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July 10 -- The Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Department of Education (ED), invites comments by September 8, 2023 regarding the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs Final Performance Report.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), created in the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (Title IV, Section 404A-404H), is designed to raise educational expectations and strengthen preparation for college for low-income middle grade and secondary school students through competitively awarded grants to state projects and local partnerships. Grantees (states and local partnerships) provide services including tutoring, mentoring, academic enrichment, student and family support, dissemination of information to students and their parents about postsecondary education and options for financing college, and financial assistance.

The regulations governing GEAR UP can be found in 34 CFR Part 694. The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) require grantees to submit a final performance report - see 34 CFR Part 74.71 and 34 CFR Part 80.50 (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/gearup/legislation.html).    

This Financial Status and Program Performance Final Report is prepared and submitted by GEAR UP grant recipients within 120 days from the end of their 6 or 7-year grant performance periods. The information collected in the Final Report allows the Department of Education (ED) to determine if a GEAR UP grant project is ready to be closed in “good standing” or needs to remain open for further departmental post award action.  Each grantee’s Final Report must communicate or substantiate that the goals of the GEAR UP grant program were achieved. This report is a means for grantees to share the overall experience of their projects and document the achievements and concerns, and describe the effect of their projects on participants being served; project barriers/“lessons learned” and successes/major accomplishments; and evidence of sustainability.

The Final Report is used by the Department to determine whether recipients of discretionary grants have made substantial progress towards meeting the objective of their respective projects, as outlined in their grant applications and/or subsequent work plans. In addition, the final report enables the Department of Education to evaluate each grant project’s fiscal operations for the entire grant performance period, and compare total expenditures relative to federal funds awarded, and actual cost-share/matching relative to the total amount in the approved grant application.
 
Furthermore, the GEAR UP Final Report is used to collect data addressing the performance of the program on a national level and thereby includes the information for the Department to use when reporting the program implementation, student outcomes, and other required data on the GEAR UP GPRA (Government Performance and Results Act of 1993) performance indicators.

The current Financial Status and Program Performance Final Report for the GEAR UP Program (OMB No. 1840-0782) will expire on January 31, 2024. This submission requests that the revised report be approved for use for an additional three years. The form has been revised to include additional questions collecting data on the scholarship component that is required by statute.
 
GEAR UP: https://www2.ed.gov/gearup/
Draft data collection instrument and technical documentation: https://www.regulations.gov/docket/ED-2023-SCC-0126/document
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-14507

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