[Federal Register: November 30, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 229)]
[Notices]               
[Page 65764-65765]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr30no98-59]

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Notice of Proposed Information Collection Requests

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Proposed collection; comment request.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education requests comments on the Free 
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that the Secretary proposes 
to use for the 2000-2001 year. The FAFSA is completed by students and 
their families and the information submitted on the form is used to 
determine the students' eligibility and financial need for financial 
aid under the student financial assistance programs authorized under 
Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (Title IV, HEA 
Programs). The Secretary also requests comments on changes under 
consideration for the 2001-2002 FAFSA. This notice provides additional 
information not provided in an earlier notice published on November 23, 
1998.

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 
January 22, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Written comments and requests for copies of the proposed 
information collection requests should be addressed to Patrick J. 
Sherrill, Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 
5624, Regional Office Building 3, Washington, DC 20202-4651. In 
addition, interested persons can access this document on the Internet:

(1) Go to IFAP at http://ifap.ed.gov
(2) Click on the ``Bookshelf''
(3) Scroll down and click on ``FAFSA and Renewal FAFSA Forms and 
Instructions''
(4) Click on ``By 2000-2001 Award Year''
(5) Click on ``FAFSA Instructions''
(6) Click on the red icon to open the file.

    Please note that the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software, version 
3.0 or greater, is necessary to view this file. This software can be 
downloaded for free from Adobe's website: http://www.adobe.com

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick J. Sherrill (202) 708-8196. 
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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 483 of the Higher Education Act of 
1965, as amended (HEA), requires the Secretary, ``in cooperation with 
agencies and organizations involved in providing student financial 
assistance,'' to ``produce, distribute and process free of charge a 
common financial reporting form to be used to determine the need and 
eligibility of a student under'' the Title IV, HEA Programs. This form 
is the FAFSA. In addition, Section 483 authorizes the Secretary to 
include non-financial data items that assist States in awarding State 
student financial assistance.
    In consultation with the financial aid community, State agencies 
administering student financial aid, and the public, the FAFSA was 
substantially redesigned for the 1999-2000 year. Therefore the proposed 
2000-2001 FAFSA was intentionally designed to be a ``rollover,'' 
containing minimal change from the redesigned 1999-2000 application.

[[Page 65765]]

    In addition to comments on the proposed 2000-2001 FAFSA, the 
Secretary also requests comments on the following changes under 
consideration to the 2001-2002 FAFSA. References to the current FAFSA 
are to the 1999-2000 FAFSA.

Addition of Parent Identifying Information

    The Secretary is considering collecting the following parental 
data: names, Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, citizenship, and 
Alien Registration Number. Also under consideration are parents' 
driver's license number and state, and permanent phone number. The 
purpose of adding this information is to facilitate using the FAFSA as 
a Plus loan application or an IRS match, as described below.

The FAFSA as PLUS Loan Application

    One possible use of parent identifying information (described 
above) is to make the FAFSA the PLUS loan application. The Secretary is 
considering implementing this in 2001-2002.

IRS Match

    Another possible use of parent identifying information (described 
above) is to conduct a computer match to confirm student and parent 
income information with the IRS. The Secretary is considering 
implementing this in 2001-2002.

Reduction of Number of Schools on the FAFSA

    The current FAFSA allows students to select up to six schools to 
receive their application information. Applicant data show, however, 
that the vast majority of students list only three or fewer schools. In 
addition, improved information technology has made it easier for 
students to add more schools after submitting their initial 
application. As such, the Secretary is considering reducing the number 
of schools students can list on the FAFSA.

Elimination of FAFSA Express

    The success of FAFSA on the Web and the increasing availability of 
Internet access lead the Secretary to consider consolidating student 
electronic application options by eliminating the PC software program 
FAFSA Express in the 2001-2002 award year.

Addition of E-mail Address

    E-mail is becoming an increasingly viable means of communication 
between students and various agencies and organizations that administer 
student financial aid. As such, the Secretary is considering collecting 
student (and parent) e-mail addresses on the 2001-2002 paper FAFSA. In 
addition, the Secretary is considering adding student e-mail address to 
FAFSA on the Web for 2000-2001 for the purpose of an e-mail 
notification to the student that his or her application has been 
processed.
    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, ED 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, ED must first obtain public comment of the proposed form, and 
to obtain that comment, ED 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: November 23, 1998.
Kent H. Hannaman,
Leader, Information Management Group, Office of the Chief Financial and 
Chief Information Officer.

Office of Postsecondary Education

    Type of Review: Revision.
    Title: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
    Frequency: Annually.
    Affected Public: Individuals and families.
    Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden:

Responses: 10,254,697
Burden Hours: 6,589,649

    Abstract: The FAFSA collects identifying and financial information 
about a student who applies for Title IV, Higher Education Act (HEA) 
Program funds. This information is used to calculate the student's 
expected family contribution, which is used to determine a student's 
financial need. The information is also used to determine the student's 
eligibility for grants and loans under the Title IV, HEA Programs. It 
is further used for determining a student's eligibility for State and 
institutional financial aid programs.

[FR Doc. 98-31720 Filed 11-27-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P