Federal Student Aid - IFAP
   
PublicationDate: 8/26/99
FRPart:
RegPartsAffected:
PageNumbers: 46628-46630
Summary: Review of of the regulations for programs
authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended.
CommentDueDate: 9/30/99

082699.pdf  PDF
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[Federal Register: August 26, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 165)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 46628-46630]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr26au99-20]

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Ch. VI


Office of Postsecondary Education; Review of Regulations Under
Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as Amended

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Outreach to customers and partners for advice and

[[Page 46629]]

recommendations on regulatory review for Title IV of the Higher
Education Act of 1965, as amended.

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SUMMARY: We solicit advice and recommendations from interested parties
(our customers--such as students and borrowers, and our partners--such
as guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools) regarding a review of the
regulations for programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher
Education Act of 1965, as amended.

DATES: You may submit comments in writing by September 30, 1999, to the
addresses in this notice or at topic sessions and regional sessions we
are holding in September. (See dates, times and locations of topic and
regional sessions under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this
notice.)

ADDRESSES: Address all comments to Colleen McGinnis, U.S. Department of
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, ROB-3, Room 5102, Washington, DC
20202-5132. If you prefer to send your comments through the Internet,
use the following address: ODS__regs@ed.gov

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colleen McGinnis, Telephone: (202)
708-7263. You may also obtain information on the Department's website
at: http://www.ed.gov/offices/ODS/regreview
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) you may
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an
alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer
diskette) on request to the contact person listed in the preceding
paragraph.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On October 7, President Clinton signed into law Public Law 105-244,
the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, (Amendments) amending the
Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). Section 498B of the HEA, as
amended, requires that we review each regulation issued under title IV
of the HEA that is in effect at the time of the review and that applies
to the operations or activities of any participant in the programs
assisted under title IV. The review will include a determination of
whether the regulation is duplicative or no longer necessary. The
review may also involve:
<bullet> An assurance of the uniformity of interpretation and
application of the regulations under title IV.
<bullet> The establishment of a process for ensuring that
eligibility and compliance issues, such as institutional audit, program
review, and recertification, are considered simultaneously.
<bullet> A determination of the extent to which unnecessary costs
are imposed on institutions of higher education as a consequence of
regulations prescribed for purposes of regulating industrial and
commercial enterprises.
In addition, we will review and evaluate, in accordance with
section 498B, the extent to which regulatory and statutory provisions
may be improved, streamlined, or eliminated for institutions of higher
education (other than institutions described in section 102(a)(1)(C) of
the HEA) that have received less than $200,000 in title IV funds in
each of the last two award years.
We will then prepare a report to Congress based on the results of
this review. To assist us in preparing the report for Congress, as
required by section 498B, we are consulting with relevant participants
in title IV programs. Through this notice, the topic sessions and
regional sessions that we will conduct, and other contacts with these
customers and partners, we will collect the information necessary to
complete the report to Congress.
We have already conducted listening sessions relating to title IV
of the HEA through the Office of Student Financial Assistance's
(OSFA's) Customer Service Task Force (CSTF). In the 1998 Amendments,
Congress made OSFA the first Performance-Based Organization in the
Federal government. Congress further mandated that OSFA improve service
to students and cut the overall cost of postsecondary financial
assistance. To achieve this end, OSFA conducted over 200 listening
sessions and received over 8,000 comments through the listening
sessions and over the Internet. OSFA received comments from students,
schools, financial institutions, and employees. Many of the comments
concerned the title IV regulations and their impact on our customers
and partners.
We also received numerous useful suggestions from members of the
student financial aid community for improving current title IV
regulations during negotiated rulemaking sessions held from January-
June, 1999.
In addition to the work that the Department has already done, we
will hold several more topic sessions and regional sessions. We will be
holding four topic sessions in Washington D.C., and three additional
regional sessions, one each in Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco, to
solicit comments, advice, and recommendations on our title IV
regulations, in accordance with section 498B.
We recognize that the timing of these sessions is difficult for
some of our customers and partners because of the beginning of the new
school year. Unfortunately, when combined with the time required to
complete negotiated rulemaking, the statutory deadline for producing a
report leaves us with no alternative. Please note, however, that you
can submit comments even if you are unable to attend the topic or
regional sessions, to Colleen McGinnis, at the address listed in the
ADDRESSES section of this notice, or by e-mail to the internet address
listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.
Moreover, the process of reviewing regulations will not end with
our report to Congress in October. We view this report as part of a
continuing review and analysis of title IV regulations that will extend
well beyond this report. If you are unable to provide comments at this
time, there will be additional opportunities later this year, or next.
Both the regional and listening sessions are intended to surface
regulatory issues and identify regulatory sections in need of
improvement. In addition, we would like to talk about an ongoing
process for regulatory reform. The report will chronicle the issues
identified at the sessions and outline the process for continuing our
work on regulatory reform.
Specifically, we are interested in answers to the following five
questions:
1. Are there any regulations that are duplicative or no longer
necessary?
2. Are there any regulations that are not being interpreted and
applied uniformly?
3. Are unnecessary burdens being placed on schools through the
eligibility and compliance process? For example, is there a need to
consider eligibility and compliance issues simultaneously?
4. Are unnecessary costs imposed on institutions of higher
education by regulations that were designed to apply primarily to
industrial and commercial enterprises?
5. Are there any regulations affecting public and private colleges
and universities and proprietary schools that receive less than
$200,000 in title IV funds each year that could be improved,
streamlined, or eliminated?
The Department is also engaged in a broader effort to reduce
regulatory burdens while simultaneously assuring the effective
administration of the title IV programs. This endeavor includes the
recommendations of our customers and partners collected by the CSTF. In
addition, to the extent time permits, this current review will also
examine other ways in which our regulations could be improved.

[[Page 46630]]

In general, how can the Department's title IV regulations be
revised to make them more effective? How can we reduce administrative
burdens while still assuring the effective administration of the title
IV programs? How can we improve the way we develop our regulations?
Participants are welcome to address these issues either by attending
the topic sessions, the regional sessions or by submitting written
comments.

Topic Sessions

We are hosting four topic sessions in Washington, DC, in September.
All four sessions are open to the public and will be held at the U.S.
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202.
The sessions are:

September 13, 1999; 8:30-12:30
Lender and Guaranty Agency Issues
September 13, 1999; 1:30-5:30
Loan Issues (FFEL, Direct Loan, and Perkins Loan Programs)
September 14, 1999; 8:30-12:30
Refunds, Program, and Student Eligibility Issues
September 14, 1999; 1:30-5:30
Institutional Eligibility Issues

Regional Sessions

We are also holding regional sessions in Atlanta, Chicago, and San
Francisco. Individuals who wish to present comments at one of these
regional sessions are encouraged to do so. It is likely that each
participant choosing to make a statement will be limited to 5 minutes.
Individuals interested in making oral statements will be able to sign
up to make a statement beginning at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the session
at the Department's regional session on-site registration table on a
first-come, first-served basis. If additional time slots remain,
individuals may be given additional time to speak. If no time slots
remain, the Department has reserved one additional hour at the end of
the day for people who were not able to register to speak. The amount
of time available will depend upon the number of individuals who
request reservations. Speakers may also submit written comments.
The Department has reserved a limited number of rooms at each of
the following hotels at or below a special government per diem room
rate. To reserve these rates, be certain to inform the hotel that you
are attending the regional sessions with the Department of Education.

Dates, Times, and Locations of Regional Sessions

1. September 17, 1999, 9:00 a.m., Four Points Hotel Atlanta
Perimeter, 1850 Cotillion Drive, Atlanta, GA. Call 1-770-394-5000 and
ask for reservations. Sleeping room rate for September 16: $89.00 plus
taxes.
2. September 24, 1999, 9:00 a.m., The Sheraton Chicago Hotel and
Towers, 301 E. North Water Street, Chicago, Illinois. Call 1-312-464-
1000, and ask for reservations. Sleeping room rate for September 23:
$89.00 plus taxes.
3. September 27, 1999, 9:00 a.m., Clarion Hotel San Francisco
Airport, 401 Millbrae Avenue East, San Francisco, CA. Call 1-650-692-
6363 and ask for reservations. Sleeping room rate for September 26 and
27: $109.00 plus taxes.
In addition, for anyone unable to attend any of the sessions, the
Department will also accept, and strongly encourages, written comments.
You should send your comments to Colleen McGinnis at the address listed
in the ADDRESSES section of this notice, or by e-mail to the internet
address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities at the Listening Sessions

The listening session sites are accessible to individuals with
disabilities. If you will need an auxiliary aid or service other than
an interpreter to participate in the listening session (e.g., assistive
listening device, or materials in an alternate format), notify the
contact person listed in this notice at least two weeks before the
scheduled listening session date. Although we will attempt to meet a
request we receive after that date, we may not be able to make
available the requested auxiliary aid or service because of
insufficient time to arrange it.

Electronic Access to This Document

You may view this document in text or Adobe Portable Document
Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following sites:

http://ocfo.ed.gov/fedreg.htm
http://ifap.ed.gov/csb__html/fedlreg.htm
http://www.ed.gov/legislation/HEA/rulemaking/

To use the PDF, you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader Program with
Search, which is available free at the first of the previous sites. If
you have questions about using the PDF, call the U.S. Government
Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the
Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

Note: The official version of this document is the document
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal
Regulations is available on GPO Access at: http://
www.access.gpo.gov/nara/index.html

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1099c-2.

Dated: August 23, 1999.
Richard W. Riley,
Secretary of Education.
[FR Doc. 99-22283 Filed 8-25-99; 8:45 am]
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