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Top SS/HS Grant Application Frequently Asked Questions


Who is eligible to apply for this grant? Eligibility is limited to the state Education Authority (SEA) or the state Mental Health Authority (SMHA) in states, territories, and the District of Columbia; or federally recognized American Indian/Alaskan Native Tribes and tribal organizations.

Are local education agencies eligible to apply? Local education agencies are not eligible to be the applicant for this funding announcement. However, they can be selected by the state to be one of the three local communities.

We are a former SS/HS grantee. Can we be selected by our state as one of the three local communities? Local education agencies that have received Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant funding are not eligible to be one of the three local communities. However, former SS/HS grantees are encouraged to partner with the state/tribe and local communities to share outcomes and provide input.


What is the maximum funding amount that can be awarded? An applicant cannot request more than $2,214,000 annually, in total direct and indirect costs, in any of the four years of the project.

What happens if we request more funding than we are eligible for? Your application will not be reviewed if you request more than the maximum amount of funding.

Required Partners and Letters of Commitment

What is a letter of commitment? A letter of commitment is a written document that demonstrates the assurance of an agency to be an active and contributing partner to the SS/HS Initiative.

At the state level, who are the required partners? The required partners are the state education, mental health, and criminal/juvenile justice departments or agencies. Applicants are encouraged to involve additional partners such as child welfare, early childhood, foundations, and family and youth organizations. A letter of commitment from each of the required partners must be submitted with the application.

Who are the required partners at the local community level? The required partners for each local pilot community are the local education agency, the local public mental health authority, the local law enforcement agency, and the local juvenile justice agency.

Which letters of commitment must be submitted with the application and who must sign the letters? A total of six letters of commitment must be submitted with the application. All should be signed by the authorized representative of each respective agency. A letter of commitment from each of the following must be submitted with the application:

  • State education authority
  • State mental health authority
  • State criminal/juvenile justice authority
  • The local education agency from each of the three selected communities.

Creating the SS/HS Comprehensive Plan

How do I select the three local communities? At a minimum the state/tribe applicant should consider two criteria – readiness and willingness. Readiness is local community’s ability to demonstrate that a previous or current school-community partnership exists to address a need related to at least one of the five SS/HS elements. Willingness is the local community’s ability to identify that they have the required partners who agree to collaborate on plan development and program implementation.

Do I need to develop the comprehensive plan as part of the application process? No. The state/tribe applicant with the three local education agencies and their respective local communities will develop the comprehensive plan within eight months after grant award.

Other Federal Administrative Requirements

How can I find more information about the SS/HS Initiative and former grantees? More information about the SS/HS initiative can be found at and at

What are some circumstances that might cause an application to be ineligible for review?

  • The applicant is not the state Education Authority, the state Mental Health Authority, or federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native tribe or tribal organization.
  • The applicant’s request for funding exceeds the maximum award amount.
  • The electronic submission of the application is received after 11:59 pm (Eastern Time) on July 1, 2013.

How should the “Confidentiality and Participant Protection/Human Subjects Guidelines” be addressed in the application? Applicants must address the applicable seven components (including the bulleted points under each). If any of the components are not applicable or relevant to the project, simply state that they are not applicable and explain why. Your response to Confidentiality and Participant Protection should be included with your application as Section G: Supporting Documentation.

Electronic Application

How do I submit my grant electronically? Please note that all applications are required to be submitted electronically. If this is the first time you have submitted an application electronically through, you must complete three different processes before you can submit your application. You should allow at least two week (10 business) days for these registration processes to be completed. Specific instructions can be found in Appendix B of the RFA.

How far in advance of the deadline should I submit the application electronically? You should allow sufficient time to ensure that you application has been accepted by SAMHSA recommends that you submit your application 24-48 hours before the submission deadline. When you submit your application, you will receive two emails from within 24-48 hours. One email will confirm receipt of the application and the second email will indicate that the application was either validated by the system (and provide you with a tracking number) or rejected due to errors. If the application is not successfully validated by it will not be forwarded to SAMHSA for review.


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Last Updated on 1/27/2015