§ 643.21What selection criteria does the Secretary use?
The Secretary uses the following criteria to evaluate an application for a new grant:
(a)Need for the project (24 points). The Secretary evaluates the need for a Talent Search project in the proposed target area on the basis of the extent to which the application contains clear evidence of the following:
(1) (4 points) A high number or high percentage of the following—
(i) Low-income families residing in the target area; or
(ii) Students attending the target schools who are eligible for free or reduced priced lunch as described in sections 9(b)(1) and 17(c)(4) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act.
(2) (2 points) Low rates of high school persistence among individuals in the target schools as evidenced by the annual student persistence rates in the proposed target schools for the most recent year for which data are available.
(3) (4 points) Low rates of students in the target school or schools who graduate high school with a regular secondary school diploma in the standard number of years for the most recent year for which data are available.
(4) (6 points) Low postsecondary enrollment and completion rates among individuals in the target area and schools as evidenced by—
(i) Low rates of enrollment in programs of postsecondary education by graduates of the target schools in the most recent year for which data are available; and
(ii) A high number or high percentage of individuals residing in the target area with education completion levels below the baccalaureate degree level.
(5) (2 points) The extent to which the target secondary schools do not offer their students the courses or academic support to complete a rigorous secondary school program of study or have low participation or low success by low-income or first generation students in such courses.
(6) (6 points) Other indicators of need for a TS project, including low academic achievement and low standardized test scores of students enrolled in the target schools, a high ratio of students to school counselors in the target schools, and the presence of unaddressed academic or socio-economic problems of eligible individuals, including foster care youth and homeless children and youth in the target schools or the target area.
(b)Objectives (8 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality of the applicant's objectives and proposed targets (percentages) in the following areas on the basis of the extent to which they are both ambitious, as related to the need data provided under paragraph (a) of this section, and attainable, given the project's plan of operation, budget, and other resources:
(1) (2 points) Secondary school persistence.
(2) (2 points) Secondary school graduation (regular secondary school diploma).
(3) (1 point) Secondary school graduation (rigorous secondary school program of study).
(c)Plan of operation (30 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality of the applicant's plan of operation on the basis of the following:
(1) (3 points) The plan to inform the residents, schools, and community organizations in the target area of the purpose, objectives, and services of the project and the eligibility requirements for participation in the project.
(2) (3 points) The plan to identify and select eligible project participants.
(3) (10 points) The plan for providing the services delineated in § 643.4 as appropriate based on the project's assessment of each participant's need for services.
(4) (6 points) The plan to work in a coordinated, collaborative, and cost-effective manner as part of an overarching college access strategy with the target schools or school system and other programs for disadvantaged students to provide participants with access to and assistance in completing a rigorous secondary school program of study.
(5) (6 points) The plan, including timelines, personnel, and other resources, to ensure the proper and efficient administration of the project, including the project's organizational structure; the time commitment of key project staff; and financial, personnel, and records management.
(6) (2 points) The plan to follow former participants as they enter, continue in, and complete postsecondary education.
(d)Applicant and community support (16 points). The Secretary evaluates the applicant and community support for the proposed project on the basis of the extent to which the applicant has made provision for resources to supplement the grant and enhance the project's services, including—
(1) (8 points) Facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel, and other resources committed by the applicant; and
(2) (8 points) Resources secured through written commitments from community partners.
(i) An applicant that is an institution of higher education must include in its application commitments from the target schools and community organizations;
(ii) An applicant that is a secondary school must include in its commitments from institutions of higher education, community organizations, and, as appropriate, other secondary schools and the school district; and
(iii) An applicant that is a community organization must include in its application commitments from the target schools and institutions of higher education.
(e)Quality of personnel (9 points). (1) The Secretary evaluates the quality of the personnel the applicant plans to use in the project on the basis of the following:
(i) The qualifications required of the project director.
(ii) The qualifications required of each of the other personnel to be used in the project.
(iii) The plan to employ personnel who have succeeded in overcoming the disadvantages of circumstances like those of the population of the target area.
(2) In evaluating the qualifications of a person, the Secretary considers his or her experience and training in fields related to the objectives of the project.
(f)Budget (5 points). The Secretary evaluates the extent to which the project budget is reasonable, cost-effective, and adequate to support the project.
(g)Evaluation plan (8 points). The Secretary evaluates the quality of the evaluation plan for the project on the basis of the extent to which the applicant's methods of evaluation—
(1) Are appropriate to the project's objectives;
(2) Provide for the applicant to determine, using specific and quantifiable measures, the success of the project in—
(i) Making progress toward achieving its objectives (a formative evaluation); and
(ii) Achieving its objectives at the end of the project period (a summative evaluation); and
(3) Provide for the disclosure of unanticipated project outcomes, using quantifiable measures if appropriate.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1840-0065)