Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Programs
General Instructions for Completing the Annual Performance Report
For Program Year 2014–15
1. What does this package contain?
This package contains the forms and instructions needed to prepare the annual performance report (APR) for the Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program. The Department of Education uses the information conveyed in the performance report to assess a grantee’s progress in meeting its approved goals and objectives and to evaluate a grantee’s prior experience in accordance with the program regulations in 34 CFR 645.32. Grantees’ annual performance reports also provide information on the outcomes of projects’ work and of the VUB programs as a whole. In addition, APR data allows the Department to respond to the reporting requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act.
2. What are the legislative and regulatory authorities to collect this information?
Title IV, Part A, Subpart 2, Chapter 1, Section 402A(c)(2) and Section 402C, of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended;
All grantees funded under the Veterans Upward Bound program must submit an annual performance report as a condition of the grant award.
4. What period of time is covered in the report? For which participants should the grantee provide data?
The report covers the 12-month project year for which the grant has been made. This information can be found in Block 6 of the Grant Award Notification. A grantee must report on all participants served in project year who met the eligibility criteria in 34 CFR 645.3 and the definition of a veteran in 645.6.
Need for data: As noted at the outset of these instructions, the Department needs grantees’ data not only to calculate prior experience (PE) points, but also to meet program-level reporting requirements and to perform other data analyses.
Relevance to PE calculations: Two of the PE objectives in particular—those on postsecondary enrollment and postsecondary completion--affect the number of project years over which grantees are required to report on participants. For these objectives, grantees will be reporting on groups of current and prior-year participants. (Please see the “Definitions That Apply” at the end of this document for the exact wording of the objectives; for details on how PE points are calculated for all of the objectives, see the “Policies and Procedures for Prior Experience (PE) Assessments” at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/triovub/report.html.) You will thus continue to include in your data file certain individuals whom you haven’t served for some time:
For the Department to calculate postsecondary enrollment, you must include not only participants in 2014–15, but also those who completed the VUB program in 2013–14.
For the calculation on postsecondary completion, which involves a period of six years, you must keep on your file prior participants who completed the VUB program in one project year and enrolled in a program of postsecondary education no later than the end of the subsequent project year; grantees must keep such participants on their files for at least six years after that enrollment.
Participants whom you need to include on your data file: As you may be aware from recent experience, an additional overarching principle requires grantees to include in their 2014–15 data file all students in their 2013–14 APR file, some of whom may have enrolled in postsecondary education more than six years prior to the reporting period. To assist you in including all 2013–14 records in your 2014–15 file, in the APR Web application we have provided a file for you to download that contains your final data from 2013–14. Any students in the download file that you do not include in Tier 1 of your 2014–15 APR will appear in the Match to Prior report in Tier 2; you will need to restore these students’ records before you can submit the APR.
We are aware that, for many grantees, the accumulated participant records of the project require considerable work to update and maintain. While the Department must be certain that grantees report on all individuals whose records bear on PE calculations for the 2012–17 cycle, or whose records have influence on other measures on which we must report for the VUB program, we have identified approximately 4,650 prior-year participant records whose data is not needed for these purposes—specifically, those participants for whom field #38, Postsecondary Education Enrollment Cohort, was 2222 (Completed VUB program and enrolled in PS education program prior to 2008–09 project year). We have removed these records from this year’s download file; if one or more of your records are among those we have deleted, you will not have to report on those specific individuals. To avoid accidentally deleting any records that you may be required to keep on your file, you should delay any deletions until you have verified which of your records (if any) the Department has removed from the download file that will be available to you in the Web application for 2014–15. All records in the download file must be included in your 2014–15 APR. If you wish to keep on your file any participant record that the Department has removed from the download file, you are free to do so; we suggest that you restore the record using the file that we advised you to download once you had submitted your 2013–14 APR in spring 2015.
To the extent possible, you are to “track” the required prior-year participants, i.e., you must try to get updated information about them. We recognize that some prior-year participants may be very hard to track, but it is to your advantage and the advantage of TRIO that you make a good attempt. If you have been unable to obtain information about a given participant for a year, you may stop tracking him or her, but you must leave the participant’s record on your data file. For such former participants whom you have been unable to track, you may choose the option “Unknown” wherever appropriate in updating the file.
Note for projects that were awarded a grant under the 2007–12 cycle: In anticipation of the Department’s implementation of the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA)--particularly the requirements established for the postsecondary completion objective--the Department required grantees who were funded under the prior cycle to maintain on their files all participants with a scheduled completion year of 2007–08 or later. Using this data as reported in the APRs, and using 2012–13 APRs for participants first reported that year, the Department established a postsecondary enrollment cohort year for prior participants who qualified for one. At the start of the 2013–14 data collection, the Department made available to grantees a download file that included data for the postsecondary enrollment cohort years for participants first served prior to the 2013–14 reporting year. As a result of having required projects to maintain these participant records on their APR data file, the Department was able to use 2013–14 APR data to calculate the postsecondary completion objective for members of the 2008 postsecondary education enrollment cohort. The participants in this group who completed their postsecondary program within six years (that is, by September 30, 2014) counted towards the project’s success in meeting its postsecondary completion objective. Similarly, the Department will calculate postsecondary completion using 2014–15 and 2015–16 APR data for participants in the 2009 and 2010 cohorts, respectively. (For further information on this process, please see the discussion of field #38.)