Student Loan Negotiated Rulemaking Announced

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October 28, 2011 · by Wes · Spark Notes

The Department of Education formally published an announcement in the Federal Register today that it will conduct a negotiated rulemaking to change the regulations government the major federal student loan programs, including the Perkins Loan Program. COHEAO will be nominating someone to serve as a negotiator on the negotiating committee, which will meet in January and is supposed to wrap up by late March. Final regulations would be published by Nov. 1, 2012 to be effective July 1, 2013, although the Department is apparently planning to have some of the new regulations, especially changes to Income Based Repayment, effective in 2012.

In addition to Perkins, the Committee will be tasked with considering revisions to the Direct Loan Program the FFEL Program, to implement the recently announced changes to the Income Based Repayment program, Total and Permanent Disability (TPD), rehab loans, delinquencies, forbearances and other topics. Additional topics can be added to the agenda by the Department before negotiations begin or at the start of negotiations, if all negotiators permit it. The announcement is attached. The Perkins-specific topics are pasted below.

  • Economic hardship deferment debt-to-income provision.
  • Graduate fellowship deferment eligibility.
  • Social security number requirement for loan assignment.
  • Cancellation rate progression across cancellation categories.
  • School enrollment status reporting requirements.
  • Minimum loan period for transfer students in nonterm programs and certain non-standard term programs

Other topics for discussion include the IBR and ICR programs (the means for implementing the acceleration announced by the President earlier this week, dubbed the “Pay as You Earn” proposal), and creating more readable Direct Loan regulations. The schedule for negotiations is as follows:

• Session 1: January 9-13, 2012
• Session 2: February 13-17, 2012
• Session 3: March 26-30, 2012

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the COHEAO staff: hwadsworth@wpllc.net or whuffman@wpllc.net .

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