities and one invitational priority. Competitive Preference 
Priority 1 is from section 404A(b)(3) of the Higher Education Act of 
1965, as amended (HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1070a-21), and the GEAR UP Program 
regulations in 34 CFR 694.19. Competitive Preference Priorities 2 and 3 
are from the notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions 
for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on 
December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486) and corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 
27637) (Supplemental Priorities).
    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2014 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from 
this competition, these priorities are competitive preference 
priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up to an additional 
10 points to an application, depending on how well the application 
meets these priorities.
    Competitive Preference Priority 1--Successful Completion of Prior 
GEAR UP Projects (up to 2 additional points):
    We give priority to an eligible applicant for a State GEAR UP grant 
that has: (a) Carried out a successful State GEAR UP grant prior to 
August 14, 2008, determined on the basis of data (including outcomes 
data) submitted by the applicant as part of its annual and final 
performance reports and the applicant's history of compliance with 
applicable statutory and regulatory requirements; and (b) a prior 
demonstrated commitment to early intervention leading to college access 
through collaboration and replication of successful strategies.
    Competitive Preference Priority 2--Increasing Postsecondary Success 
(up to 5 additional points):
    Background:
    The Department is using Competitive Preference Priority 2 to focus 
on increasing readiness for success once students reach the 
postsecondary level. Postsecondary completion rates among students from 
low-income schools are unacceptably low. The Department believes that 
GEAR UP projects can play a strong role in improving postsecondary 
outcomes of their participants by placing a greater emphasis in two 
areas: (1) College fit, and (2) college readiness at the postsecondary 
level. The Department is interested in receiving applications with 
strong plans designed to address one or both of these focus areas.
    College Fit:
    The concept of college fit combines traditional approaches to 
college advising such as assistance with test preparation, research, 
admissions applications, and financial aid applications, with 
strategies to improve college selection so that students are more aware 
of and likely to seriously consider or choose institutions that are a 
good ``fit'' with their level qualifications, academic and career 
interests, and financial, personal, and social needs. College fit 
builds on the body of research on ``undermatching,'' which demonstrates 
that students are more likely to complete college when they attend the 
most academically demanding institution that will admit them. Research 
has also found that academically prepared low-income students may not 
be fully aware of the colleges accessible to them and may not be 
evaluating a full range of college choice factors that could influence 
the decision about whether to apply to and enroll in the most selective 
colleges for which they are qualified.\1\ Research indicates that high-
achieving low-income students have greater success at more 
appropriately matched institutions.\2\ More narrowly, research on very 
high-achieving, low-income students has demonstrated that these 
students will apply to highly selective institutions if it is 
communicated that they could be admitted to selective institutions and 
if they understand that financial aid is available.\3\ Understanding 
that GEAR UP projects serve students with widely varying levels of 
academic achievement, and college selection is based on numerous 
factors, we are interested in receiving applications for GEAR UP funds 
that propose strategies around improving college guidance opportunities 
and successful fit for a broad range of low-income students, not just 
the highest performers. In this regard, we believe that GEAR UP 
grantees can improve college fit by designing new ways to reach 
students with information about college options and improving 
counseling on college selection, such as
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    \1\ Jonathan Smith, Matea Pender, Jessica Howell, ``The Full 
Extent of Student-College Academic Undermatch,'' College Board 
Advocacy and Policy Center, January 2012, www.aefpweb.org/sites/default/files/webform/Extent%20of%20Undermatch.pdf.
    \2\ William G. Bowen, Matthew M. Chingos & Michael S. McPherson, 
Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Public 
Universities, Princeton University Press, 2011.
    \3\ Caroline Hoxby & Sarah Turner, ``Expanding College 
Opportunities for High-Achieving, Low Income Students,'' Stanford 
Institute for Economic Policy Research, March 2013.
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     Exposing students to a wider array of college options 
including those that match with their academic qualifications;
     Using a variety of ways to communicate semi-customized 
information to students about the range of colleges for which they may 
be qualified, the availability and scale of financial aid, and the 
relationship of long term considerations (such as graduation rate and 
post-graduate opportunities) to college choice.\4\
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    \4\ Caroline Hoxby & Sarah Turner, ``Expanding College 
Opportunities for High-Achieving, Low Income Students,'' Stanford 
Institute for Economic Policy Research, March 2013, http://siepr.stanford.edu/?q=/system/files/shared/pubs/papers/12-014paper.pdf.
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     Using innovative methods to reach students, such as 
through text messaging, with information about college options and 
completing the application process, and using innovative resources and 
tools, including those available online, to assist students in 
researching college options and available financial aid; \5\ and,
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    \5\ Benjamin L. Castleman and Lindsay C. Page, ``Summer Nudging: 
Can Personalized Text Messages and Peer Mentor Outreach Increase 
College Going Among Low-Income High School Graduates?,'' Center on 
Education Policy and Workforce Competitiveness, updated October 
2013, http://curry.virginia.edu/uploads/resourceLibrary/9_Castleman_SummerTextMessages.pdf.
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     Connecting students to ``near peer'' advisers to provide 
counseling to students about college choices.\6\ Near peer advisers 
offer students unique opportunities for sharing college information, 
are easier for students to approach than adult advisers, and typically 
develop relationships that are longer lasting than those established 
with adults.
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    \6\ See MDRC, ``Make Me a Match,'' April 2012, (http://www.mdrc.org/sites/default/files/policybrief_24.pdf).
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    Ensuring College Readiness by Preventing Remediation:
    GEAR UP grantees can improve college readiness by identifying at an 
early age students likely to be referred to remediation at the 
postsecondary level and by engaging in strategies to address their 
needs at the secondary level to make taking such courses in college 
unnecessary. Each year, rather than being able to enroll in entry level 
general education courses in subject areas such as reading or math that 
are required as a part of almost any postsecondary program of study, 
millions of beginning college students

[[Page 32243]]

are referred to noncredit-bearing ``developmental'' or ``remedial'' 
courses based on their performance on a placement test or academic 
reference. Remedial or developmental courses are designed to bring 
academically underprepared students to expected competency levels for 
college-level work. Remediation needs are common at all types of 
colleges. The share of first year undergraduate students at four-year 
institutions who reported taking a remedial course in 2012 is 
approximately 29.5 percent at public, 19.6 percent at private 
nonprofit, and 23.1 percent at for-profit institutions. At two-year 
institutions, 40.3 percent of first year undergraduate students at 
public and 17.3 percent at for-profit institutions reported taking a 
remedial course in 2012.\7\ While participation rates vary widely 
across States and institution types, African American and Hispanic 
students are referred to remedial courses at higher rates. Further, 
low-income students are more likely to be referred to remedial courses 
in comparison to the overall percentage of students requiring 
remediation.\8\
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    \7\ ``National Postsecondary Student Aid Study 2011-12,'' 
National Center for Education Statistics, 2012. (http://nces.ed.gov/datalab/tableslibrary/viewtable.aspx?tableid=9420).
    \8\ Complete College America. 2012. Remediation: Higher 
Education's Bridge to Nowhere (www.completecollege.org/docs/CCA-Remediation-final.pdf).
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    Remedial education is one of the leading barriers to postsecondary 
persistence and completion.\9\ While in remediation, students spend 
time and money, accumulate debt, suffer the opportunity cost of lost 
earnings, and in some cases, deplete all or a significant portion of 
their eligibility for financial aid. Further, available evidence 
suggests that participation in remedial education, especially longer 
sequences of remedial courses, does not improve outcomes.\10\
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    \9\ MDRC, Unlocking the Gate: What We Know About Improving 
Developmental Education, June 2011 (http://www.mdrc.org/sites/default/files/full_595.pdf).
    \10\ Attewell, P. A., Lavin, D. E., Domina, T., & Levey, T. 
2006. New Evidence on College Remediation. The Journal of Higher 
Education. (www.jstor.org/stable/3838791 (even after controlling for 
high school preparation and family background, taking developmental 
courses reduced the chances of graduation at four-year colleges and 
universities by 6 to 7 percent). Thomas Bailey, Dong Wook Jeong, 
Sung-Woo Cho. Referral, Enrollment, and Completion in Developmental 
Education Sequences in Community Colleges. Community College 
Research Center, Working Paper No. 15. November 2009 (http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/media/k2/attachments/referral-enrollment-completion-developmental.pdf).
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    Because of its focus on low-income middle school and high school 
students, GEAR UP may be uniquely situated for early identification of 
students at risk of needing remediation. GEAR UP programs may also 
engage in coordinated and targeted interventions that provide academic 
and counseling services to at-risk students while still in high school 
to reduce the need for remediation before reaching college, through 
promising practices such as--
     Using results from State achievement tests from early 
grades to identify students likely to need remediation should they 
enroll in college; \11\
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    \11\ It is important to note that in some cases, depending on 
the identity of the grantee and structure of any partnership, access 
to student records such as test scores may be limited by the Family 
Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g; 34 CFR Part 
99).
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     Conducting early assessments for GEAR UP participants 
while they are in high school to identify academic weaknesses that may 
be predictive of future remediation needs and targeting supports such 
as tutoring and counseling to help ensure these students graduate from 
high school academically prepared for college;
     Offering a ``bridge program'' during the summer before 
college to help students better prepare for institutional course 
placement exams and the academic transition into college in the fall; 
or,
     In the project's 7th year (for applicants seeking a 7th 
year of funding), in which students would be in their first year of 
postsecondary study, focusing support services on students enrolled in 
remediation courses, such as by providing enhanced academic and career 
advising and targeted tutoring services.
    Additionally, GEAR UP grantees can support coordination with State 
systems by building upon and complementing early remediation 
intervention strategies that are implemented by schools and local 
educational agencies in response to their status under State 
accountability systems.
    Priority:
    Projects that are designed to address one or more of the following 
priority areas: (a) Increasing the number and proportion of high-need 
students (as defined in this notice) who are academically prepared for 
and enroll in college or other postsecondary education and training, 
and (b) Increasing the number and proportion of high-need students who 
enroll in and complete high-quality programs of study (as defined in 
this notice) designed to lead to a postsecondary degree, credential, or 
certificate.
    Competitive Preference Priority 3--Implementing Internationally 
Benchmarked, College-and Career-Ready Elementary and Secondary Academic 
Standards (up to 3 additional points):
    Background:
    In recent years, many States have adopted internationally 
benchmarked, college- and career-ready academic standards for 
elementary and secondary school students. GEAR UP grantees can support 
States in this effort by developing projects designed to assist 
students in meeting these standards. Applicants could, for example, 
propose to align their curriculum and instructional materials with 
college and career ready academic standards or provide academic and 
social supports to prepare more students to take Advanced Placement or 
International Baccalaureate courses and enroll in dual enrollment 
programs where they are available.
    Priority:
    Projects that are designed to support the implementation of 
internationally benchmarked, college- and career-ready academic 
standards held in common by multiple States and to improve instruction 
and learning, including projects in one or more of the following 
priority areas:
    (a) The development or implementation of curriculum or 
instructional materials aligned with those standards.
    (b) The development or implementation of professional development 
or preparation programs aligned with those standards.
    (c) Strategies that translate the standards into classroom 
practice.

    Note:  The GEAR UP statute (20 U.S.C. 1070a-21-1070a-28) and 
applicable cost principles contained in U.S. Office of Management 
and Budget Circular A-87 (now redesignated as 2 CFR part 225) do not 
authorize a State grantee to use GEAR UP program funds to implement 
activities needed to address this priority unless doing so focuses 
only on the eligible students in local educational agencies (LEAs) 
participating in the State's GEAR UP project. However, a State 
grantee may use Federal funds to provide supplemental help that 
participating LEAs need to implement any part of the State's or 
LEA's strategies for meeting this competitive preference priority. 
Similarly, a State also may use GEAR UP program funds to provide 
supplemental assistance to LEAs that have received funding under the 
Investing in Innovation (i3) program to implement strategies and 
activities that align with State strategies for preparing eligible 
GEAR UP students to attend and succeed in postsecondary education. 
These strategies may include the development of graduation and 
career plans.

    Invitational Priority--Development of Non-Cognitive Skills: For FY 
2014 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of 
unfunded

[[Page 32244]]

applicants from this competition, this priority is an invitational 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that 
meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference 
over other applications.
    Background:
    An emerging body of research suggests that non-cognitive skills and 
behaviors play an important role in students' academic, career, and 
life outcomes.\12\ The development of these skills is especially 
critical during the middle school years as students face new academic 
challenges, social comparisons, and stereotypes regarding their 
potential for success. How students negotiate these changes has major 
implications for their academic futures.
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    \12\ The University of Chicago Consortium of Chicago School 
Research (June 2012). Teaching Adolescents to Become Learners: The 
Role of Noncognitive Factors in Shaping School Performance. See 
http://raikesfoundation.org/Documents/Teaching%20Adolescents%20to%20Become%20Learners%20(CCSR%20Literature%
20Review%20June%202012).pdf.
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    For example, interventions focused on academic mindset (e.g., a 
sense of belonging in the academic community, believing academic 
achievement improves with effort, and that challenges are inevitable 
for success) have been shown to have a measurable impact on grades and 
course persistence, high school graduation, and college enrollment 
among low-income and minority students. Strategies focused on 
strengthening perseverance (e.g., tenacity and self-discipline) and 
social and emotional skills (e.g., cooperation, empathy, adaptability, 
and executive functions) have also demonstrated positive outcomes.
    For example, middle school students who participated in a series of 
``Possible Selves'' workshops in which they imagined themselves as 
adults and the positive and negative factors that could help or hinder 
their goals had higher test scores and GPAs two years after the program 
than those who did not receive the intervention.\13\ Likewise, students 
from an inner city school in New York who participated in an eight-week 
mentorship program that taught them how intelligence is malleable and 
that the brain can grow like a muscle exhibited increased motivation 
and improved math grades compared to the control group.\14\
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    \13\ Oyserman, D., Bybee, D., & Terry, K. (2006). Possible 
selves and academic outcomes: How and when possible selves impel 
action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 188-204.
    \14\ Blackwell, L.S., Trzesniewski, K.H. and Dweck, C.S. (2007), 
Implicit Theories of Intelligence Predict Achievement Across an 
Adolescent Transition: A Longitudinal Study and an Intervention. 
Child Development, 78: 246-263.
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    With this invitational priority, the Department intends to 
encourage applicants to incorporate strategies and interventions to 
strengthen traditionally underserved students' non-cognitive skills, so 
that they are able to pursue a successful path to high school 
graduation and college success.
    Priority:
    Development of Non-Cognitive Skills: Projects that include 
strategies to improve students' non-cognitive skills and behaviors, 
including academic mindset, perseverance, motivation, and mastery of 
social and emotional skills that improve student success.
    Definitions: These definitions are from the Supplemental Priorities 
and they apply to Competitive Preference Priorities 2 in this notice.
    High-need children and high-need students means children and 
students at risk of educational failure, such as children and students 
who are living in poverty, who are English learners, who are far below 
grade level or who are not on track to becoming college- or career-
ready by graduation, who have left school or college before receiving, 
respectively, a regular high school diploma or a college degree or 
certificate, who are at risk of not graduating with a diploma on time, 
who are homeless, who are in foster care, who are pregnant or parenting 
teenagers, who have been incarcerated, who are new immigrants, who are 
migrant, or who have disabilities.
    Programs of study means career and technical education programs of 
study, which may be offered as an option to students (and their parents 
as appropriate) when planning for and completing future coursework, for 
career and technical content areas, that--(a) Incorporate secondary 
education and postsecondary education elements; (b) Include coherent 
and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and 
relevant career and technical content in a coordinated, non-duplicative 
progression of courses that align secondary education with 
postsecondary education to adequately prepare students to succeed in 
postsecondary education; (c) May include the opportunity for secondary 
education students to participate in dual or concurrent enrollment 
programs or other ways to acquire postsecondary education credits; and 
(d) Lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate at the 
postsecondary level, or an associate or baccalaureate degree.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a-21-1070a-28.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Education Department suspension 
and debarment regulations in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The regulations for 
this program in 34 CFR part 694. (d) The notice of final supplemental 
priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published 
in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486) and 
corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637).

    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants 
except federally recognized Indian tribes.


    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of 
higher education (IHEs) only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $37,762,760.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2015 from the list of 
unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $2,500,000-$3,500,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $3,000,000.
    Maximum Award: We will not fund any application for a State grant 
above the maximum award of $3,500,000 for a single budget period of 12 
months. Additionally, no funding will be awarded for increases in 
budget after the first 12-month budget period. The Assistant Secretary 
for Postsecondary Education may change the maximum amounts through a 
notice published in the Federal Register.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 12.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice.

    Project Period: Up to 84 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: States.
    2.a. Cost Sharing or Matching: Section 404C(b)(1) of the HEA 
requires grantees under this program to provide from State, local, 
institutional, or private funds, not less than 50 percent of the cost 
of the program (or $1 of non-Federal funds for $1 of Federal funds 
awarded), which may be provided in cash or in-kind. In-kind 
contributions may include equipment and supplies, cash contributions 
from non-Federal sources, discounted program services

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and facility usage. The provision also provides that the match may be 
accrued over the full duration of the grant award period, except that 
the grantee must make substantial progress towards meeting the matching 
requirement in each year of the grant award period.
    b. Supplement-Not-Supplant: This program involves supplement-not-
supplant funding requirements. Under section 404B(e) of the HEA, grant 
funds awarded under this program must be used to supplement, and not 
supplant, other Federal, State, and local funds that would otherwise be 
expended to carry out activities assisted under this program (20 U.S.C. 
1070a-22).
    3. Other: Under Section 404E(b)(1) of the HEA for State grants, a 
State must use not less than 25 percent and not more than 50 percent of 
the grant funds for activities targeted at the LEA level as described 
in section 404D (excluding the reservation of funds for postsecondary 
scholarships provided for in section 404D(a)(4) and with the remainder 
of grant funds spent on postsecondary scholarships to eligible GEAR UP 
students as described in section 404E). However, section 404E(b)(2), of 
the HEA permits the Secretary to allow a State to use more than 50 
percent of grant funds received under this program for activities 
targeted at the LEA level if the State demonstrates in its grant 
application that it has another means of providing the students with 
the financial assistance described in section 404E.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet by downloading the package from 
the program Web site at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/gearup/index.html.
    You also can request a copy of the application package from the 
following: Nofertary Fofana, Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for 
Undergraduate Programs, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street 
NW., Room 7095, Washington, DC 20006-8524. Telephone: (202) 502-7533 or 
by email: nofertary.fofana@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or compact disc) by contacting the program contact person listed in 
this section.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this program.
    Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, 
address the selection criteria that reviewers use to assess your 
application. There is a limit for the application narrative of no more 
than 40 pages using the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'' , on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    Note:  For purposes of determining compliance with the 40 page 
limit, each page on which there are words will be counted as one 
full page.

     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, 
footnotes, endnotes, quotations, references, and captions. Charts, 
tables, figures, and graphs in the application may be single spaced.
     Use a font that is either 12-point or larger; or, no 
smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). However, you may use a 10 
point font in charts, tables, figures, graphs, footnotes, and endnotes.
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial.
    The page limits do not apply to the cover sheet; the budget 
section, including the budget narrative and summary form; the 
assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract. If you include 
any attachments or appendices not specifically requested and required 
for the application, these items will be counted as part of the 
narrative for the purposes of the page limit.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: June 4, 2014.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 7, 2014.
    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to section IV.7. Other Submission 
Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 2, 2014.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about 
Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 
12372 is in the application package for this program.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the 
Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award 
Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the 
Government's primary registrant database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information 
while your application is under review by the Department and, if you 
are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one-to-two business days.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business 
days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the 
completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by 
an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal 
financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, 
please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS

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number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:  Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to 
allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in 
Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through 
Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make 
any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with 
your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update 
your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.
    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further 
assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in 
SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov 
Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.
    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, 
you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized 
Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with 
Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the 
following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.
    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an 
exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in 
this section.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    Applications for grants under the GEAR UP State Grant Competition, 
CFDA number 84.334S, must be submitted electronically using the 
Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this 
site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, 
complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You 
may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the GEAR UP 
State Grant competition at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the 
downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA 
number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search 
(e.g., search for 84.334, not 84.334A).
    Please note the following:
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this competition to ensure that 
you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov 
system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures 
pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 
system home page at www.G5.gov.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: The 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications.
     You must upload any narrative sections and all other 
attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) 
read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or 
fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, 
non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not 
review that material.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
a second notification to you by email. This second notification 
indicates that the Department has received your application and has 
assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified 
identifying number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this 
notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you 
experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk 
Case

[[Page 32247]]

Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a 
technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The 
Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether 
your application will be accepted.

    Note:  The extensions to which we refer in this section apply 
only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the 
Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed 
to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before 
the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem 
you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system; and,
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days; or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.
    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be 
postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must 
receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the 
application deadline date.
    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Nofertary Fofana, U.S. 
Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 7095, Washington, DC 
20006-8524. FAX: (202) 219-7074.
    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the 
mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.
    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a 
commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 
the original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.334S) LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:  The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a 
dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with 
your local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper 
application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original 
and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.334S) 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center 
Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except 
Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:  If you 
mail or hand deliver your application to the Department--
    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and--if not provided by 
the Department--in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including 
suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are 
submitting your application; and
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a 
notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not 
receive this notification within 15 business days from the 
application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of 
Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are 
from 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR and are listed in the application package. 
As described in more detail in the application package, among other 
criteria, the Department will be assessing applications on the extent 
to which their proposed projects are supported by strong theory (34 CFR 
75.210(c)(2)(xxix)) and the extent to which their proposed evaluation 
designs are likely to document evidence of promise (34 CFR 
75.210(h)(2)(x)).
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past 
performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as 
the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department 
of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary 
may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is 
not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; 
has a financial or other management system that does not meet the 
standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled 
the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, 
also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.

[[Page 32248]]

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual 
performance report that provides the most current performance and 
financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 
CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance 
reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: The objectives of the GEAR UP Program 
are--(1) to increase the academic performance and preparation for 
postsecondary education of participating students; (2) to increase the 
rate of high school graduation and participation in postsecondary 
education of participating students; and (3) to increase educational 
expectations for participating students and increase student and family 
knowledge of postsecondary education options, preparation, and 
financing.
    The effectiveness of this program depends on the rate at which 
program participants complete high school and enroll in and complete a 
postsecondary education. Under the Government Performance and Results 
Act of 1993 (GPRA), we developed the following performance measures to 
track progress toward achieving the program's goals:
    1. The percentage of GEAR UP students who pass Pre-algebra by the 
end of 8th grade.
    2. The percentage of GEAR UP students who pass Algebra 1 by the end 
of 9th grade.
    3. The percentage of GEAR UP students who take two years of 
mathematics beyond Algebra 1 by the 12th grade.
    4. The percentage of GEAR UP students who graduate from high 
school.

    Note:  For each GEAR UP project, the high school graduation rate 
is defined in the State's approved accountability plan under Part A 
of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as 
amended (ESEA).

    5. The percentage of GEAR UP students and former GEAR UP students 
who are enrolled in college.
    6. The percentage of GEAR UP students who place into college-level 
Math and English without need for remediation.
    7. The percentage of current GEAR UP students and former GEAR UP 
students enrolled in college who are on track to graduate college.
    8. The percentage of GEAR UP students who complete the Free 
Application for Federal Student Aid.
    9. The percentage of GEAR UP students who are on track for 
graduation at the end of each grade.
    10. The percentage of GEAR UP students who are on track to apply 
for college as measured by completion of the SAT or ACT by the end of 
11th grade.
    11. The percentage of parents of GEAR UP students who actively 
engage in activities associated with assisting students in their 
academic preparation for college.
    In addition, to assess the efficiency of the program, we track the 
average cost in Federal funds, of achieving a successful outcome, where 
success is defined as enrollment in postsecondary education of GEAR UP 
students immediately after high school graduation. These performance 
measures constitute GEAR UP's indicators of the success of the program. 
Grant recipients must collect and report data on steps they have taken 
toward achieving these goals. Accordingly, we request that applicants 
include these performance measures in conceptualizing the design, 
implementation, and evaluation of their proposed projects.
    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the 
Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a 
grantee has made ``substantial progress toward meeting the objectives 
in its approved application.'' This consideration includes the review 
of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes 
in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds 
in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and 
budget. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers 
whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in 
its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil 
rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities 
receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 
100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nofertary Fofana, Gaining Early 
Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, U.S. Department of 
Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 7095, Washington, DC 20006-8524. 
Telephone: (202) 502-7533 or by email: nofertary.fofana@ed.gov.
    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-
8339.

VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format 
(e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to 
the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
in section VII of this notice.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF 
you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the 
site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: May 30, 2014.
Lynn B. Mahaffie,
Senior Director, Policy Coordination, Development, and Accreditation 
Service, delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of 
the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2014-12984 Filed 6-3-14; 8:45 am]
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