FR Doc E6-8707
[Federal Register: June 6, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 108)]
[Notices]               
[Page 32527-32528]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr06jn06-42]                         
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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Proposed Collection; Comment Request

AGENCY: Department of Education.

SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education requests comments on the Free 
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that the Secretary proposes 
to use for the 2007-2008 award 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 2007-2008 award year FAFSA.

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 
August 7, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted electronically through e-mail to: 
FAFSAComments@ed.gov.

    Written comments and requests for copies of the proposed 
information collection requests should be addressed to U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Potomac Center, 9th Floor, 
Washington, DC 20202-4700.
    In addition, interested persons can access this document on the 
Internet:
    (1) Go to IFAP at http://ifap.ed.gov
    (2) Scroll down to ``Current Publications''

    (3) Click on ``FAFSAs and Renewal FAFSAs''
    (4) Click on ``By 2007-2008 Award Year''
    (5) Click on ``Draft FAFSA Form/Instructions''
    (6) Scroll down and select ``2007-2008 Draft Form in PDF Format''
    Please note that the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software, version 
4.0 or greater, is necessary to view this file. This software can be 
downloaded for free from Adobe's Web site: http://www.adobe.com.


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 for financial assistance * * *'' 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. On 
February 8, 2006, President Bush signed the Higher Education 
Reconciliation Act of 2005 (HERA), Public Law 109-171. The HERA made 
changes to the HEA that affect student eligibility and need analysis. 
The HERA changes impact the FAFSA in the following ways: (1) New 
questions are added for a student (and spouse) or a student and parents 
asking whether they received benefits from any of five means-tested 
Federal benefit programs in 2006. Receipt of means-tested Federal 
benefits during the preceding calendar year (2006 for the 2007-2008 
award year) is an alternative to the current question about whether the 
student or parent filed or was required to file an IRS 1040 Form as one 
of the criteria used to determine who qualifies for an automatic zero 
EFC or a simplified needs test. (2) A new dependency question is added 
to ensure that a member of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty for 
other than training purposes is considered an independent student. (3) 
The question regarding a student's convictions for drug-related 
offenses has been modified. A student is ineligible for Title IV, HEA 
financial assistance only if the conviction for a Federal or State 
offense involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance is 
for conduct that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the 
student was receiving Title IV, HEA

[[Page 32528]]

financial assistance. The ineligibility period is provided in the HEA. 
(4) New instructions have been added to clarify that Coverdell savings 
accounts, 529 college savings plans, and the refund value of 529 or 
State prepaid tuition plans should be reported as an asset of the 
account owner (unless the owner is a dependent student). (5) In 
addition, the FAFSA instructs applicants to exclude the value of a 
small business that the family owns and controls and that has 100 or 
fewer full-time or full-time equivalent employees. The following data 
elements have been deleted from the FAFSA because of space constraints 
on the paper form: Questions 27 and 28 regarding the student's interest 
in student loans or work-study and questions 94-97 representing a fifth 
and sixth college choice. Question numbers refer to the 2006-2007 
FAFSA. The Secretary requests comments on these proposed changes to 
wording, as well as suggestions for ways to further simplify the 
application for students, parents, and schools. In particular, the 
Secretary is interested in comments regarding the best manner in which 
to construct a simplified form for applicants who qualify for an 
automatic zero or simplified needs test EFC calculation, including 
applicants who now qualify based on receipt of benefits from a Federal 
means-tested benefit program. 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: May 31, 2006.
Angela C. Arrington,
IC Clearance Official, Regulatory Information Management Services, 
Office of Management.

Federal Student Aid

    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: 15,400,321.
     Burden Hours: 7,779,593.

    Abstract: The FAFSA collects identifying and financial information 
about a student applying for Title IV, 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 for determining a 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.
    Requests for copies of the proposed information collection request 
may be accessed from http://edicsweb.ed.gov, 
by selecting the ``Browse 

Pending Collections'' link and by clicking on link number 03129. When 
you access the information collection, click on ``Download 
attachments'' to view. Written requests for information should be 
addressed to U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 
Potomac Center, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20202-4700. Requests may also 
be e-mailed to IC DocketMgr@ed.gov
or faxed to: (202) 245-6623. Please 
specify the complete title of the information collection when making 
your request. Comments regarding burden and/or the collection activity 
requirements should be directed to 
IC DocketMgr@ed.gov. Individuals who 
use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal 
Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., 
Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

 [FR Doc. E6-8707 Filed 6-5-06; 8:45 am]

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