[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 114 (Tuesday, June 14, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34670-34676]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-14736]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Gaining Early Awareness and 
Readiness for Undergraduate Programs

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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Overview Information

    Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs; 
Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2011.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.334A 
(Partnership grants).

DATES: Applications Available: June 14, 2011.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 14, 2011.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 12, 2011.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The GEAR UP program is a discretionary grant 
program that provides financial support for academic and related 
support services that eligible low-income students, including students 
with disabilities, need to enable them to obtain a secondary school 
diploma and to prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education.
    Priorities: This notice contains two competitive preference 
priorities and one invitational priority.
    Background: The President has set a clear goal for our education 
system: By 2020, the United States will once again lead the world in 
college completion. To achieve this goal, the Department has 
consistently encouraged four key reforms to improve elementary and 
secondary education--in particular the Department is seeking to: 
improve the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders and promote 
equity in the distribution of effective teachers and school leaders; 
strengthen the use of data to improve teaching and learning; provide 
high-quality instruction based on rigorous college- and career-ready 
standards and measure students' mastery of standards using high-quality 
assessments aligned with those standards; and turn around the lowest-
performing schools.
    The Department views the GEAR UP program as a critical component in 
the effort to improve the quality of secondary schools so that more 
students are well prepared for college and careers. In order to more 
strategically align GEAR UP with these overarching reform strategies 
for school improvement, the Department is announcing two competitive 
preference priorities for this competition. The Department also 
proposes one invitational priority for this competition.
    We are using two priorities from the Department's notice of final 
supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant 
programs, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 
78486).
    The Department is using Competitive Preference Priority 1--Turning 
Around Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools because an essential 
element in strengthening our education system is dramatic improvement 
of student performance in each State's persistently lowest-achieving 
schools. These schools often require intensive interventions to improve 
the school culture and climate, strengthen the school staff and 
instructional program, increase student attendance and enrollment in 
advanced courses, provide more time for learning, and ensure that 
social services and community support are available for students in 
order to raise student achievement, graduation rates, and college 
enrollment rates. In addition, students in these schools can benefit 
from participating in programs, such as GEAR UP, that offer additional 
services designed to increase student success. The Department is 
interested in seeing strong plans to support improvements in student 
achievement and outcomes within these schools.
    The Department is using Competitive Preference Priority 2--Enabling 
More Data-Based Decision-Making because the Department believes that 
the effective use of data for informed decision-making is essential to 
the continuous improvement of educational results. Specifically, this 
priority is for projects that are designed to provide educators, as 
well as families and other key stakeholders, with high-quality data and 
the capacity and training to use those data. The data may be used to 
respond to the learning and academic needs of students, increase 
student achievement (as defined in this notice), improve educator 
effectiveness, inform professional development practices and 
approaches, understand the culture and climate of their schools and 
institutions, and make informed decisions that increase overall program 
effectiveness. We believe that inclusion of this competitive preference 
priority is important because accurate, timely, relevant, and 
appropriate data are key to knowing what is working for students and 
what is not. Data can tell us which students are on track to college- 
and career-readiness and which students need additional support, which 
instructional strategies are working, which schools or institutions are 
successfully improving student learning and performance, and which 
teachers or faculty excel in increasing student achievement so that 
they can, for example, be given the opportunity to coach others or to 
lead communities of professional practice.
    Competitive Preference Priorities. The competitive preference 
priorities 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). For FY 2011 and any 
subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded 
applicants from this competition, these priorities are competitive 
preference

[[Page 34671]]

priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional 6 
points (up to 3 points for each competitive preference priority) to an 
application, depending on how well the application meets these 
priorities.
    These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1--Turning Around Persistently Lowest-
Achieving Schools (Up to 3 additional points)

    Projects that are designed to address one or more of the following 
priority areas:
    (a) Improving student achievement (as defined in this notice) in 
persistently lowest-achieving schools (as defined in this notice).
    (b) Increasing graduation rates (as defined in this notice) and 
college enrollment rates for students in persistently lowest-achieving 
schools (as defined in this notice).
    (c) Providing services to students enrolled in persistently lowest-
achieving schools (as defined in this notice).

Competitive Preference Priority 2--Enabling More Data-Based Decision-
Making (Up to 3 Additional Points)

    Projects that are designed to collect (or obtain), analyze, and use 
high-quality and timely data, including data on program participant 
outcomes, in accordance with privacy requirements (as defined in this 
notice), in one or more of the following priority areas:
    (a) Improving instructional practices, policies, and student 
outcomes in elementary or secondary schools.
    (b) Improving postsecondary student outcomes relating to 
enrollment, persistence, and completion and leading to career success.
    (c) Providing reliable and comprehensive information on the 
implementation of Department of Education programs, and participant 
outcomes in these programs, by using data from State longitudinal data 
systems or by obtaining data from reliable third-party sources.

    Note: Applicants proposing to use data to improve decision-
making might want to consider demonstrating their ability to access 
the State's longitudinal data system for reporting postsecondary 
student outcomes and student outcomes in elementary and secondary 
schools. Examples of other data-based activities could include using 
course-taking trend data to structure interventions tailored to keep 
students `on-track' to graduate from high school and prepared for 
postsecondary education or using such data to develop early warning 
indicator systems designed to prevent students from dropping out.

    Invitational Priority: For FY 2011 and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded 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.
    This priority is:

Invitational Priority--Financial Access and College Savings Accounts

    Background: Research indicates that students with savings accounts 
may be up to seven times more likely to attend college, even when 
controlling for other factors (Elliot, Jung, and Friedline, 2010: 
http://csd.wustl.edu/Publications/Documents/WP10-01.pdf). Yet 25 
percent of U.S. households (and 50 percent of Black and Hispanic 
households) are unbanked or underbanked, meaning that they either do 
not have a Federally-insured deposit account, or that they have an 
account but still rely on costly alternative financial services. Young 
adults are disproportionately unbanked and underbanked (http://www.economicinclusion.gov/). At the same time, a lack of financial 
literacy--such as overestimating the price of college, not applying for 
Federal student aid, and taking private education loans before 
exhausting Federal loans--is a major roadblock on the path to college 
access and success for too many students and families (http://www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/announcements/2010-3/072610c.html). 
Partially as a result of these findings, the Secretary of Education and 
the Chairmen of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the 
National Credit Union Administration announced, in November 2010, a new 
interagency agreement to increase partnerships among schools, financial 
institutions, and other stakeholders to help students gain access to 
deposit accounts, learn about money, and save for college. The 
Department's press statement on this partnership can be found at: 
http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/fdic-and-ncua-chairs-join-education-secretary-announce-partnership-promote-finan and the 
Secretary's recently recorded video encouraging participation at: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxOoXeOkh_w.
    Section 404D(b)(10)(E) of the HEA expressly authorizes GEAR UP 
program grantees to design projects that promote participating 
students' secondary school completion and enrollment in postsecondary 
education by means that include promotion of financial literacy and 
economic literacy education or counseling. Accordingly, and in keeping 
with the goals of the new interagency agreement, the Secretary 
specifically invites applications that address the following 
invitational priority.
    Invitational Priority: The Secretary invites applications that 
propose, as part of their strategy for ensuring secondary school 
completion and postsecondary education enrollment of participating 
students, financial and economic literacy activities that include:
     Creation or enhancement of partnerships with financial 
institutions and/or other stakeholders that would (1) provide students 
with safe and affordable deposit accounts at Federally-insured banks or 
credit unions or other safe, affordable, and appropriate financial 
services, and (2) evaluate the success of these partnerships in meeting 
this objective; and
     Creation of financial or other incentives to increase 
savings by GEAR UP students and families of participating GEAR UP 
students.
    Definitions: These definitions 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 apply to the competitive preference priorities in this 
notice.
    Graduation rate means a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate 
consistent with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1), and may also include an extended-
year adjusted cohort graduation rate consistent with 34 CFR 
200.19(b)(1)(v) if the State in which the proposed project is 
implemented has been approved by the Secretary to use such a rate under 
Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), 
as amended.
    Persistently lowest-achieving schools means, as determined by the 
State: (i) Any Title I school in improvement, corrective action, or 
restructuring that: (a) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of 
Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or 
the lowest-achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective 
action, or restructuring in the State, whichever number of schools is 
greater; or (b) is a high school that has had a graduation rate as 
defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number 
of years; and (ii) any secondary school that is eligible for, but does 
not receive, Title I funds that: (a) Is among the lowest-achieving five 
percent of secondary schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary 
schools in the State that are eligible for, but do

[[Page 34672]]

not receive, Title I funds, whichever number of schools is greater; or 
(b) is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 
CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years.
    To identify the persistently lowest-achieving schools, a State must 
take into account both: (i) The academic achievement of the ``all 
students'' group in a school in terms of proficiency on the State's 
assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA in reading/language 
arts and mathematics combined; and (ii) the school's lack of progress 
on those assessments over a number of years in the ``all students'' 
group.
    Privacy requirements means the requirements of the Family 
Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g, and its 
implementing regulations in 34 CFR Part 99, the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 
552a, as well as all applicable Federal, State and local requirements 
regarding privacy.
    Student achievement means--
    (a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student's score on the 
State's assessments under the ESEA; and, as appropriate, (2) other 
measures of student learning, such as those described in paragraph (b) 
of this definition, provided they are rigorous and comparable across 
schools.
    (b) For non-tested grades and subjects: alternative measures of 
student learning and performance, such as student scores on pre-tests 
and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language 
proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that 
are rigorous and comparable across schools.

    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, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The regulations for this 
program in 34 CFR Part 694. (c) The notice of final supplemental 
priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published 
in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486).

    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: $102,211,000. Contingent upon the 
availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make 
additional awards in FY 2012 from the list of unfunded applicants from 
this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $100,000-$7,000,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,161,489.
    Maximum Award: We will reject any application for a partnership 
grant that proposes a budget exceeding $800 per student for a single 
budget period of 12 months. We also will reject any partnership grant 
application that proposes an increase in its 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: 88.

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

    Project Period: Up to 84 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Partnership consisting of (A) one or more 
local educational agencies (LEA), and (B) one or more degree granting 
institutions of higher education (IHE). Partnerships may also contain 
not less than two other community organizations or entities, such as 
businesses, professional organizations, State agencies, institutions or 
agencies sponsoring programs authorized under the Leveraging 
Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) Program authorized in part A, 
subpart 4, of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended 
(HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1070c et seq.), or other public or private agencies or 
organizations.

    Note: The fiscal agent/applicant must be either an IHE or an LEA 
(see 34 CFR 694.10)

    .2. a. Cost Sharing or Matching: Section 404C(b)(1) of the HEA 
requires partnership 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 every $1 of Federal 
funds awarded), which may be provided in cash or in-kind. 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 toward meeting the matching requirement in each year of the 
grant award period.
    Section 404C(b)(2) further provides that the Secretary may approve 
a partnership's request for a reduced match percentage at the time of 
application if the partnership demonstrates significant economic 
hardship that precludes the partnership from meeting the matching 
requirement, or if the partnership requests that contributions to the 
scholarship fund be matched on a two-to-one basis. (See 34 CFR 
694.8(a)-(c) for implementing regulations.) In addition, a partnership 
that includes three or fewer institutions of higher education as 
members and meets the high-need criteria in 34 CFR 694.8(d)(2) may 
provide a reduced level of match as specified in 34 CFR 694.8(d).
    b. Supplement-Not-Supplant: This program includes 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).

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: Pariece Wilkins, Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for 
Undergraduate Programs, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, 
NW., Room 7025, Washington, DC 20006-8524. Telephone: (202) 219-7104 or 
by e-mail: pariece.wilkins@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or computer diskette) 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 evaluate your 
application. You must limit the application narrative (Part II) to no 
more than 45 pages. However, if you choose to address the invitational 
priority and/or the competitive preference priorities, you must limit 
your discussion on the invitational priority to only 4 additional pages 
and

[[Page 34673]]

discussion on the competitive preference priorities to only 10 
additional pages above the 45-page narrative limitation. For purpose of 
determining compliance with the page limit, each page on which there 
are words will be counted as one full page. Applicant must use the 
following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12-point or larger, or no 
smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman and Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
    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.
    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: June 14, 2011.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 14, 2011.
    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 12, 2011.
    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 Central Contractor Registry: 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 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 CCR 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 business day.
    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 CCR registration process may take five or more business days to 
complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, 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 CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take 
three or more business days to complete. 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 in the Grants.gov 3-Step Registration Guide 
(see www.grants.gov/section910/Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf).
    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 Partnership Grant 
Competition, CFDA number 84.334A, must be submitted electronically 
using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at http://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 e-mail 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 
Partnership Grant competition at http://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 
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 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

[[Page 34674]]

4:30 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 http://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) 
format only. If you upload a file type other than a .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 e-mail. 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 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 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 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: Pariece Wilkins, U.S. 
Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Room 7025, 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 84.334A), 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

[[Page 34675]]

(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 
84.334A), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, 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.
    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). 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.
    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 http://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 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 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 students and parents of GEAR UP students who 
demonstrate knowledge of available financial aid and the costs and 
benefits of pursuing postsecondary education.

    Note:  The Department will ask grantees to track and report on 
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion, and 
will update the survey currently used by grantees to assess 
knowledge of financial aid and the costs and benefits of pursuing 
postsecondary education.

    9. The percentage of GEAR UP students who have knowledge of, and 
demonstrate, necessary academic preparation for college.

    Note:  This measure will be calculated using factors such as the 
percentage of GEAR UP students on track for graduation at the end of 
each grade, the percentage of GEAR UP students who complete the PLAN 
or PSAT by the end of the 10th grade, the percentage of GEAR UP 
students who complete the SAT or ACT by the end of 11th grade, and 
the percentage of GEAR UP students who have an unweighted grade 
point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale by the end of 
the 11th grade.

    10. The percentage of parents of GEAR UP students who actively 
engage in activities associated with assisting

[[Page 34676]]

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:  Pariece Wilkins, Gaining Early 
Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, U.S. Department of 
Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Room 7025, Washington, DC 20006-8524. 
Telephone: (202) 219-7104 or by e-mail: pariece.wilkins@ed.gov.
    If you use a TDD, 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 computer diskette) 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: http://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 
this site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: http://www.federalregister.gov.

    Dated: June 9, 2011.
David A. Bergeron,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2011-14736 Filed 6-13-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-U