Archived for Posterity

Latino Student Success FAQ

Q: Our data is collected as "Hispanics" and is not specifically broken down into "Latinos" -- is that acceptable or do we need to try to segment it further?

A: Yes, it is acceptable to use either term in the collection of data.

Q: Is the project able to serve students who are not citizens or legal residents?

A: Yes.

Q: Do all student participants in our Lumina funded program need to be Latino? Can you let us know what the specific percentage of students in our program must be Latino students? Do we have to serve Latinos exclusively? If groups are proposing from a state that has legislation that prohibits preferential treatment of any particular group, then that will mean that services that will benefit Latino students would also need to be available to other students.

A: We need people to become intentional and think specifically about the challenges facing the Latino community and the advancement of Latino student success. Latinos are emblematic of today’s 21st century student. They are largely first-generation college students—working adults, with family responsibilities who begin their postsecondary education in community colleges. Therefore, targeted efforts to support their postsecondary success will benefit other students as well. Keep in mind, however, projects will need to show large-scale increases for Latino students. Without a targeted effort specifically designed to serve Latino students, we will not be able to reach the Big Goal. The most competitive proposals will be those that demonstrate a focused commitment to Latino student success.

WHO WAS INVITED

Q: Our organization is presently an affiliate of another organization and is in the process of applying for its own tax-exempt status. Can we apply for the Lumina grant as a separate entity from the umbrella organization?

A: In order to apply for a grant your organization must be named on the Latino student success website and you must have your 501-C3 designation at the time of submission.

Q: If an invited organization operates under an umbrella 501 (c) (3), are they eligible?

A: Yes, the invited organizations should simply name the “umbrella” organization as the fiscal agent for the grant.

Q: There are several state university's listed—is there a way of finding out who specifically in each university has been invited to join the grant process?

A: All presidents, executive directors, CEOs of organization were invited. In some cases we added additional names from those organizations to ensure the information was received. We will not publish the list of names but we will respond to specific requests received via email.

Q: We are one legal entity, with 14 regions and 23 campuses. Three locations received invitations. Is it permissible to submit one application as one legal entity?

A: Yes.

Q: At what point are we allowed to share the RFP with those institutions that MAY be a part of our grant (collaboratively) but did not receive an invitation to participate? Can we allow uninvited partners access to the Lumina resources on your website using the log-in & user name?

A: As you develop your partnerships feel free to share the information on the Latino student success RFP.

REGIONS DEFINED & DESCRIBED

Q: What constitutes a "region" in terms of one grant is likely to be funded per "region." Can you share with us a little more information on how Lumina is defining “regional” or “place based” collaborations?

A: We define place-based collaboration as an effort that engages various combinations of national, regional, state and local entities in a particular community, city or region. We seek to support collaborations with a long-term commitment to a common agenda for increasing Latino college success. A strong proposal will demonstrate an understanding of the cultural, social, economic and environmental factors faced by Latino students and their families in a particular geographic area. Competitive projects must include at least one representative from each of the following sectors: community-based organizations, Latino organizations, K-12 institutions, higher education institutions, employers and policy makers.

We understand that connections that bring regions together don’t honor political boundaries. Your proposals should justify and define the region that you plan to serve as well as outline strategic actions that will take place to address Latino student success for that region. You define your region in the way that makes the most sense in terms of marshalling multiple resources and partners to address the Latino student success challenges in that region. In some cases, these regions may cross state or county lines.

Q: The RFP indicates that proposals should focus on a single community. It appears that this would preclude an applicant from collaborating with other partners to serve a large geographic region of several counties. Is this interpretation correct?

A: See 9.

Q: Would a regional collaborative be more favorably received than a metropolitan collaborative/ smaller metropolitan/rural collaborations?

A: See 17 under Scale

GRANTS AWARDED

Q: We note that 8-12 collaborative grants are anticipated to be awarded across the nation. Eleven states are listed in the invitation. Will this competition allow more than one grant award per state?

A: It is not a guarantee that every state will receive a grant and it is possible that multiple grants will be awarded to different communities within a particular state. This is a competitive process. We are excited about the work that is happening in these 11 states. That being said, we will fund strong proposals which may or may not mean funding will be awarded to each state.

Q: Since one of Lumina's catalytic approaches is through public policy, would it be advantageous for a lead org to have a very strong "grasstops" advocacy track record in NYS and nationally, as well as an intimate relationship with "grassroots" agencies?

A: We encourage numerous partnerships at various levels of the policy process in order to make a difference. Grassroots and grasstops organizations are definitely vital in producing strong outcomes.

Q: While improving Latino student success, does Lumina have a philosophy of "clustering" as opposed to "mainstreaming" the participating Latino students in Learning Communities and other project activities?

A: No, we have witnessed successful completion for Latino students through both approaches. We look forward to learning how your approach to either philosophy maximizes the success of students.

Q: Will projects that focus on college success be prioritized over college access initiatives?

A: Lumina is committed to the Big Goal which is centered around college success. While we understand low participation rates among Latinos in postsecondary education are influenced by college access programs, the most competitive proposals are those that go beyond access to ensure each student ultimately succeeds in college. We are also looking for long-term sustainability. Access programs should include tracking mechanisms through college completion to demonstrate true project success.

SCALE

Q: What does "large scale" mean?

A: Large scale can include a dramatic change in the number of students served by a particular intervention from the beginning of a project to the end of a project. Large scale can also represent the total number of students served. We recognize that each community is unique with a set number of Latino student and families, changing demographics, and specific migration patterns. That said, we invite each proposal to make the case for why their project is large scale for their community. What is large scale in North Carolina may not be large scale in Texas. In short, we are open to various definitions of scale and look forward to learning more about the unique realities of your community.

Please note Lumina is interested in achieving the BIG GOAL- 60% of individuals with high quality degrees or credentials by 2025. We believe that large scale success in this Latino Student Success grant program is essential to reaching that goal.

Q: We are a rural college. While our enrollment numbers have grown significantly in the recent past, we are still a small college as compared to a metropolitan or urban institution. How will our relatively small numbers affect our competitiveness?

A: Lumina’s approach is about supporting current collaborations with a strong, evident commitment to Latino student success. Does your rural community already have such collaborations established? If so, we can foresee a rural project with a strong collaboration supported by community engagement, communication, and data-driven actions as a potential stronger proposal than an urban institution with a large number of Latinos students and fragmented collaborative engagement. We will fund strong proposals with the potential for long-term sustainability. It is important that the proposals make a case and show commitment beyond the life of the grant.

Q: Would a proposal that doubles its current small scale program be considered?

A: See 16.

Q: We saw on the Lumina website that Lumina will not fund discipline-specific programs. Is this prohibition applicable to the Latino Student Success RFP?

A: We see this question related to issues of scale. Are you moving dramatic numbers of students to completion? If your discipline specific approach this is targeted around areas where there is high workforce demand and has the potential to reach large numbers of students it is certainly acceptable.

Q: Please explain how much emphasis is placed on the ability of our program to scale up on a national level? How important is this in your review process?

A: The Latino Student Success RFP is place-based work. While we are always looking for projects that will inform the larger national dialogue, this is first and foremost a place-based effort. We are looking for proposals that bring together multiple sectors in a local community/region in order to bring about sustained changed and improve Latino student success in a specific geographic area. This work should contribute to a dramatic increase in the number of Latinos with a high quality degree or credential for the region.

Q: Although our community has a fast-growing, high-need Hispanic population, our Latino population is relatively small compared to large metropolitan areas. Is our community strategically positioned to compete for a Latino Student Success award?

A: See 17.

Q: How many proposals can the organization submit? Is it possible for the institution to submit one proposal as the lead, and also partner with another invited entity? (In this second proposal, we may not be the lead organization.)

A: See 7 in the FAQ dated March 31 & 23 under Partners- On & Off the invited list

PARTNERS- ON & OFF THE INVITED LIST

Q: Are you expecting a proposal to cover one metropolitan area only, or are you expecting proposals that would cover two or more cities? The dollar amount seems to indicate one grant = one city. Do you prefer to see only one submission per organization or are multiple submissions permitted if the partners and project scopes vary? Can one organization submit multiple proposals?

A: One grant per region is most likely. While we do not prohibit any organization from submitting multiple proposals, it is unlikely that multiple proposals from one organization will increase your chances of success. Given Lumina’s desire to invest in local leadership, local expertise and long-term local sustainability it is unlikely that one organization will have the capacity and on the ground expertise to lead more than one effort. However, it is possible and indeed acceptable for one organization (particularly a national and/or state organization) to be named as a partner in more than one proposal. (Particularly to assist with evaluation, facilitation, technical assistance, and media efforts as needed.)

Q: What is the website where we can see the list of invitees to the Lumina Foundation?

A: http://www.luminafoundation.org/grants/latino_student_success/invitation_list.html

Q: If we are submitting a proposal, may we participate on a national organization's proposal?

A: Yes. For additional information see 23.

Q: If a campus in one IHE system has received an invitation to submit, but another campus in their “region” has not, but could be a good partner for this type of project, will it be acceptable for the two campuses to collaborate in the grant proposal?

A: The invited institution must be the lead for the proposal. We recognize and encourage you to bring partners to the table that will make the most difference in Latino student success for your region. This is likely to include organizations not on the invitation list. Inviting organizations not on the list to participate in your collaboration is allowable.

Q: Can you say more about what types of projects you are looking for from the national organizations on the list? How do you see national organizations playing a role i.e. implementing specific programs, etc? What about national organizations with local affiliates- is a multi-state proposal or an individual site proposal best?

A: We have included national organizations in this RFP because we believe they can play a valuable role in driving change in regions. The region/community must own the work in their area. National organizations can serve in partnership with regional work through their ability to track data and provide technical assistance and support. National organizations are also encouraged to select a key local area for deep engagement if they choose to submit a proposal as a lead. Local affiliates of national organizations are eligible as a member of the partnerships if they were not on the invitation list.

Q: Can a local community college district that is not on the list apply as the lead, or is it only the state system office that is invited to apply?

A: Only the organizations invited to apply may serve as the lead organization on the proposal.

REQUIRED PARTNERS

Q: Among the parties to be included in place-based collaboration are people in a position of "policy leadership."  At what level are these folks supposed to be involved in policy? Can they be very local such as PTA president, school board member or are you looking for state senators, US congressmen? members of the state board of regents?

A: Any publically-elected official or their appointee with the knowledge, expertise, and resources to advance Latino student success is eligible to serve as a representative from the policy arena in this RFP. Long term success requires, long term, deep pocket public investment. In our view, only through the committed involvement of key public figures will the Latino student success projects achieve sustained results.

Q: Can you talk more about this suggestion from the RFP: “Competitive projects must include at least one representative from each of the following sectors: community-based organizations, Latino organizations, K-12, higher education, employers and policy leaders? Is it an expectation for a proposal to reflect a place-based collaboration with representation from the six entities listed? What constitutes a community-based organization?  What qualifies as a Latino organization?  How are these two different? 

A: Yes. We see each of these sectors as essential to the overall success of these collaborations. The selection of partners within those sectors is up to you. You may even include multiple partners from each sector, but at a minimum each sector must be represented. There is the potential for overlap with Latino organizations and community based organizations. Overall there should be 5 to 6 organizations represented within the collaboration. Without all of these partners, we feel that key voices will be missing and prevent success in the long-term. In addition, for the purpose of this RFP, Latino organizations are defined as any organization with a primary mission or focus to serve the Latino population and a community based organization is defined as any 501(c)(3) that is not a university, school, school district or government agency.

Q: Are campus-based Latino student organizations considered community organizations or higher-education organizations? 

A: Any entity officially connected to or under the auspices of a college should be considered a higher education organization. We recommend that student groups participate.

Q: Can you clarify the role of the "employer"? What level of involvement and what type of commitment would the foundation like to see out of this partner?

A: Similar to the model of CEOs for Cities and National League of Cities, we know that local employers drive the economic climate for any region. It is crucial to have employers engaged in efforts to increase Latino student success. The form of this involvement will vary based on the region and the industry in that area. Examples of engagement may include but are not limited to: funding match, education benefits and continued education support for employees, influence on local and state education policy, internships or scholarships for Latinos in the region, employer support of local Latino education programs, and many more.

Q: The RFP states that there must be at least one “Latino organization” as a partner. Not clear is whether or not this partner should come from the non-profit sector. In our circumstance, we have an excellent working relationship with a major Spanish-language television station in our city; could we successfully enlist them as our “Latino Organization?”

A: Yes. We are interested in proposals that take seriously the cultural aspects of serving Latino students. To that end, proposals should incorporate Latino organizations in the decision making process of the collaboration as well as the delivery of services to the community.

Q: What does Lumina mean by “policy leadership?” Does that mean a person representing a governmental entity, such as the city or county?

A: See 29.

Q: Do the collaborations have to have been in existence prior to the grant request or can the leader on the grant put the collaboration together for the purpose of this grant?

A: We aim to provide catalytic support that can expand/align existing initiatives. This does not, however, exclude the expansion of current efforts to include new partnerships with those in the sectors we have designated. There will be a 6-12 month planning period allotted for projects to develop and deepen collaborative relationships while outlining the scope of work the project will involve.

Q: Applicants are encouraged to list all education initiatives that are active in the communities they serve. What is meant by education initiatives?

A: The work you are proposing should help to align, connect, amplify and strengthen existing work that already exists in support of Latino student success. We are looking to you to identify the level of energy that is currently active in your community. List those programs and initiatives that touch the lives of Latinos and then make a case for how the work you are proposing will help to connect the dots and encourage continued and growing dedication to Latino student success in your community.

Q: What role do you envision that existing Achieving the Dream (AtD) programs should play in the Latino Student Success initiative?

A: In the same way we hope these grants will bring about expanded and aligned collaborations, we welcome proposals that connect to efforts already supported by Lumina Foundation. Collaborating with other Lumina grantees like AtD, Know How 2 Go, College Goal Sunday, Ensuring America’s Future, Talent Dividend, Access to Success, Minority-Serving Institutions: Models of Success, Adult Degree Completion, and Tuning is greatly encouraged. Please note collaborations that include these programs may take different forms based on the needs and parameters of the work proposed.

MATCHING FUNDS/ IN-KIND FUNDS/ BUDGETS

Q: Does the grant have to be averaged out in equal amounts over the four-year period (i.e., $150K/year)?

A: We encourage organizations to create budgets that support the flow of the work. While equal payments are preferred, we recognize that some projects may require slight adjustments to achieve the desired results.

Q: What do you anticipate a typical project budget might look like? Do you encourage the inclusion of a stipend and/or contract for all partners to cover the costs of their participation?

A: Please refer to the budget summary document on the website which defines direct and indirect costs as well as percentage requirements for each. We rely heavily on the budget narrative to explain how costs outlined in the budget are associated with the work proposed. Please feel free to develop a proposal budget that meets the needs of your project. In addition, while we do not require that grant dollars are allocated to each partner to cover the cost for their participation we do recommend that each project proposal address meaningful methods for ensuring the continued buy-in of all partners.

Q: What expenses should be included in the proposal budget in order to comply with the RFP requirement “The proposal budget should include travel funds to cover at least three people from the project to attend a minimum of one meeting per year, in Indianapolis (for project years 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015).” (page 9 of the RFP). For planning purposes, what type of agenda can we expect so we can determine who/how many should attend? 

A: For budgeting purposes, we recommend that proposals allocate a minimum of $800 per person per day to cover the cost of attending a two-day meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Q: Does the $200K in match funding need to be raised as a set amount for every year of the four-year project? (i.e. $50K per year as opposed to $200K raised in year one)

A: While we would be thrilled for any organization to raise its $200K match in year one, securing an investment over the four years is acceptable. The lead organization is responsible for showing progress in securing these matching funds. Future grant payments will be contingent in part on progress made toward reaching the match requirements. While an initial $50,000 per year is not required, future payments may be delayed if satisfactory progress in securing match funds is not achieved.

Q: Can the budget from the LSS grant show a gradual decrease over the four-year term and include an increase in public/other private funding in order to begin to build sustainability in the community for the project?

A: Yes. This approach is highly encouraged. Doing so would demonstrate a sustainable commitment to the work in the region.

Q: If you do not receive the maximum $600k, is the organization still required to raise the $200k over the 4 year period?

A: A 33% match is required for all awardees. The size of the grant awarded will determine the required match amount.

Q: How long do organizations have to obtain the matching funds?

A: While not all matching funds have to be obtained in the first year of the grant, it is important to note that subsequent payments of grant dollars will depend on progress made toward reaching the match requirement as well as meeting the outcomes of the proposal. All match grant dollars must be secured before the third and final payment is dispersed.

Q: What is allowable as matching funds?

Can the $200K required match be from a current pledge/already received which will be paid in the amount of $100K in 2011-12 and $100K in 2012-13? (Answer: Yes)

May we use a third-party match?

Can third-party matches be used for scholarships, books, other items related to students who are participating in the grant? (Answer: Yes)

May we use another grant, with similar focus, as the required match? (Answer: Yes)

Can federal dollars be considered match? (Answer: Yes)

Is the match a cash match? (Answer: not required but encouraged)

Can match dollars be "in-kind" dollars? in-kind services from our home institution? Is in-kind staff effort considered for meeting match amount? (Answer: Yes)

Can part of this match be in the form of scholarships or institutional financial aid? (Answer: Yes)

A: If dollars dedicated to advance the work outlined in the proposal were secured previously, but will be paid out over the course of the Latino student success grant program, they can be used as matching funds. Federal dollars, state dollars, other grants, in-kind support in terms of time and resources can all be counted as match funds. We want you to bring together the resources that are necessary to drive outcomes. However, these dollars must be tied to the project. Matching funds must be connected to the common agenda, goals, metrics and outcomes outlined in your proposal. These funds provide evidence of community and institutional buy-in as well as provide evidence of the long-term sustainability of the grant.

If an institution plans to offer targeted financial aid to students supported by the Latino student success grant program matching dollars may include institutional financial aid. More importantly, the proposal should demonstrate the ways in which the proposal will marshal institutional financial aid and institute new ways that the institution will support the Latino student success agenda through financial aid. Additionally, a proposal that outlines the ways in which an institution or community is working to bring in new dollars to support Latino student success through financial aid adds to the competitiveness of your proposal.

Q: Would you discuss in-kind contributions as they relate to the matching funds? What kind of "in-kind" contributions will be considered for the $200,000 match?

A: Examples of in-kind contributions may include but are not limited to: allocated staff time for addressing elements of the project, federal and state grant dollars that help to support the work, private philanthropic grant dollars for similarly aligned projects, donated services such as printing, media, and evaluation.

Q: Is there a break-up for the matching funds? For example: xx% needs to be corporate money, xx% money needs to be individuals, etc? Can government grants be used for this purpose?

A: No, there is no required distribution of matching funds from different sources. Yes, government grant dollars may be used for this purpose.

Q: When are the indirect costs recoverable?

A: You may recover indirect costs on an annual basis and this should be clearly outlined in your budget narrative and budget form.

Q: Can grants be aligned with follow-on work from Making Opportunity Affordable grants to states to study and recommend actions for improving delivery, collaboration, cost, etc. for Latino students.

A: Yes, your existing work may be expanded, enhanced, or aligned with Latino students’ success RFP.

USE OF GRANT DOLLARS

Q: Can funds used for:

scholarships? (Answer: No)

stipends for summer internships (associated with program activities created with partner sites to place college students) (Answer: Yes)

graduate students paid "mentors" (Answer: Yes)

Q: Are the grant funds intended mainly for supporting collaboration, and not so much for costs associated with the implementation of interventions or reform at K-12 schools and colleges?

A: Each project is allowed to allocate grant funds in a way that meets the needs of the project. Both collaboration costs as well as implementation costs are allowed.

Q: Can grant dollars be used to support interventions from early childhood education through college completion?

A: While Lumina Foundation recognizes the important work needed at all stages of the educational pipeline, our efforts are more narrowly focused on postsecondary preparation and success of students starting in middle school up through 2-year or 4-year college completion.

EVALUATION/ INDICATORS/ METRICS/ DATA

Q: What needs to be included in tracking and reporting?

All colleges in my region/metroplex? Or just my institution?

public or private schools? both?

Latino college students only, Latino students at the grantee institution or all Latinos (K-20) in the area?

A: Given the place-based focus of this RFP, all Latino student post-secondary education degrees and credentials plus achievement gaps should be annually tracked within the designated region. Achieving this goal will require the aggregation of data from all institutions in your region.

Q: Do high quality non-college technical degrees count towards increasing Latino student success?

A: Yes. When Lumina refers to the Big Goal, we include all degrees and credentials beyond high school that clearly have value in the marketplace.

Q: Does increasing the number of students who apply and are admitted to graduate programs count?

A: No. For the purposes of this RFP, Lumina is focused on increasing the number of Latino students with credentials and degrees at the certificate, associates and bachelors degree level.

Q: Could you explain how, if the pipeline including middle school students are addressed, how a grantee can show significant progress towards Associate's or Bachelor's degree completion in a four-year funding cycle? Do you expect initiatives that focus on increasing college access to show outcomes after 4 years which show increases in degrees awarded to Latino students?

A: We understand the nuances involved in tracking efforts associated with access and success. The Latino Student Success RFP includes suggested activities on page 8. Proposals with a focus on access issues should address these same suggested areas. For example, access proposals should measure gains in the areas of financial aid, increased transition from high school to college as well as decreased need for developmental education. Also see 15 under Grants Awarded.

Q: Does “achievement gap” refer to degree completion stats only? Retention/success in developmental education/all of the above?

A: In addition to the required tracking discussed on page 9 of the Latino Student Success RFP under the heading “Outcomes Indicators”, all projects are also expected to track changes in the achievement gap related to the intervention proposed.

Q: In NY your big goal is around 11,000 annually, will you favor proposals whose specific outcome goal is clearly to achieve this, rather than activities that increase college access that may not achieve degree increases?

A: Competitive proposals that increase college success are encouraged.

Q: Can our evaluator be affiliated with an institution within our partnership?

A: Yes. Be aware, that Lumina Foundation may commission a third-party evaluation of the Latino Student Success grants described in the RFP. Grantees will be required to participate in this larger evaluation as well.

NETWORK OF GRANTEES

Q: How is the Foundation thinking about connecting grantees, once selected, in the interest of sharing promising practices, lessons learned, and common challenges?

A: Typically, Lumina will establish networks among grantees and other organizations where they can share best practices and lessons learned. These networks have taken on various forms, including: websites, convenings, and/or listserves. There are a number of ways in which we have attempted to connect organizations across the country to further the work. It is our intention to keep grantees connected to each other over the course of the grant period as well as beyond. We are hopeful that we will receive notable proposals well beyond what we are able to fund. In addition to creating network opportunities for grantees, we hope to provide opportunities for those not funded to stay involved.

GRANT APPLICATION/ PAPERWORK

Q: What is the difference between the required activities and the suggested activities? Do we need to do everything on the list?

A: The RFP defines required activities on page 7 and suggested activities on page 8. Proposals should address all of the required activities on page 7. Specifically we are looking for proposals that reflect collaboration among the key sectors listed in the RFP to develop and commit to a well-defined agenda to address weaknesses in the Latino student success pipeline. The suggested activities of the RFP on page 8 include areas of education policy and practice that are key to improving Latino student success. We do not anticipate that one proposal will cover all the suggested areas. However, we would like proposals to address one or two of these areas to bring about sustained and accelerated improvement in Latino student success.

Q: Are the requirements listed in Section III: Appendices required of all partners in an application, or just required of the lead (organizational chart; list of board of directors, etc.)? Are MOU's/letters of support required from each represented sector (Community based organizations, Latino organizations, K-12, higher education, employers and policy leaders)? What level of leadership should provide the MOU/letter (president, provost or board of trustees, or advisory board)?

A: The appendices required for the proposal should be those documents that provide in-depth information for the lead organization. Organizational charts, lists of board of directors, etc. are not required for all of the partners. Letters of support/MOUs from each of the partners/ required sectors should be included with the proposal. Please document the commitment from partners in the collaboration through letters of support and MOUs from senior leadership.

Q: Are the appendices requirements included in the 20-page limit?

A: No, the appendices are not included in the 20 page limit. The executive summary and narrative sections should not exceed the 20 page limit.

Q: In section III, Appendices, it is written that applicants should include “Biographical sketches and credentials of key project staff.”  Do CVs suffice here?  Also, we are asked to include similar information in the “Project Management” section.  Should the information be in both places? 

A: Yes.

Q: May we include a list of references cited in the appendices section? 

A: Yes.

Q: Our organization has established very ambitious goals to draw on the collaborations you specifically propose to increase Latino postsecondary graduation. However, the window is too short for us to apply this time around. Can we apply in the future?

A: While we cannot guarantee that a second Latino Student Success RFP will be issued, we welcome proposals designed to increase Latino student success at any time. Non-RFP inquiries should follow the grant guidelines outlined on Lumina’s webpage www.luminafoundation.org/grants.html.

Q: The form specifies that the “proposal narrative should not exceed 20 double-spaced pages, including an executive summary (no longer than two pages).” We take this to mean that the two-page executive summary is counted toward the 20-page limit. Is this correct?

A: Yes, the executive summary is included in the 20-page limit for the proposal narrative. However, the budget narrative and budget form are not included in the 20-page limit.

Q: Is there a place in the proposal form to attach or paste in the executive summary?

A: See 69.

Q: Are the responses to be typed into the blanks under each question in the proposal narrative section of the form? If, so, are there length specifications for each question or for each main topic? How will the total length be assessed if the narrative is entered as a series of separate responses?

A: All proposals should include Section I of the LSS Grant Proposal Form as the coversheet. Grant proposal narratives can be submitted as a separate document, but must include responses to each of the questions under headed sections that correspond with the sections outlined in the grant proposal form. The budget narrative (Section IV of the LSS Grant Proposal form) must include each of the headed sections outlined in the grant proposal form. In addition to the budget narrative, the LSS Proposal Budget Form must also be completed and submitted with your proposal. Appendices are not included in the 20-page limit and may be provided in electronic format.

Q: May the appendices be submitted electronically or must they be submitted in hard copy.

A: Yes, appendices may be submitted electronically. All appendices (example: letters of support from partners, biographical sketches, list of staff assigned to the project, etc) must be collected and sent by the lead organization with the proposal.

FAQs added as of May 20, 2011

Q: We would like to better understand your definition of "high-quality" degrees.  As a community college, our students may earn Associates Degrees or workforce certificates. Do "high-quality" degrees refer only to a Bachelor's degree? Do Associates degrees qualify?  Do Workforce Certificates (especially those requiring licensing) qualify?

A: See 54 under EVALUATION/ INDICATORS/ METRICS/ DATA

Q: We already partner with Chambers of Commerce in some of our programs and we are considering partnering with one or two Chambers for the programs included in this proposal.  Would you consider Chambers of Commerce as "employers" for the purposes of required collaborations with key sectors?

A: Yes.

Q: In New Mexico, we have state-funded legislative lottery scholarships.  They are tuition scholarships for New Mexico high school graduates attending New Mexico public post-secondary higher education institutions.  They are funded from lottery revenues and are awarded to all residents who meet certain requirements. Can we count these lottery revenue funds awarded as scholarships to our Latino students as matching funds?

A: See 45 b & g

Q: If we are planning to hire a consultant to work on the evaluation component, would Lumina like to see those expenses categorized under “Consultants” or under “Evaluation” in the project budget?

A: This information should be included in the evaluation section of the budget. However as part of the budget narrative please provide detailed information about the consultant hired to conduct the evaluation.

Q: Does Lumina have a process in mind to track data on student completion? IPEDS and the state don't have it readily available in their reports that I've seen. Many of these public sites like IPEDS and our state data measure graduation rates, but for all students, not Hispanics. So to get this information—would we have to set up a system in the grant?

A:  It is our experience that institutional research offices at most colleges and universities gather disaggregated data by race and ethnicity on the numbers of students that secure credentials and degrees at their institution.  We recommend that as part of the planning period each project establish a baseline of information on the number of Latino students that complete post-secondary degrees and credentials at all institutions within the region.   Annually reporting on increases for your region will satisfy the tracking requirements for this RFP.

FAQs added as of May 27, 2011

Q: What specific information would the foundation like to be included in the letters of support?

A: Letters of support should include but are not limited to the following elements:

Name of the organization and the individuals in the organization who will participate on the project

A brief statement regarding the history of the organization and information regarding the value the organization will add to the partnership

An outline of the activities and examples of engagement the organization will provide as a member of the partnership

The amount of match dollars (if any) the organization will commit to ensure the success of the grant project

Q: I am writing to determine if indirect costs that are waived by the lead University qualify as in kind, matching support.  I notice the guidelines directing how indirect costs can be recovered from sponsor funds, yet I am unsure if they qualify as matching funds when the university incurs those expenses in kind.

A: No, waived indirect costs may not be used as part of the in-kind matching support.

Q: The main Lumina Foundation grant site states that it does not fund mentoring or tutoring programs. Would that also apply to this RFP?

A: No.

Q: In the required partners section, K-12 is listed. If the group/project is primarily focused on college degree completion and attrition, would this partner (K-12) still be required for a competitive application?

A: Yes.

FAQs added as of June 7, 2011

Q: Our target geographic area is a large metropolitan area with many post-secondary education service providers, including technical schools and public and private colleges and universities. (A) Are we required to track how many Latinos graduate or receive certificates from all these? (B) Are we to track “achievement gaps” for all these? (C) Are we to track all monies received from these institutions as well? OR, (D) are we to only track these data in relation to the partners and collaborators we bring to the table as part of our project?

A: The answer is YES for (A, B, & C).  NO for (D).  To the extent possible, we expect competitive proposals to track all students at all institutions in a particular geographic region.  Our aim is to see communities come together to track success for all students.  This RFP is not just about public institutions, or private institutions or some small sub-set of for-profit institutions in a particular region.  Competitive proposals will define a geographic area that allows them to track success for all students at all institutions in the area. Even though this may be challenging for proposals that choose a large geographic region please note that competitive proposals will adhere to a place-based community perspective that focuses on the needs of all Latino students at all the institutions in the region. 

Q: Are unfunded indirect costs considered acceptable in-kind match for this funding opportunity?

A: NO

Q: Is the matching support required to fund only the Latino population, or can it be used to support the non-Latino population? I will be proposing grant funding for a program which includes both Latino and non-Latino students. I am proposing that the grant fund the Latino students and the University fund the non-Latino. I will also propose that the University’s contribution to the program for the non-Latino students be considered matching support for the purposes of the grant.

A: This grant program is designed to specifically support increases in the postsecondary access and success of Latino students. Competitive proposals will clearly indicate how Lumina grant dollars and matching dollars will be used to achieve this goal.

Q: Do you have specific requirements for charts, figures, tables in terms of font, line spacing and so on within the proposal?

A: Please use 12-point font and standard one-inch margins throughout the proposal document and appendices.

Q: In what section of the proposal are we to provide the information about “all education initiatives that are active in the community?” Are these initiatives that are active within all entities in our selected target area or only those initiatives of the collaborators/partners in our project?

A: The Latino Student Success grants are designed to provide catalytic support that can expand/align existing initiatives and multiply the combined impact of partnerships. A strong proposal will engage and collaborate with the vast majority of Latino postsecondary success initiatives in the region. The goal is to eliminate silos in the Latino education pipeline and expand the reach and success of such initiatives.

In the Collaboration section of the proposal narrative, please include a description of the partners in the collaboration, the initiatives in the region, and the strategies that the project will use to engage more Latinos.

Q: For the appendices, we are working diligently to gather all the signatures by Monday, but due to some key people being on vacation it might prove difficult; in the event we are not able to do so, would it possible for us to submit via Fed Ex the hard copy appendices to arrive by Thursday, June 16? Please advise.

A: Given the large number of proposals we expect to receive unfortunately we will not be able to accept late submissions. All information must be sent electronically by the deadline or postmarked by the deadline.

FAQs added as of June 10

Q: Can section VI of the narrative, the Project Timeline, which we have formatted as a chart, be single-spaced? 

A: Yes.

Q:  Is Calibri 12 pt font an acceptable font style for the narrative?  (Note:  Some Federal grantors are very specific about font style, in addition to font size.)

A: Yes Calibri 12 pt font is acceptable.

Q: Can we include additional support materials as attachments (not to be counted in the narrative's 20-page limit)?  Specifically, we have a one-page summary of research statistics on Laney student success that we would like to include.  This data is highlighted in the narrative, but the fact sheet contains more detail, for reviewer reference.

A: All appendices are welcome.

Would you please clarify at what time the Latino Student Success grant proposals are due on Monday, June 13?

A: 11:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time) on Monday, June 13, 2011

Q: Our question is regarding the requirement for the current organizational budget for fiscal agent; budget for any applicable subsidiary organization. Since we are a state educational institution, the budget includes a large number of colleges and departments.  Would it be acceptable to provide only the budget for the department submitting the proposal?

A: No. Please submit both the institutional budget and the department budget for the lead agency.

Q: Do the appendices need to be postmarked no later than June 13th   or do they need to be at the Lumina Foundation no later than June 13th?

A: Postmarked no later than June 13.

Q: Is it possible to submit the grant on next Monday’s deadline and to send the letter from the Board of Trustees at a later date?  We are hoping to obtain his signature in advance of the board’s next meeting, June 22.

A: No. Please see 85 above for more information.

Q: We were wondering if it would be acceptable for us to submit select additional supporting documents in the Appendices (for example, project communications materials that describe partnerships or work completed to date)?

A: All appendices are welcome.