[Federal Register: January 8, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 5)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 1262-1263]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr08ja01-6]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Part 606

 
Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Final regulations.

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SUMMARY: When we published final regulations for the Developing 
Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program in the Federal Register of 
December 15, 1999, it appears that one of the regulatory provisions, 
dealing with the eligibility of branch campuses to receive grants, 
could be viewed in a manner that would result in an unintended change 
of policy. To rectify this problem, we are revising that regulation to 
more clearly reflect our long standing policy that a branch campus is 
eligible to apply for an HSI grant if the branch campus serves the 
appropriate number of Hispanic students even if the main campus does 
not.

DATES: These regulations are effective February 7, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sophia McArdle, U.S. Departmnet of 
Education, 1990 K Street, NW., Room 6061, Washington, DC 20006-8512. 
Telephone: (202) 219-7078. 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 contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Higher Education Amendments of 1992, Pub. Law 102-325, amended 
the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), by adding the 
Developing Hispanic Serving-Institutions (HSI) Program as an authorized 
program under Title III, Part A of the HEA. The HSI Program was 
authorized in section 316 of Title III of the HEA.
    Under section 316, in general, an HSI institution was an 
institution that satisfied the statutory definition of an ``eligible 
institution'' contained in section 312 of the HEA, and had at least 25 
percent of its enrollment consist of Hispanic students. An eligible 
institution under section 312 of the HEA basically satisfied four 
conditions. Two of the conditions related to accreditation and 
licensure. The other two required the institution to have a high 
percentage of low income students and low education and general (E&G) 
expenditures.
    Under section 312, a branch campus of an eligible institution also 
qualified as an eligible institution if its main campus satisfied all 
four conditions and it, on its own, satisfied the last two.
    Regulations that we promulgated to implement these institutional 
eligibility requirements were codified in 34 CFR 607.2(b) and (d). The 
regulations did not specifically address whether the main campus of a 
branch campus that applied for an HSI Program grant had to satisfy the 
Hispanic student enrollment requirement. However, it was the 
Department's policy that a main campus did not have to qualify as an 
eligible HSI institution in terms of student enrollment if the branch 
campus is qualified.
    In the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, Public Law 105-244, the 
Congress moved the HSI Program into Title V of the HEA and reenacted, 
in that title, all the relevant provisions that governed that program 
while it was part of Title III of the HEA. To accommodate that 
statutory change, we codified all the HSI Program requirements in a new 
part, 34 CFR Part 606. The recodification was technical in nature and 
did not involve any change in policy. Therefore, when we published Part 
606 in the Federal Register on December 15, 1999, we waived rulemaking. 
However, it has recently come to our attention that one of the 
recodified regulatory provisions has been read by some as though it, in 
fact, made a change in policy. That provision was Sec. 606.2(b), 
relating to the eligibility of a branch campus to qualify as an 
eligible HSI institution.
    As presently written, it could be viewed that in order for a branch 
campus to qualify as an eligible HSI institution, it and its main 
campus must have an enrollment of at least 25 percent Hispanic 
students. As described above, however, such a reading would be 
inconsistent with the Department's policy that the main campus does not 
have to satisfy that requirement along

[[Page 1263]]

with the branch campus. Therefore, we are revising Sec. 602.2(b) to 
more clearly reflect the Department's long-standing policy.

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

    Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553), the 
Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to 
comment on proposed regulations. However, these regulations merely 
clarify statutory changes and do not establish or effect substantive 
policy. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(8), the Secretary has 
determined that proposed regulations are unnecessary and contrary to 
public interest.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Secretary certifies that these regulations would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    The small entities that would be affected by these regulations are 
small institutions of higher education (IHEs) receiving Federal funds 
under this program. However, the regulations would not have a 
significant economic impact on the small IHEs affected because the 
regulations would not impose excessive regulatory burdens or require 
unnecessary Federal supervision. The regulations would impose minimal 
requirements to ensure the proper expenditure of program funds.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    These final regulations do not contain any information collection 
requirements.

Electronic Access to this Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at either of the 
following sites:

http://ocfo.ed.gov/fedreg.htm
http://www.ed.gov/news.html

To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader which is available free 
at either of the previous sites. If you have questions about using 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

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers: 84.031S, 84.031A, 
and 84.031B)

List of Subjects in 34 CFR Part 606

    Colleges and universities, Grant programs-education, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: December 29, 2000.
A. Lee Fritschler
Assistant Secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Secretary amends 
Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations by amending part 606 as 
follows:

PART 606--DEVELOPING HISPANIC-SERVING INSTITUTIONS PROGRAM

    1. The authority citation for part 606 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., unless otherwise noted.


    2. Section 606.2 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec. 606.2  What institutions are eligible to receive a grant under the 
Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program?

* * * * *
    (b) A branch campus of a Hispanic-Serving institution is eligible 
to receive a grant under this part if--
    (1) The institution as a whole meets the requirements of paragraphs 
(a)(3) through (a)(6) of this section; and (2)
    The branch campus satisfies the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1) 
through (a)(4) of this section.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 01-430 Filed 1-5-01; 8:45 am]
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