Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education; Request for Proposal—for the College Access Challenge Grant
[41 Pa.B. 2622]
[Saturday, May 21, 2011]
The Department of Education (Department) solicits proposals from nonprofit organizations or partnerships of organizations for a competitive College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) Program from the United States Department of Education. If awarded, the Commonwealth is eligible for up to $3.8 million in CACG funding for 2011-12. These funds are available under Section 781 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, (20 U.S.C.A. § 1141).
Proposals are solicited to provide information to students and families on postsecondary education benefits. Proposals should include strategies that focus on opportunities, planning and career preparation, information on financing options, outreach activities for students who may be at risk of not enrolling in or completing college, completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), assisting students in applying to institutions of higher education and activities that improve secondary school students' preparedness for postsecondary entrance examinations.
These services must be made available to all qualifying students and families regardless of: (a) choice of postsecondary institution; (b) type of student loan received; (c) server of such loan; and (d) student's academic performance. In addition, priority must be given to students and families who are living below the poverty line applicable to the individual's family size and students and families cannot be charged a fee to participate in activities and services.
It is the intent that the Department will administer the CACG program in coordination with selected partners.
The CACG Program is a formula grant program that is designed to foster partnerships among Federal, state and local government entities and philanthropic organizations to significantly increase the number of underrepresented students who enter and remain in postsecondary education. CACG provides grants to states to meet the needs of underrepresented students and families.
The CACG Program will be measured against the following performance measures:
1) The percentage increase in the proportion of high school students at program schools enrolling in postsecondary education.
2) The percentage increase in the proportion of high school senior program participants who complete a FAFSA.
Sub-Grants to Nonprofit Organizations
To be eligible for the CACG Program nonprofit organizations or partnerships of organizations must have been in existence on or before September 27, 2007, and be participating in activities and services related to increasing access to higher education.
Non-Federal Matching Requirement
Federal funds may be used to pay for up to 2/3 of the cost of the activities and services provided as part of a CACG grant. Non-Federal funds must be equal to 1/3 of the costs of authorized activities and services. This non-Federal match may be met through cash or in-kind contributions and cannot be waived. Matching contributions may be provided from State resources, contributions from private organizations, or both. Applicants should include information on how the non-Federal match will be met.
The closing date for receipt of applications under this announcement is June 10, 2011. Applications must be submitted through the Department's e-Grants system no later than 4 p.m. The e-Grant system records the time of submission. This recorded time will be used to determine submission time. Any applications received after the deadline will not be scored and will be ineligible for consideration.
Applications must be completed online and submitted by means of the e-Grants web site at http://egrants.ed. state.pa.us to the Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education. Instructions for the use of the use of the e-Grant system are available at www.education. state.pa.us. Information on the Federal College Access Challenge Grant Program is available at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/cacg/index.html.
The grant period will be for a term of 1 year—August 14, 2011, through August 13, 2012. Renewal will occur provided that the State meets maintenance of effort requirements and that measurable progress is made toward meeting performance measures. At the end of the grant period, grantees will be authorized to reapply and compete with other applicants for another 1-year term.
In awarding grants under CACG, the Department will consider:
• The applicant's plan on how the administrative capacity will be developed.
• The applicant's plans on how funding will benefit students.
• The recordkeeping system for collecting and reporting student outcome/achievement data and participation in services and activities.
• The entities (State and local, philanthropic and other organizations) that will be actively involved in providing activities and services.
• Activities, services and anticipated outcomes and how these align with the goals and objectives of the project.
• How funds will be used to accomplish the goals and objectives of the project.
Abstract. Applicants must provide an overview of the project that includes its goals, purpose and scope in the abstract section. (Provide an abstract that gives an overview of the project—that is, the need for the project, organizations that will be involved in the project, goals and objectives, and activities and services.)
Project narrative. Applicants must address the following:
1. A description of the capacity and structure that the State has in place to administer the authorized services and activities, or the applicants plan on how the administrative capacity will be developed.
2. In the case of a philanthropic organization, how funds will be used to benefit students.
3. The recordkeeping system for collecting and reporting student outcome/achievement data and participation in services and activities. Specifically, address the methodology and data collections system/plan for the collection and maintenance of student and family participation in activities and outcome data.
4. A plan for the evaluation of the goals and objectives as outlined by applicant.
5. The entities (State and local, philanthropic and other organizations) that will be actively involved in providing activities and services.
Goals and objectives. Applicants must submit the goals and objectives for the project. Activities, services and anticipated outcomes should be clearly aligned with the goals and objectives of the project. The goals provide the overall context for what the project is trying to accomplish in the long-term, and objectives describe what the project is trying to achieve incrementally.
Budget summary and narrative. Applicants must: (1) present proposed expenditures (Federal and non-Federal) for the first year of implementation; (2) address the questions relative to indirect costs; and (3) provide a narrative outlining how funds will be used to accomplish the goals and objectives of the project. Each budget category must be justified in the budget narrative. Applicants should include the basis for estimating the cost of all project expenditures and how costs relate to proposed activities and services.
All potential applicants are urged to attend the bidders' webinar to receive information on program guidelines and requirements for submitting e-Grant applications for the CACG Program. This webinar will be conducted at http://vclass.cciu.org on May 27, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. A presentation, including the information covered during the webinar, will be posted at www.education.state.pa.us for a period of 30 days.
RONALD J. TOMALIS,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 11-852. Filed for public inspection May 20, 2011, 9:00 a.m.]
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