Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Purpose of this program:

To provide assistance for innovative programs that improve access to and the quality of postsecondary education.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

The Fund provides project grants for activities sponsored by institutions and agencies that develop and demonstrate more effective approaches to the postsecondary teaching and learning. Each year, the Department establishes funding competitions and priorities. Funded projects are action-oriented, focusing on improvements in practice rather than support for basic research.

Who is eligible to apply...

Eligible applicants include a full range of providers of postsecondary educational services including but not limited to: 2 and 4-year colleges and universities, community organizations, libraries, museums, consortia, student groups, and local government agencies.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:
Credentials/Documentation

None.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

There is a two-stage proposal process. Preliminary proposals are submitted directly to the Fund. These five- page documents state the problem to be addressed, provide a description of the program, indicate an evaluation format and list a budget. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110. Successful preliminary applicants are invited to submit final proposals, also using Form ED 40-514.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Proposals are reviewed by field readers, by staff, by the Board of the Fund, by the Fund Director, and by appropriate Department officials. State Postsecondary Education Commissions must be given an opportunity to comment on projects funded in their States.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...

Deadlines

Deadlines are published in the Federal Register or may be obtained by contacting the program office.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 4 to 8 months.

Preapplication Coordination

A preapplication (Form ED 40-514) is required. Consultation and assistance are available from the Fund. Contact the Fund directly at (202) 708-5750. Application forms are furnished by the Fund. Call (202) 205-0104. Application materials and further information is also available on the WEB. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.

Appeals

None.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Renewals

Applications for renewal of multi-year projects are processed and funded before those for new projects. Renewals are subject to the availability of funds.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Postsecondary educational institutions and their students will benefit.

Beneficiaries
About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Project Grants

The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects. Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction grants.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In fiscal year 2003, the average new FIPSE comprehensive program grant was $190,000; the average continuation grant was $142,000.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.

Obligations

(Grants) FY 03 $171,068,000; FY 04 est $157,700,000; and FY 05 est $32,011,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification

91-0201-0-1-502.

Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

1) Improved undergraduate liberal arts curriculum; 2) improved undergraduate teaching; 3) improved graduate education; 4) improved access for Blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities; 5) cooperation between colleges and businesses; 6) teacher education; 7) uses of technology; and 8) improved study abroad programs.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

In fiscal year 2003, the Fund awarded approximately 166 grants.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Grantees are selected based on the project's significance in improving postsecondary education; feasibility; and appropriateness.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The Fund will support multi-year projects on a declining fund basis; grants are awarded on a 1-to 3-year basis, with phasing of assistance as required. Funds are released as required. Renewals are subject to the availability of appropriations.

Formula and Matching Requirements

The Fund suggests that some institutional funds be included as part of program support, but this is not required by current legislation or regulation.

Note:
A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...

Reports

The Fund require periodic progress evaluation reports from grant recipients, as well as a final report upon termination of funding. Reporting requirements are found in EDGAR.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.

Audits

Awardees must comply with standard Education Department audit requirements.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).

Records

Grant recipients are required to maintain standard financial records.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.

Regulations...

Authorization

Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, Title VII Part B, Public Law 105-277, 20 U.S.C. 1135-1135a-3.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Program regulations are contained in 34 CFR 630. In addition, the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, and 85 also apply. The official Application Notice is published each year in the Federal Register. The Fund also published "Lessons Learned," a compilation of FIPSE projects. Contact the program office for more information.

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education, Washington, DC 20202-5175. Contact: Cassandra Courtney; E-mail Address cassandra.courtney@ed.gov. Telephone: (202) 502-7506.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: