[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 230 (Wednesday, November 27, 1996)]
[Pages 60264-60265]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-30225]

[[Page 60264]]



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

Notice Inviting Applications for Designation as an Eligible 
Institution for Fiscal Year 1997 for the Strengthening Institutions, 
Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Endowment Challenge Grant 


    Institutions of higher education must meet specific statutory and 
regulatory requirements to be designated eligible to receive funds 
under the Strengthening Institutions, HSI, and Endowment Challenge 
Grant Programs, authorized, respectively, under Part A, Section 316, 
and Part C of Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended 
    The Department has made no decision as to whether it will hold 
grant competitions for new awards under Parts A, Section 316, and Part 
C of Title III. The Department must review the available funding for 
the program before determining whether to hold competitions for new 
awards in Fiscal Year 1997.
    Institutions that wish to be considered for waivers of certain non-
Federal share requirements under the Federal Work-Study (FWS) of 
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Programs 
authorized under Title IV of the HEA must submit a Title III 
eligibility application to the Department by the deadline dates set 
forth in this notice and must qualify as an eligible institution under 
this notice. Qualified institutions may receive these waivers even if 
they are not recipients of grants funds under Title III.
    If an institution is interested in obtaining eligibility for 
purposes of receiving a new grant under the Strengthening Institutions 
or HSI Programs, applying for a new grant under the Endowment Challenge 
Grant Program, or receiving a waiver of the non-Federal share under FWS 
or FSEOG Programs, it must submit its application to the Department by 
March 13, 1997. However if an institution submits its application by 
February 13, 1997, the Department will notify the applicant of its 
eligibility status by March 17, 1997. Any of these applicants that 
believe it failed to be designated as an eligible institution because 
of errors in its application or insufficient information in its waiver 
request may submit an amended application to the Department no later 
than April 14, 1997.
    If an applicant submits its initial application after February 13, 
1997 but on or before March 13, 1997, the Department does not guarantee 
that it can review this delayed application and notify the applicant in 
time to allow revisions to the application by April 14, 1997 deadline 
date for amended applications.
    An institution that misses the April 14, 1997 deadline for 
submission of a revised application will not be designated as eligible 
for fiscal year 1997.
    Because of the direct benefits to institutions that are able to 
revise unapproved applications, the Department strongly recommends that 
institutions apply by the February 13, 1997 deadline.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications

    February 13, 1997 for early applications, March 13, 1997 for all 
initial applications, and April 14, 1997 for amended applications.

Applications Available

    January 6, 1997.

Eligibility Information

    To qualify as an eligible institution under the Strengthening 
Institutions and Endowment Challenge Grant Programs, 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 607.2-607.5, as revised in the Federal 
Register on August 15, 1994 (59 FR 41914, 41922).

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: Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity 
Grant, College Work Study, or Perkins Loan Program; or (2) the 
percentage of its undergraduate degree students who were enrolled on at 
least a half-time basis and received Pell Grants exceeded the median 
percentage of undergraduate degree students who were enrolled on at 
least a half-time basis and received Pell Grants at comparable 
institutions that offer similar instruction. To qualify under this 
latter criterion, an institution's Pell Grant percentage for base year 
1994-95 must be more than the median for its category of comparable 
institutions provided on the table in this notice.

E&G Expenditures per FTE Student

    An institution should compare its average E&G expenditure/FTE 
student to the average E&G expenditure/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 1994-95 base year is less 
than the average for its category of comparable institutions, it meets 
this eligibility requirement.
    The 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 Pell Grant 
percentages and the average E&G expenditures per FTE student for the 
1994-95 base year for the four categories of comparable institutions:

                                                Median Pell  Average E&G
                                                   Grant       per FTE  
                                                 percentage    student  
2-year Public Institutions....................        29.57       $6,025
2-year Non-Profit Private Institutions........        31.43        9,075
4-year Public Institutions....................        28.83       14,735
4-year Non-Profit Private Institutions........        28.68       21,062

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 Secs. 607.3(b) and 607.4 (c) and (d). As discussed in the 
preamble to the final regulations published in the Federal Register on 
August 15, 1994 (59 FR 41914-41917), the Secretary has developed a set 
of more specific instructions relating to the waiver provisions for 
institutions unable to meet the needy student enrollment requirement. 
Institutions requesting a wavier of this requirement must include 
detailed information as set forth in the

[[Page 60265]]

instructions for completing the application.
    Under specific waiver options provided under the authority in 34 
CFR Sec. 607.3(b) (2), (3) and (6), an institution must provide 
evidence related to the number of students from low-income families 
that it served in base year 1994-95. The regulations define ``low-
income'' as an amount that does not exceed 150 percent of the amount 
equal to the poverty level as established by the U.S. Bureau of the 
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:

                       Base Year Low-Income Levels                      
                                       Contiguous 48                    
                                        States, the                     
                                        District of                     
         Size of family unit           Columbia, and   Alaska    Hawaii 
1...................................          $7,360    $9,200    $8,470
2...................................           9,840    12,300    11,320
3...................................          12,320    15,400    14,170
4...................................          14,800    18,500    17,020
5...................................          17,280    21,600    19,870
6...................................          19,760    24,700    22,720
7...................................          22,240    27,800    25,570
8...................................          24,720    30,900    28,420

    For family units with more than eight members add the following 
amount for each additional family member: $2,480 for the contiguous 48 
states, the District of Columbia and outlying jurisdictions; $3,100 for 
Alaska; and $2,850 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 10, 1994 (59 FR 6277-6278).
    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 PB93-192664, 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 
publication. For general information about ``metropolitan statistical 
areas'', institutions of higher education may contact the Strengthening 
Institutions Program Branch.

Applicable Regulations

    Regulations applicable to the eligibility process include: (a) the 
Strengthening Institutions Program Regulations in 34 CFR Part 607, as 
revised in the Federal Register on August 15, 1994 (59 FR 41914); (b) 
the Endowment Challenge Grant Program Regulations in 34 CFR Part 628; 
and (c) the Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 
34 CFR Parts 74, 75, 77, 82, 85, and 86.

For Applications or Information Contact

    Strengthening Institutions Program Branch, Division of 
Institutional Development, U.S. Department of Education, 600 
Independence Avenue, SW., (Suite 600-C, Portals Building), Washington, 
DC 20202-5335. Telephone: (202) 708-8839 or 708-8857. 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.
    Information about the Department's funding opportunities, including 
copies of application notices for discretionary grant competitions, can 
be viewed on the Department's electronic bulletin board (ED Board), 
telephone (202) 260-9950; or on the Internet Gopher Server (at Gopher:/
/gcs.ED.GOV/); or on the World Wide Web (at http://gcs.ed.gov). 
However, the official application notice for a discretionary grant 
competition is the notice published in the Federal Register.

Program Authority

    20 U.S.C. 1057, 1059c and 1065a.

    Dated: November 21, 1996.
David A. Longanecker,
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 96-30225 Filed 11-26-96; 8:45 am]