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Federal Student Aid Programs (Student Assistance General Provisions, Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Direct Loan Program, Federal Family Education Loan Program and the Federal Pell Grant Program)

Federal Register, December 12, 2003, Page 69312

Agency

Department of Education

Action

Notice of waivers and modifications of statutory and regulatory provisions pursuant to the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003, Pub. L. 108-76.

Summary

The Secretary of Education announces waivers and modifications of statutory and regulatory provisions that are appropriate to assist individuals (referred to in this notice as "affected individuals'') who are applicants and recipients of student financial assistance under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), and who—

  • Are serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency;
  • Are performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency;
  • 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; or Suffered direct economic hardship as a direct result of a war or other military operation or national emergency, as determined by the Secretary.

The Secretary is issuing these waivers and modifications under the authority of section 2(a) of the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003, Pub. L. 108-76. Section 2(b) of the HEROES Act requires the Secretary to publish, in a notice in the Federal Register, the waivers or modifications of statutory or regulatory provisions applicable to the student financial assistance programs under title IV of the HEA that the Secretary believes are appropriate to ensure that:

  • Individuals who are recipients of student financial assistance under title IV are not placed in a worse position financially in relation to that student financial assistance because they are affected individuals;
  • Affected individuals who are recipients of student financial assistance are not unduly subject to administrative burden or inadvertent, technical violations or defaults;
  • Affected individuals are not penalized when a determination of need for student financial assistance is calculated;
  • Affected individuals are not required to return or repay an overpayment of grant funds based on the HEA's Return of Title IV Funds provision; and Entities that participate in the student financial assistance programs under title IV of the HEA and that are located in areas that are declared disaster areas by any Federal, State, or local official in connection with a national emergency, or whose operations are significantly affected by such a disaster, receive temporary relief from administrative requirements.

Section 2(b)(1) of the HEROES Act further provides that section 437 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232) and Section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) do not apply to the contents of this notice.

Section 2(b)(1) of the HEROES Act further provides that section 437 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232) and Section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) do not apply to the contents of this notice.

Section 5 of the HEROES Act defines the following terms used in this notice:

Active duty—The term "active duty'' has the meaning given that term in 10 U.S.C. section 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—The term "military operation'' means a contingency operation as that term is defined in 10 U.S.C. section 101(a)(13).

National emergency—The term "national emergency'' means a national emergency declared by the President of the United States.

Serving on active duty—The term "serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency'' includes service by an individual who is—

  1. 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
  2. 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 individual is normally assigned.

Qualifying National Guard duty—The term "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.

Section 2(c) of the HEROES Act requires the Secretary to provide an impact report to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the U.S. Senate not later than 15 months after first exercising the authority to issue a waiver or modification under section 2(a) of the HEROES Act. The report will describe the impact of any waivers or modifications on affected individuals and the programs under title IV of the HEA, and the basis for that determination, and will include the Secretary's recommendations for changes to the statutory or regulatory provisions that were the subject of the waivers or modifications. Therefore, a guaranty agency, lender, or institution must document its application of a waiver or modification made in accordance with this notice in such a manner that the institution can, upon request, report to the Secretary on the effect of the waivers and modifications.

Dates

December 12, 2003. The provisions of Pub. L. 108-76, and the waivers and modifications in this document, expire on September 30, 2005.

Addresses

For provisions related to the title IV loan programs (Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, and Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program): Ms. Gail McLarnon or Mr. George Harris, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW, (8th Floor), Washington, DC 20006. Internet and Telephone: Gail.McLarnon@ed.gov and (202) 219-7048 or GeorgeOPE.Harris@ed.gov and (202) 502-7521. For other provisions: Ms. Wendy Macias, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW (8th Floor), Washington, DC 20006. Internet and Telephone: Wendy.Macias@ed.gov and (202) 502-7526. 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 alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact persons listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Further Information

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