FR Doc 04-15473
[Federal Register: July 8, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 130)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 41200-41201]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

[[Page 41200]]
Download: PDF Version


34 CFR Part 75

RIN 1890-AA09

Direct Grant Programs

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Final regulations.


SUMMARY: The Secretary amends regulations governing the process for 
submitting discretionary grant applications by removing current 
provisions requiring specific application formats, thereby permitting 
electronic submission of applications. The revisions also clarify that 
only applicants submitting paper applications are required to submit 
one original and two copies of their application to the Department of 
Education (Department).

DATES: These regulations are effective August 9, 2004.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin Taylor, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 7089, PCP, Washington, DC 
20202-4248. Telephone: (202) 245-6143, or via Internet:
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On October 30, 2003, the Secretary published 
a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for these amendments in the 
Federal Register (68 FR 61780) in which the Secretary explained that 
the Department was proposing to amend its regulations to allow grant 
applications to be sent electronically via the Internet. This final 
rulemaking document fulfills the Secretary's proposal to remove the 
requirement that an application be mailed or hand-delivered. Under the 
final rule, the Department can receive applications electronically 
without using the pilot program as the authority for receiving 
electronic grant applications. As an added benefit, the changes to the 
regulations also increase the Department's flexibility to participate 
in new government-wide electronic grant initiatives.
    There are no differences between the NPRM and these final 
regulations, other than a minor editorial change.
    Under the new rule, the Department will inform applicants in the 
application notice whether the option to apply for a grant 
electronically is available or required for a particular grant program 
competition. This information will be restated in the application 
package's transmittal instructions. The application notice will include 
all the other information necessary to apply for a grant, including the 
deadline date and time for electronic and paper application.

Analysis of Comments

    In response to the Secretary's invitation in the NPRM, three 
parties submitted comments on the proposed regulations. An analysis of 
the comments follows.
    We discuss substantive issues under the sections of the regulations 
to which they pertain. Generally, we do not address technical and other 
minor changes and suggested changes the law does not authorize the 
Secretary to make.
    Two commenters strongly supported the proposed changes to the 
regulations that would permit the Department to use the Internet to 
accept grant applications electronically. One of the supportive 
commenters did not address any particular proposed requirement other 
than to say generally that the proposed rule was a good idea. One 
commenter disagreed with the proposed change.

Section 75.109 Deadline Date for Applications

    Comment: One supporter of the changes recommended that we amend the 
regulations to state specifically the two application options that are 
available to apply for a grant rather than taking the application 
methods out of the regulations. For example, the regulation would 
specify that an applicant could either use electronic means or submit a 
paper application and deliver it by mail, commercial delivery, or 
courier to the Department.
    Discussion: The Department believes that potential grant applicants 
will have adequate opportunity to receive information about the 
application formats that will be used for a particular grant program 
competition when the Department publishes an application notice in the 
Federal Register. The Secretary believes that using the application 
notice to convey information regarding a grant competition's 
application requirements is a more effective way to convey information 
to prospective applicants. Application notices will contain detailed 
information on the application process and specific requirements for a 
particular grant program competition.
    We believe that the new approach of removing the specific 
application formats from the regulations and relocating the information 
to the application notice will not hinder potential applicants' ability 
to learn what application methods are available to them for a grant 
    Changes: None.
    Comment: Another commenter criticized the change because it would 
prevent some applicants from applying for a grant, especially certain 
rural and inner-city school districts, and faith-based organizations 
that might not have the technical resources or staff to be able to 
apply for a grant online.
    Discussion: The Department realizes that there are potential 
applicants that do not have adequate computer equipment to gain access 
to the Internet and, even if the potential applicant had sufficient 
computer equipment, telecommunications charges for access to the 
Internet from some isolated areas might be prohibitively expensive. To 
address this concern, the Secretary will continue to allow applicants 
to submit a paper application in lieu of an electronic version. 
Furthermore, in grant competitions requiring mandatory submission of 
electronic applications, the Secretary will permit applicants to 
request a waiver from the mandatory electronic submission requirement. 
A waiver will allow applicants to submit a paper application if they 
are unable to submit their application electronically. For those 
programs that require electronic submission of applications, the 
application notice will include instructions on how an applicant can 
request a waiver to submit a paper application.
    The Department has also taken steps to assist applicants during the 
transition from a paper-based application process to an electronic one. 
Applicants interested in submitting a grant application electronically 
can obtain assistance in several ways. Prospective applicants can 
access the Department's e-Grants home page ( 

where they can view an online demonstration on how to submit an 
application electronically via e-Application. Additionally, the 
Department has established a help desk, which applicants can contact 
for technical support. There is also an online e-Application User's 
Guide to assist applicants in all phases of the electronic application 
    Changes: None.

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Executive Order 12866

    Under Executive Order 12866 we have assessed the potential costs 
and benefits of this regulatory action.
    The potential costs associated with the final regulations are those 
resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined to 
be necessary for administering the Department's programs effectively 
and efficiently.
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative 
and qualitative--of these final regulations, we have determined that 
the benefits of the regulations justify the costs.

Summary of Potential Costs and Benefits

    We summarized the potential costs and benefits of these final 
regulations in the preamble to the NPRM (68 FR 61781). The cost to an 
applicant of submitting an electronic application is significantly less 
than the cost of submitting a paper application. Thus, the final rule 
will reduce applicant costs dramatically. The costs to applicants and 
the Department of maintaining the data included in the applications is 
also significantly reduced under the final rule. The benefits of the 
rule are also significant, permitting easy means for applicants to 
apply and giving applicants more time to prepare their application 
because electronic submission eliminates the delay caused by mailing an 

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    These regulations do not contain any information collection 

Intergovernmental Review

    These proposed regulations affect direct grant programs that are 
subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. 
One of the objectives of the Executive Order is to foster an 
intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The 
Executive Order relies on processes developed by State and local 
governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial 
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for these programs.

Assessment of Educational Impact

    In the NPRM we requested comments on whether the proposed 
regulations would require transmission of information that any other 
agency or authority of the United States gathers or makes available.
    Based on the response to the NPRM and on our review, we have 
determined that these final regulations do not require transmission of 
information that any other agency or authority of the United States 
gathers or makes available.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site:

    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: 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 on GPO Access at:

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number does not apply)

List of Subjects in 34 CFR Part 75

    Administrative practice and procedure, Education Department, Grant 
programs--education, Grant administration, Performance reports, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Unobligated funds.

    Dated: July 1, 2004.
Rod Paige,
Secretary of Education.

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Secretary amends part 75 
of title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 75 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 20 U.S.C 1221e-3 and 3474, unless otherwise noted.

2. Section 75.102 is amended by revising paragraphs (a) and (b), and 
the introductory text in paragraph (d) to read as follows:

Sec.  75.102  Deadline date for applications.

    (a) The application notice for a program sets a deadline date for 
the transmittal of applications to the Department.
    (b) If an applicant wants a new grant, the applicant must submit an 
application in accordance with the requirements in the application 
* * * * *
    (d) If the Secretary allows an applicant to submit a paper 
application, the applicant must show one of the following as proof of 
mailing by the deadline date:
* * * * *

3. Section 75.109 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as 

Sec.  75.109  Changes to application; number of copies.

    (a) Each applicant that submits a paper application shall submit an 
original and two copies to the Department, including any information 
that the applicant supplies voluntarily.
* * * * *

[FR Doc. 04-15473 Filed 7-7-04; 8:45 am]