Publication Date: March 2001
Author: Program Development /AS
Summary: SLEAP PROGRAM GUIDANCE FOR THE 2001-2002 AWARD YEAR
Posted on March 29, 2001
TO: All State Grant Agencies
FROM: U.S. Department of Education
RE: SLEAP PROGRAM GUIDANCE FOR THE 2001-2002 AWARD YEAR
We are providing this guidance to States to help them administer the Special Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (SLEAP) Program during the 2001-2002 award year. This guidance reflects the statutory amendments made to the SLEAP Program by section 316 of the "Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2001," Title III of the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001, as enacted by section 1(a)(1) of P.L. 106-554, the "Consolidated Appropriations Act 2001." We plan to revise the SLEAP Program regulations by June 2001 to have them conform to the SLEAP statutory changes. These statutory amendments were effective on the date of enactment (12/21/2000), however, they do not affect SLEAP grants awarded to the States for the 2000-2001 award year, because those grants are subject to the terms and conditions that existed when those grants were awarded.
States are reminded that in order to participate in the SLEAP Program, a State must also participate in the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) Program. Therefore, a State participating in the SLEAP Program must continue to satisfy the Base Year Maintenance-of-Effort (MOE), the Dollar-for-Dollar Match, and the Three-Year-Average MOE under the LEAP Program.
In addition, States are further reminded that when meeting the MOE and matching requirements under both the LEAP and SLEAP programs, a public institution’s revenues and expenditures are not considered part of the State’s revenues and expenditures.
Authorized Activity Issues for SLEAP for the 2001-2002 Award Year
- What are the authorized activities under the SLEAP Program?
As a result of the statutory amendments, the SLEAP Program authorized activities have changed starting with the 2001-2002 award year. They now consist of three authorized activities to assist States in providing financial assistance to eligible postsecondary students who demonstrate financial need. Under the SLEAP Program, a State may:
- Supplement LEAP grant awards by increasing LEAP Program grant award amounts for students, or by increasing the number of LEAP Program grant recipients. The $5,000 maximum LEAP award limit does not apply to the SLEAP funds spent for this purpose. This grant supplement may consist of Federal SLEAP funds or SLEAP matching non-Federal funds, or both, and is accounted for and reported under SLEAP and not LEAP.
- Supplement LEAP community service work-study awards by increasing LEAP Program community service work-study award amounts for students, or by increasing the number of LEAP Program community service work-study recipients. The $5,000 maximum LEAP award limit and the 20% cap on using Federal LEAP funds for community service work-study awards does not apply to the SLEAP funds spent for this purpose. This community service work-study award supplement may consist of Federal SLEAP funds or SLEAP matching funds, or both, and is accounted for and reported under SLEAP and not LEAP.
- Award scholarships to eligible students for merit and academic achievement, or for critical careers. Scholarships for merit and academic achievement can be awarded to eligible students pursuing any field of study. Critical career scholarships can be awarded to eligible students who desire to enter careers in information technology, mathematics, computer science, or engineering, teaching, or other fields determined by the State to be critical to the State’s workforce needs.
No, a State may select one or more activities under the SLEAP Program.
- Must a State select more than one activity under the SLEAP Program?
- May a State use SLEAP funds to pay administrative costs associated with any of the authorized activities?
No, a State is prohibited from using SLEAP funds to pay any administrative costs.
Matching Issues for SLEAP for the 2001-2002 Award Year
What funds may a State use as matching funds under the SLEAP Program?
A State may use any non-Federal funds that are spent for any of the authorized activities, as long as those funds are not also being used to match other Federal programs. Non-Federal funds include, but are not limited to, State-appropriated funds or privately-donated funds. Also, because of the statutory changes, the matching non-Federal funds must meet the new special rule to qualify as the State’s matching share of the SLEAP Program funds. See the next question and answer for information on this new special rule.
To qualify as matching funds for the SLEAP Program, the non-Federal funds must represent dollars that are in excess of the total dollars that a State spent for need-based grants, scholarships, and work-study assistance in the 1999-2000 award year. The total dollars expended by a State in the 1999-2000 award year must include all the State funds it reported as part of its LEAP Program. The purpose of this special rule is to ensure that the SLEAP Program generates new funds from a State beyond the amount it spent in the 1999-2000 award year for these kinds of assistance before the start of the SLEAP Program (2000-2001 award year).
Yes, the Federal SLEAP Program funds may be spent for one authorized activity and the non-Federal funds may be used for another authorized activity.
For every Federal SLEAP dollar a State spends, it must spend at least two dollars from non-Federal funds.
- What is the new special rule that must be satisfied for non-Federal funds to qualify as a State’s matching share of the SLEAP Program funds?
- Is the matching requirement under the SLEAP Program an aggregate matching requirement for the authorized activities, so that a State may use the non-Federal funds for one authorized activity and use the Federal funds for a different authorized activity?
- How many dollars does a State need to provide for the matching requirement under the SLEAP Program?
- May the non-Federal funds that are used as a match for SLEAP come from a State program that also contains some LEAP Program funds (Federal and State)?
Yes, if all the following conditions are met:
- The non-Federal funds are not reported as part of the LEAP Program for the same award year. The fact that part of a State program is reported as LEAP matching funds does not prevent a State from using the part of the program that is not reported as LEAP matching funds as SLEAP matching funds.
- The non-Federal funds are not being used as a match for any other Federally-funded program.
- The non-Federal funds are used to do one or more of the authorized SLEAP activities.
Maintenance-of-Effort (MOE) Issues for SLEAP for the 2001-2002 Award Year
- When a State applies for SLEAP funds, what is the State’s SLEAP MOE requirement?
Under the SLEAP Program, the State must assure that its expenditures for the authorized activities, in the aggregate or per student, in the preceding award year were not less than its expenditures for those activities, in the aggregate or per student, in the second preceding award year.
- When applying for 2001-2002 SLEAP funds, what award year expenditures must a State use to assure that it will meet the SLEAP MOE?
The SLEAP MOE for the 2001-2002 award year requires that a State’s expenditures for the eight authorized activities under SLEAP, in the aggregate or per student, in the 2000-2001 award year were not less than its expenditures for those eight activities, in the aggregate or per student, in the 1999-2000 award year. See those eight activities in our Electronic Announcement of May 15, 2000, on SLEAP Program guidance for the 2000-2001 award year. This announcement is available on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) web site located at http://www.ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/doc0919_bodyoftext.htm.
When calculating this SLEAP MOE, we will not consider that a State has expended any funds under activity one during award year 1999-2000 because there was no SLEAP Program during that year to supplement a State’s LEAP Program. The 2000-2001 award year figures, when finalized, must equal or exceed the final data for the 1999-2000 award year in order to meet the SLEAP MOE requirement for the 2001-2002 award year.
- When will the three SLEAP authorized activities for the 2001-2002 award year, as revised by the technical amendments, affect the SLEAP MOE?
The revised statutory authorized activities will not affect the SLEAP MOE until the submission of the 2002-2003 award year application. We will provide information on calculating the 2002-2003 award year MOE in upcoming guidance for that award year.
- What non-Federal funds spent for need-based awards must be reported for the MOE requirements under the SLEAP Program?
Any non-Federal funds that a State spends for any activity or program that falls within any of the eight SLEAP authorized activities must be reported in the SLEAP MOE. This would apply even if the non-Federal funds were used to match another Federal program.
For example, if a State program offers need-based grants to students pursuing an information technology field of study, the non-Federal dollars funding that program would be counted in the SLEAP MOE. Also, in another example, a State would include in its SLEAP MOE the State funds spent for LEAP community service work-study jobs.