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Home > About NOVA > Directories & Offices > Administrative Offices > Office of Grants Development > Grants Development Services > Grants Handbook

Grants Handbook


I.          What is the Role of a Grant?
II.        What Do You Do if You Want a Grant?
III.       How Do You Find What Sources of Grant Information are Available?
IV.       What do You Need to Do Before Writing a Proposal?
V.        Writing the Proposal
VI.       Basic Proposal Components
VII.     Hints for Writing Proposals
VIII.    How to Set Up the Paperwork Involved With a Grant Awarded to NVCC
IX.       Key People to Know at the College When Writing or Administering a Grant
X.        Notes About Preparing Budgets
XI.       Personnel
XII.     Purchasing
XIII.    Documentation
XIV.    Reporting
XV.      Definition of Key Terms

I.   What is the Role of a Grant?

Grants are sources of external funds from federal, state, and local agencies, corporations, foundations, and individual donors to promote excellence in Northern Virginia Community College programs and services. These funds can be applied to program operation, student scholarships, faculty/staff development, purchase of equipment, program start-up, and other services. Grants at Northern Virginia Community Community College have two purposes: to serve as a catalyst for ideas and programs and to permit college objectives to be met more quickly.

A grant is not usually intended to be a permanent source of funding, but, rather, a stepping stone until a permanent funding source or means of generating permanent support can be found. Proposals are prepared for grants that are integral to the college's needs and when a reasonable chance of funding exists based on the agency's history of funding community colleges.

II.   What Do You Do if You Want a Grant?

Most grant applications begin one of two ways. The first way might be that an individual has an idea and searches for a funding source. A second way might be that a funding source is available and an individual develops a proposal to request funding for a program. Regardless of which way a grant application begins, the Office of Grants Development is available to assist you with the process. All grant-related activities are coordinated by the Office of Grants Development. Such activities include developing proposals for grants; contacting funding sources; transmitting proposals; preparing budgets and reports; and monitoring existing grants.

As with any system, it is best to proceed in an organized fashion with plenty of time to conduct research, organize meetings, and meet deadlines. Any administrator, faculty or staff member of NVCC who has an idea for funding may contact the Director of Grants and Special Projects for technical assistance. The Director can help you determine if you have a reasonable chance of receiving funding before you invest many hours in a project.

III.   How Do You Find What Sources of Grant Information are Available?

The Director of Grants and Special Projects has access to various publications which provide grants information.

Examples of these publications include the following: "Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance;" "The Guide to Federal Assistance;" "Federal Grants and Contracts Weekly;" Federal Funding of Two-Year Colleges;" "The Chronicle of Higher Education;"  Foundation Directory; The Complete Grants Sourcebook for Higher Education.

In addition, the Director can provide information about electronic resources available for searching grants information.

IV.   What do You Need to Do Before Writing a Proposal?

A. Define Your Need
In order to find an appropriate funding source, you must define your need as well as how you intend to address this need. You must delineate why this is a need, what your goals and objectives are, how you intend to meet this need, how much money you need, how much staff you need, how much equipment you need, and what others have done to meet this need. Other questions to answer when trying to define your objectives include the following suggestions from "Writing and Winning Grants": (II.1)

What are others doing to meet this need?
What needs or partial needs can you practically attempt to meet in the short or long term?
Which target populations will benefit from your efforts?
How will you measure the benefits to these populations?
Why is solving this need a priority within your organization?

In order to delineate in a concise manner what your goals and objectives are, you might complete the attached project worksheet. This worksheet can be used when discussing your project ideas with others.

B. Determine if Grant Funding is for You
Other questions to contemplate before deciding to apply for outside funding include

Is the grant good for the College?
Do we need a grant?
Is this an idea that should be supported with institutional funds?
What would be the long-term effects of participating in this program?
What is the initial cost of the program?
What happens to this program if the funds are cut?
What does this grant mean in terms of faculty and staff time, equipment, supplies, space, etc.?

C. Is a Particular Funding Source for You?
Once you have selected a particular funding source for consideration, you should consider the following questions:

Does the funding match the college mission/objectives?
How well do the guidelines match the college's goals and objectives?
What will it take to become competitive?
What are the odds of being funded?
Will the proposal have value even if the grant is not funded?
Is there a support network in place for the project?
Can you meet the timelines?
Will the same or a better opportunity be available in the future?
Is the external funding absolutely necessary? (Dallas County III.5)

D. Words of Advice
There are some caveats for the prospective proposal writer to be aware of. First of all, anyone applying for a grant must learn to be flexible. Funding may not arrive immediately and is subject to political considerations, budget deficits, and changing regulations. Second, one must learn to spot the difference between a fad and a trend. Funding for fads may come and go more quickly than funding for an established trend. Third, one must know when it is acceptable to "spin off" a project from an already-existing project or when a new, creative project is warranted. Fourth, one must conduct careful research to determine the most likely funding source and establish relationships with representatives of these funding sources. Last, it is important for the college to establish relationships with local and regional representatives of funding sources. The Director of Grants and Special Projects should be able to assist faculty and staff with this.

V. Writing the Proposal

In order to begin operating a grant, there are five pieces of documentation that are necessary including a proposal to the funding source, the negotiated budget, the regulations governing the grant, the award letter, and the operational budget. The first four items detail the operation and structure of the project; the operational budget quantifies the project and enables the project to become accountable for expenditures.

A. Proposal
Let us first begin with the proposal. A proposal is just that--a proposed structure for operating a project. The proposal should state the goals and objectives for the project, the need for the project, how much it will cost, what type of staff is needed, the timeline, the projected outcomes, and the method by which one can determine whether the project has succeeded. The specific format for writing proposals will vary, but in general, the requirements will be similar.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) or Request for Applications (RFA) will detail the requirements and provide the forms necessary to complete the application. It will also state the deadlines, the eligible applicants, the budget limitations, and the contact persons at the funding agency.

Mary A. Brumbach states:

The proposal is the blueprint for managing the grant... Proposals are often written six to nine months in advance of the award. Circumstances change and people change. In addition, the proposal may be the work of one or two people, a committee, or a combination of several proposals from separate colleges into one document. The result can be extremely precise or quite vague. (3)

When reviewing a "Request for Proposals", you should consider a number of issues before writing a proposal. They include the deadline for submission of proposal materials, the starting and ending dates of the grant period, the requirement for matching money from the institution for the project, the reporting requirements, the timeline for receiving the funding, who is eligible to apply for funding, the type of staffing that is required and whether the grant can pay for this staffing, what type of expenditures are allowable, what type of financial accounting system is required, what type of program requirements exist, what signatures are required for sign-off, and whether the proposed program is consistent with the goals and objectives of the college.

Once the decision is made to submit a proposal, the proposal-writing process actually begins. Section V will discuss the basic proposal components in greater detail.

B. Award Letter
The award letter is a letter sent by the granting agency to the college notifying you or the Director of Grants & Special Projects that a project is funded and in what amount. It will usually contain a grant number, a grant period, and a grant amount. A separate contract usually follows. If not, the proposal becomes the contract.

C. Regulations
Most grant awards, even from private sources, are given with strings attached. Those strings are known as regulations and may come from the federal, state, or local government or from the applicant organization itself. These regulations usually stipulate who can be served, what eligible activities are, what can be spent on various items, what the travel policy is, whether purchase of equipment is allowable, whether one must have prior approval to purchase an item, and what the allowable deviation from the approved budget is. Interpretation of regulations should be done by the Director of Grants & Special Projects in conjunction with the granting agency.

D. Negotiated Budget
As mentioned earlier in the section on writing the proposal, there are five documents which are actually used to begin a grant project. While the proposal document will give one a framework for the program, the other four documents govern the administration of the project. The first of these four documents is the negotiated budget.

The negotiated budget is the budget that governs the project. Quite often this budget differs from the one submitted with the proposal; usually it is lower. When the budget is negotiated, however, other program items may have to be modified to conform to the changed budget. This may mean revising goals, objectives, timeliness, staffing patterns, and activities. Questions to consider with regard to the negotiated budget include the following:

  • Have timelines and objectives been modified?
  • What personnel costs have been eliminated and what impact will those changes have?
  • What amounts are required for matching? From what college accounts and divisions will the matching amounts be transferred?  (Brumbach 5)

E. Operational Budget
In order to receive or expend any grant funds, you must set up an operational budget within the College system. The Office of Grants Development acts as your intermediary to the College Budget Office in setting up an operational budget. Funds spent and received for a particular grant-funded project must be kept separate and cannot be commingled with other college funds. For more information on setting up a budget, see section X.

VI.   Basic Proposal Components
Although the guidelines for proposals will differ depending upon the funding source, the basic components are similar and include some or all of the following:

Executive Summary
The Executive Summary is usually located near the beginning of the proposal and summarizes the content of the proposal. Oftentimes a funding source will quickly scan the Executive Summary prior to reading the entire proposal in order to get a general idea of whether the concept fits the agency's goals and objectives. Although the Executive Summary is usually found near the beginning of the proposal, you should write this section after completing the other sections. It usually contains information on the applicant, states the need the project is attempting to meet, states the objectives and the activities to meet these objectives, indicates the budget figure and how much staff is required, details how the project will be evaluated, and indicates how the activities will continue if funding is no longer available.

Introduction/Institutional Background
The Introduction gives information about the institution, in this case the college. The purpose of the introduction is to provide information that will convince the reader the institution has the capability to provide the service it proposes to offer. The following items may be included in the introduction: location, demographics, organizational structure, mission, and history. Once the introduction is written, it may be modified and used with other proposals submitted at a later date to another funding source.

Problem/Needs Statement/Needs Assessment
When writing a proposal, you must realize that not everyone views the problem as you do. Therefore, you must describe what the problem is in simple terms and convince the funding agency that a need exists for the proposed project. The need should be documented by hard data such as statistics and quotations from reliable sources and should relate national information with regional and local information. For example, a proposed drug program that cites national statistics should also cite statistics for the local area to be served. The problem to be addressed should be narrowed and focused; one grant cannot be expected to solve the ills of the nation.

Points to cover in the needs section include the following: the need for this kind of project nationally or regionally, the portion of the larger problem you intend to address, the statistical information which documents this specific local problem, the need in the area which your project will affect, the need in terms of a single person, statements of reliable sources, and the reason this funding agency would be the best to provide support for solving this problem. (Conrad 67)

The objectives define the who, what, when, where, which, and how much of your plan. The objectives should be stated in measurable terms, such as "to decrease drug use by 50% in the Northern Virginia Community College service area."

Depending upon the requirements of the particular grant, the methods section should actually detail "what" activities are going to occur and "how" they will occur. This section should describe the sequence, flow, and interrelationship of activities; the staffing pattern; and the client population. Sometimes a timeline or chart is required.

Most funding sources want to know whether you achieved the goals and objectives that you set out to achieve and how successful you were. Therefore, they may ask you to build an evaluation section into your project to measure the achievement of objectives. It is not merely enough to state that a program was or will be a success just because it addressed a worthy cause or just because money was spent.

The evaluation section should clarify how you will measure the extent to which your program has achieved its stated objectives, the extent to which the attainment of these objectives can be directly attributable to your program, and whether the program has been conducted in a manner consistent with your plan. (Conrad 74). Points to cover include your specific, measurable criteria for success, your plan for data collection, your plan for record keeping, who will conduct the evaluation, and your reporting procedures.

The Request for Proposals usually asks for specific information regarding the staffing of the project. In this case the proposal writer must describe the duties to be performed by the personnel, their qualifications, if the position already exists, if the individual is already employed, the salary level, and the relationship to already existing positions within the organization.

The budget is one of the key sections of the proposal. This section, along with the section on methods, may be the only two sections a reader may read. Therefore, the budget cannot be constructed in a haphazard fashion. The budget and the budget narrative, which should accompany the budget, should explain in detail the basis for all proposed costs.

Some experienced proposal writers feel that the budget should be constructed before writing the narrative section of the proposal. Others feel that it is easier to construct the budget with the narrative as a guide. Regardless of your method, the budget and the narrative should fit together.

The budget in summary and in detail, spells out the costs to be met by the funding source and the method used to determine costs in the following categories: personnel, fringe benefits, supplies, travel, equipment, consultants, and other (postage, telephone, printing),... audit fees, indirect costs, etc. (Dallas County VI.2)

Section X entitled, "Notes About Preparing Budgets", will describe in detail actual budget preparation. Do not forget to check your arithmetic. A funding agency may assume that if you cannot add, you cannot manage a project.

Future Funding
Most "Requests for Proposals" require that the applicant describe how the project will continue with a lower level of funding or without funding from the current or proposed funding source. This is an opportunity to explore various means by which the project can continue and is a positive exercise for any grant applicant to participate in.

In your proposal you will probably want to describe your plan for continuing the funding. Include precise methods you plan to use, such as looking for other government or private funding sources, user fees, sales of a product, etc. If you feel that you will need further funding from the organization, be honest and state how much you will need and for how long.

Be sure to check the guidelines of the funding sources, however. There may be restrictions on the amount that can be awarded and the period of time. The funding sources may require you to raise funds to cover the costs in increasing proportions in future years. For example, an organization may receive an award the first year, 75% of that amount the second year, 50% of that amount the second year, 25% of that amount the third year, and nothing the fourth year.

Be sure to include in your narrative the amount of funding to be contributed by other sources, such as your organization, businesses, other government sources, etc.

Most funding sources require you to project when your activities will take place. They will either provide a format or will require you to provide the format. In any event, your timeline should list (by quarter, month, benchmark, or events) the time required for tasks to be completed. The timeline should take into account "startup" time and activities and should indicate that the proposer knows when the grant funding period begins and ends. In most cases, activities that occur before the official grant period begins or after the grant period ends are not eligible for grant funding.

You should include appendices only if there is absolutely essential material that cannot be included in the body of the proposal, such as curriculum listings, resumes, organizational charts, lists of boards of directors, etc. Do not include superfluous information because it will only detract from the appearance and readability of the proposal. In a proposal, thicker is not necessarily better. Brevity and clarity are essential.

VII.   Hints for Writing Proposals
After you gain experience writing proposals, you may realize that there are certain items which can add to or detract from a proposal. Some of these hints relate to the style of the writing; others relate to the content. There is no right or wrong answer, and any two people may differ in their interpretations. In addition, proposals in certain technical areas such as mathematics and the sciences may not conform to these suggestions, and individual funding sources may differ. However, the items included below are fairly general and universal.

1. Edit and Proofread Your Proposal
All proposals should be edited and proofread by an outside person who has a good knowledge of grammar and good writing skills. Do not allow typographical errors to detract from the appearance and readability of the proposal. If the proposal has been typed on a computer or word processor, the use of the "spellcheck" or similar tool is not foolproof. If you have used the wrong word but have spelled it correctly, the word will not be detected using the spellcheck; nor will the use of an improper tense or a singular used instead of a plural.

Have an outside reader look for the following in your proposal: grammatical mistakes, inconsistencies in logic, unjustified budget items, undefined or confusing terms, unsupported arguments, unfounded assumptions, and weak documentation.

2. Follow the Instructions Given in the Request for Proposals
If the funding sources require ten copies, submit ten, not nine. If they require the narrative to be double-spaced, double space. If they require the pages to be numbered at the bottom center of the page, do so.

3. Submit the Required Number of Documents to the Right Place at the Right Time
Read the RFP carefully. Note whether the document must arrive at the funding source's office by a particular date or be postmarked by that date, whether a postage meter is allowable, whether an overnight delivery service can be used, if a post office box is to be used, or if the document must arrive before 5:00 p.m. Be sure to allow enough time for last minute problems such as a broken copy machine, a sick typist, or a flat tire or stolen license plate on the way to deliver a proposal. It would be a shame to work many months on the organization or format of the proposal only to miss out on funding because a traffic jam got in the way of a timely submission.

4. Make Sure that Your Program/Project is Within the Scope of the Organization's Area of Giving
Review the funding organization's guidelines to insure that you are requesting something they fund. In addition, avoid requesting more money than the funding source gives in a single grant.

5. Do not Assume That the Reader Has In-Depth Knowledge of the Area
Write your proposal in simple prose without the use of jargon, colloquialisms, or acronyms. Explain items in a simple, direct, non-insulting manner so that someone who is not familiar with that particular field can understand what is stated.

6. Support Contentions With Fact
If you describe some issue as a particular problem, support your ideas with statistics and research. For example, if you want to develop a parenting program for women who were abused as youngsters, you should show documentation that parents who were abused as children have the tendency to repeat that behavior.

7. Make Sure That Your Budget Figures Add Correctly
If your calculations are not accurate, the funding source may have a tendency to discredit the college. Be sure to use a calculator and, if you are unsure about your figures, have someone who has good arithmetic skills check them.

8. The Visual Appeal of Your Proposal Will Add to Its Credibility
You may vary the look of the printed page by using some or all of the following:

  • boldface type;
  • arrows, charts and indentations;
  • "bullets" like these;
  • doublespacing unless prohibited.

9. Selection Criteria Used by Proposal Readers
When readers are reviewing applications, they usually rank them based on various selection criteria developed by the funding source or mandated by legislation. An overview that demonstrates various selection criteria follows. These are only examples and may not represent selection criteria for all funding sources.

VIII.   How to Set Up the Paperwork Involved With a Grant Awarded to Northern Virginia Community College
The attached grant procedures will guide any employee of Northern Virginia Community College in the establishing and implementing of a grant award received by NVCC.

IX.   Key People to Know at the College When Writing or Administering a Grant
There are many people and departments who can assist you with the process of writing and administering a grant. Each of these units is interdependent upon the others, thus it is helpful to get to know each one and its functions. Below is a description of each of those persons and units and the responsibility that each one has.

The Project Director
This individual is responsible for the overall operations of a grant-funded project including establishing and revising the operational budget in accordance with College policy, timely and accurate expenditure of funds, preparation and submission of all required progress and evaluation reports, and supervision of project personnel. (Brumbach 7)

The Director of Grants and Special Projects
This individual has overall coordination over all College grant activities including monitoring existing grants; developing proposals; transmitting proposals, budgets, reports, and requests for information. This office maintains files on current grants as well as information on other funding sources. The Director of Grants and Special Projects participates in the proposal process, assists others in preparing proposals; provides funding information as requested; provides technical assistance to those searching for funding; insures that deadlines are met for the submission of reports, budgets, billings, close-outs; and coordinates all grant-related activities.

The College Budget Office
The College Budget Office also interacts with funded projects in certain areas such as handling payroll and budgets, accounting, purchasing, and processing travel checks. This office maintains the official accounting records for grant-funded projects.

X.   Notes About Preparing Budgets
Specifics regarding NVCC budget development can be found in the "Grant Procedures" section of the appendix.

XI.   Personnel
All personnel hired on grants and contracts are hired for the period of the contract only. No promises are made beyond the funding period.

College personnel policy will be followed with respect to personnel hired on grants.

XII.   Purchasing
College purchasing polices are followed with respect to purchasing under grants. For your information, the College Purchasing Procedures are attached.

XIII.   Documentation

A. Time Management
All Project Directors should be cognizant of time management when administering a grant. Project Directors must be aware of deadlines for reports, budgets, billings, payroll, requisitions, purchase orders, etc. The director should develop a good filing system, keeping a copy of the proposal, the approved budget, the award letter, time documentation records, consultant contracts, invoices, client records, publicity, advisory board minutes, etc.

B. Money
Each month the Budget Office will forward a copy of the print-out containing activity for each grant. These print-outs should be studied carefully to insure that accurate charges have been made to the proper accounts and that checks received for a particular program are being credited to the proper account.

C. Records
Generally the time required for maintaining program records is three years from the time of closeout or until a final agency audit is completed.

XIV.   Reporting
Formal reports are due to funding agencies at various points throughout the grant period and even after the grant period ends. Requirements vary depending upon the grant; however, these guidelines are usually found in the contract with the funding source. Project directors must be cognizant of these deadlines when administering a grant.

Examples of the types of reports due include evaluation reports, financial reports, close-out reports, and client reports. The type of information requested may include client information, placement information, expenditure information, information on delivery of services, or progress reports on students' level of success.

Compiling reports may be through the combined effort of the Project Director, the Director of Grants, and the College Budget Director. The final responsibility for submitting reports lies with the Project Director.

Reporting formats and requirements may be included in the award letter or the contract or may be sent directly by the funding agency. The Director of Grants and Special Projects can be of assistance in determining what these requirements are.

XV.   Definition of Key Terms

Allowable Cost: A cost for which an institution or agency may be reimbursed under a grant or contract with a governmental agency.

Amendment: Modification of existing legislation, e.g., Older Americans Act of 1965 as amended 1973.

Application Control Center: Established by U.S. Office of Education to centralize receipt of grant proposals.

Appropriation: Legislation enacted by U.S. Congress that establishes a federal activity. The legislation will sometimes set limits on the amount of money that can be appropriated for the activity.

Award Letter: Written notification from the funding agency indicating that a project has been funded, for how long and in what amount.

Block Grants: The grouping of many categorical grant programs into an overall functional area.

Budget: A plan for financial operation consisting of an estimate of proposed income and expenditures for a given time period and purpose.

Budget Cycle: The annual fiscal year (for example, July 1 through June 30), which is important because it indicates when funding sources will make their grants.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA): Contains information about federal grant and loan programs available from federal agencies to assist the American people in furthering their social and economic progress. The Catalog of Federal Education Assistance Programs lists education program information.

Categorical Aid: Federal or state funds specified for specialized area.

Consortium: A group of organizations sharing in the finances and/or administration of a single grant to accomplish that which no one can do as effectively as when working together.

Consultant: A person with expertise external to an organization that is brought in to lend insight to the solution of a problem.

Copyright: A statement of legal control over a document (usually by its author) such that anyone seeking to reproduce said document must first obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Cost Reimbursement Contract: Issued on the basis of estimated costs of performing specified tasks; arrived at by negotiation between government and the contractor. Involves payment to the contractor for actual costs incurred up to a ceiling amount.

Deadlines: Dates by which applications for grants or contracts must be submitted.

Demonstration Grant: Generally of limited duration, seeks to test the feasibility of an idea, approach or program.

Disadvantaged: Individuals who because of physical, emotional, social, economic or other reasons are unable to compete adequately within the context of an educational institution.

Direct Cost: Expenses that can be itemized by categories having descriptive terms for use of funds, e.g. salaries and wages, travel, etc.

Federal Register: Contains proposed and final guidelines, and other administrative regulations of programs as announced by federal agencies in precise working of the law. It may be purchased from the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Fiscal Year (FY): Designated by the calendar year in which it ends, e.g., FY 91 covers the period July 1, 1990 to June 30, 1991.

Formula Grants: Funds distributed by the federal government (usually to state agencies) for use in specified projects. The funds are awarded on the basis of demographic and economic date from which a formula has been computed.

Full Time Equivalent: The amount of time spent or required in a less than full time activity divided by the amount of time normally spent or required in a corresponding full time activity during the regular school term.

Grantee: One who receives and administers a grant.

Grantor: Agency that gives funds to carry out projects.

Indirect Costs: The costs that cannot be identified specifically with a particular program, project or activity. They are costs that are incurred for several purposes which are necessary to the operation of the institution or agency, for example, library resources, building maintenance, and general administration.

Matching Funds: Cash or "in-kind" support contributed by the grantee to fulfill objectives of project. Amount of needed matching funds varies with program.

Measurable Objectives: Goals stated in such a way that the achievement or non-achievement of each goal may be determined with a relative degree of precision by objective observation and measurement (also called criterion-based objectives.)

Needs Assessment: A continuous, formal process for identifying in what areas and by how much the present system is short of an ideal state.

Outreach: Contributes to eliminating artificial barriers to the use of educational resources by finding new ways to serve.

Pre-Application: A prospectus following a prescribed format developed by an agency and used to screen proposals.

Prime Sponsor or Prime Contractor: A single agency which has the overall responsibility for conducting a program usually involving subcontractors.

Project Program Officer: The federal or state agency representative who has the task of monitoring the project, providing technical assistance to the project and insuring that the objectives are carried out within the framework or regulations.

Proposal: An application submitted to a funding source seeking approval and funding.

Public Law (PL): Means of classification of laws passed by Congress, e.g., P.L. 88-269 Library Services and Construction Act 1964 is translated as a public law passed by the 88th Congress.

Resource Inventory: An enumeration of services, facilities, personnel, and agencies related to a particular topical area.

Revenue Sharing: Tax funds appropriated by Congress and distributed to local and state governments in sums determined by a complex formula.

Request for Proposals (RFP): An announcement by an agency that is accepting proposals to accomplish a specific objective.

State Plan: Document developed by a state agency based on guidelines from and to be approved by federal agency in order to insure that (1) funds flow to state and/or (2) the state is in compliance with regulations.

Title: A major section of a piece of legislation, e.g. Title I Higher Education Act, 1965.

Unsolicited Proposals: Agencies may allow institutions to submit proposals that may or may not match the priorities of those agencies. May be an offer to perform tasks that are not the results of an RFP announced by the agency. (Brumbach 25)