Posted Date: September 29, 2017

Author:  Lynn B. Mahaffie, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning, and Innovation

Subject: Updated waivers and modifications of statutory and regulatory provisions under the authority of the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (HEROES Act)

On September 29, 2017, the Department published a notice in the Federal Register  issuing updated waivers and modifications of statutory and regulatory provisions governing the Federal student financial aid programs under the authority of the HEROES Act.  The waivers and modifications of statutory and regulatory provisions assist individuals who (1) are performing qualifying military service during a war or other military operation, or national emergency; (2) reside or are employed in an area that is declared a disaster area by any Federal State, or local official in connection with a national emergency; and 3) suffered direct economic hardship as a direct result of a war, or other military operation, or national emergency.  Complete information is provided in the Federal Register notice.

The following definitions from 20 U.S.C. 1098ee of the HEROES Act apply to the terms used in the notice:
     Active duty has the meaning given that term in 10 U.S.C. 101(d)(1), but does not include active duty for training or attendance at a service school (e.g., the U.S. Military Academy or U.S. Naval Academy).
     Military operation means a contingency operation as that term is defined in 10 U.S.C. 101(a)(13).
     National emergency means a national emergency declared by the President of the United States.
     Qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency means service as a member of the National Guard on full-time National Guard duty (as defined in 10 U.S.C. 101(d)(5)) under a call to active service authorized by the President or the Secretary of Defense for a period of more than 30 consecutive days under 32 U.S.C. 502(f), in connection with a war, another military operation, or a national emergency declared by the President and supported by Federal funds. 
     Serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency includes service by an individual who is--
     (A)  A Reserve member of an Armed Force ordered to active duty under 10 U.S.C. 12301(a), 12301(g), 12302, 12304, or 12306, or any retired member of an Armed Force ordered to active duty under 10 U.S.C. 688, for service in connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency, regardless of the location at which that active duty service is performed; and
     (B)  Any other member of an Armed Force on active duty in connection with any war, operation, or emergency or subsequent actions or conditions who has been assigned to a duty station at a location other than the location at which the member is normally assigned.  

Please note that, as a national emergency has not been declared in relation to any of the recent hurricanes, the waivers and modifications in the HEROES notice do not apply to individuals affected by those hurricanes. For information related to the impact of natural disasters on students, parents, student loan borrowers, postsecondary institutions, and financial institutions that participate in the Federal student financial aid programs, please see https://ifap.ed.gov/ifap/disaster.jsp.

   

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