Procedures for Making Grant Awards Under Three Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs

HRD-83-68: Published: Jul 26, 1983. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO described the Department of Education's procedures for selecting field readers and awarding grants under the Women's Educational Equity Act Program (WEEAP), Talent Search Program, and the National Institute of Education's Unsolicited Proposal Program.

Education selects WEEAP projects based on their active involvement in furthering educational equity for women, and projects qualifying for the Talent Search Program must encourage promising youths to complete secondary school, undertake postsecondary education, and publicize the availability of financial aid for postsecondary education. GAO noted that the Unsolicited Proposal Program has no established selection priorities. Although Education uses outside field readers to help evaluate program applications, each program has different bases for selecting readers. However, reader training and orientation in all of the programs teaches readers about program objectives, program regulations evaluation techniques, and conflict-of-interest regulations. GAO noted that readers use the same criteria in scoring and ranking applications, and final selection determinations are made after Education's review of individual program costs.

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