Publication Date: August 15, 2012

Posted Date: August 15, 2012

Subject: 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Application.

FR Type: Notice


[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 158 (Wednesday, August 15, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48970-48973]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-19943]

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Notice of Proposed Information Collection Requests; Federal 
Student Aid; 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Application

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this 
notice

[[Page 48971]]

requests comments on the 2013-2014 versions of the forms used by 
individuals applying for federal student aid including the Free 
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Student Aid Report 
(SAR).

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 
October 15, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted electronically by emailing 
FAFSA.Comments@ed.gov. Any comments received after this date will be 
retained for consideration in the next annual review of the federal 
student aid application.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Secretary is publishing this request for 
comment under the Provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq. Under that Act, the Department must obtain the 
review and approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before 
it may use a form to collect information. However, under procedure for 
obtaining approval from OMB, the Department must first obtain public 
comment of the proposed form, and to obtain that comment, the 
Department must publish this notice in the Federal Register. In 
addition to comments requested above, to accommodate the requirements 
of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Secretary is interested in 
receiving comments with regard to the following matters: (1) Is this 
collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department, (2) 
will this information be processed and used in a timely manner, (3) is 
the estimate of burden accurate, (4) how might the Department enhance 
the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, 
and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection 
on the respondents, including through the use of information 
technology.
    Request for Comments: Comments should be submitted to the 
Department as indicated. All comments will become a matter of public 
record. Requests for copies of the proposed information collection 
request may be accessed from http://edicsweb.ed.gov, by selecting the 
``Browse Pending Collections'' link and by clicking on link number 
04899. When you access the information collection, click on ``Download 
Attachments'' to view. Written requests for information should be 
addressed to U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
LBJ, Washington, DC 20202-4537. Requests may also be electronically 
mailed to ICDocketMgr@ed.gov or faxed to 202-401-0920. Please specify 
the complete title of the information collection when making your 
request. Comments regarding burden and/or the collection activity 
requirements should be electronically mailed to ICDocketMgr@ed.gov. 
Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 
between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.
    Title of Collection: 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Application.
    OMB Control Number: 1845-0001.
    Type of Review: Revision.
    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 46,099,008.
    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 25,959,853.
    Abstract: Section 483 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as 
amended (HEA), mandates that the Secretary of Education ``* * * shall 
produce, distribute, and process free of charge common financial 
reporting forms as described in this subsection to be used for 
application and reapplication to determine the need and eligibility of 
a student for financial assistance * * *''.
    The determination of need and eligibility are for the following 
Title IV, HEA, federal student financial assistance programs: the 
Federal Pell Grant Program; the Campus-Based programs (Federal 
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, and the 
Federal Perkins Loan Program); the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan 
Program; the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher 
Education Grant; and the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.
    Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education 
(hereafter ``the Department''), subsequently developed an application 
process to collect and process the data necessary to determine a 
student's eligibility to receive Title IV, HEA program assistance. The 
application process involves an applicant's submission of the Free 
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After submission of the 
FAFSA, an applicant receives a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is a 
summary of the data they submitted on the FAFSA. The applicant reviews 
the SAR, and, if necessary, will make corrections or updates to their 
submitted FAFSA.
    The Department seeks OMB approval of all application components as 
a single "collection of information". The aggregate burden will be 
accounted for under OMB Control Number 1845-0001. The specific 
application components, descriptions and submission methods for each are listed in Table 1.

NOTE: CHART OMITTED--SEE PDF FILE FOR TABLE

------------------------------------------ This information collection also documents an estimate of the annual public burden as it relates to the application process for federal student aid. The Applicant Burden Model (ABM), measures applicant burden through an assessment of the activities each applicant conducts in conjunction with other applicant characteristics and in terms of burden, the average applicant's experience. Key determinants of the ABM include: [dec221] The total number of applicants that will potentially apply for federal student aid; [dec221] How the applicant chooses to complete and submit the FAFSA (e.g., by paper or electronically via FOTW); [dec221] How the applicant chooses to submit any corrections and/or updates (e.g., the paper SAR or electronically via FOTW Corrections); [dec221] The type of SAR document the applicant receives (eSAR, SAR acknowledgment, or paper SAR); [dec221] The formula applied to determine the applicant's expected family contribution (full need analysis formula, Simplified Needs Test or Automatic Zero); and [dec221] The average amount of time involved in preparing to complete the application. The ABM is largely driven by the number of potential applicants for the application cycle. The total application projection for 2013-2014 is based upon two factors--estimates of the total enrollment in all degree-granting [[Page 48973]] institutions and the percentage change in FAFSA submissions for the last completed or almost completed application cycle. The ABM is also based on the application options available to students and parents. The Department accounts for each application component based on web trending tools, survey information, and other Department data sources. For 2013-2014, the Department is reporting a net burden reduction of 3,398,000 hours. The reduction is a reflection of the effects of simplifying FAFSA on the Web, which is utilized by the majority of applicants who apply for aid. Simplification of the application is demonstrated by (1) the average completion times for initial submissions and; (2) fewer corrections being made to the application. The projected average completion times for initial submissions has decreased by 11 minutes for 2013-14. In data reported in the 2012-2013 supporting statement, first-time filers using FOTW would take approximately 1.30 hours (78 minutes) to submit an application. The data from 2011-12 indicate that the same user would be able to submit their application in 1.12 hours (67 minutes), reducing their burden by .18 hours (11 minutes). Corrections are also projected to decrease by 760,696 responses for 2013-14. Fewer corrections mean that more comprehensive and accurate data was captured in the initial submission of the application. Updated completion times were calculated for each component and have been used to estimate the burden, excluding the change in the applicant volume. The results demonstrate that the burden for all applicants would have decreased by almost 13 percent or 3,758,702 hours, if the application volume had remained constant. If the Department had not simplified the application process, thus reducing the time required to complete the FAFSA, the new burden estimates would only need to account for the change in applicants. The 1.43% increase in applicants would result in an increase in burden of 347,945 hours. Accounting for both the increase in total applicants and the decrease in individual applicant burden, the net change is an overall decrease of almost 12 percent or 3,398,000 hours. The following Table shows the net burden change and total cost for applicants. The change in total annual responses is also listed in the Table. Total annual responses include the original FAFSA submission and corrections.

NOTE: CHART OMITTED--SEE PDF FILE FOR TABLE

The Department takes pride in the continued efforts to simplify the FAFSA submission process and the continued decrease in burden associated with the application process, even as the Department serves more students each year. The results confirm the significant improvements that have been made to the application process. The Department believes that these changes will lead to more students completing the FAFSA and will assist more students with their pursuit of postsecondary education through access to Title IV, HEA program assistance. The Secretary is publishing this request for comment under the Provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. Under that Act, the Department must obtain the review and approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before it may use a form to collect information. However, under procedure for obtaining approval from OMB, the Department must first obtain public comment of the proposed form, and to obtain that comment, the Department must publish this notice in the Federal Register. In addition to comments requested above, to accommodate the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Secretary is interested in receiving comments with regard to the following matters: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department, (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner, (3) is the estimate of burden accurate, (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Dated: August 2, 2012. Darrin A. King, Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Privacy, Information and Records Management Services, Office of Management. [FR Doc. 2012-19943 Filed 8-14-12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P

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