FR Doc E6-13619

[Federal Register: August 18, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 160)]
[Page 47783-47784]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []
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Submission for OMB Review; 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).

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 
September 18, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be addressed to Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Rachel Potter, Desk 
Officer, Department of Education, Office of Management and Budget, 725 
17th Street, NW., Room 10222, New Executive Office Building, 
Washington, DC 20503 or faxed to (202) 395-6974.
    In addition, interested persons can access this document on the 
    (1) Go to IFAP at;

    (2) Scroll down to ``Publications'';
    (3) Click on ``FAFSAs and Renewal FAFSAs'';
    (4) Click on ``By 2007-2008 Award Year'';
    (5) Click on ``Draft FAFSA Form/Instructions''.

    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:

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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.

    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), Pub. L. 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 questions 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 offences has been modified. A 
student is ineligible for Title IV, HEA financial assistance only if 
the conviction for a Federal or State offence involving the possession 
or sale of a controlled substance is for conduct that occurred during 
the period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV, 
HEA 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 were deleted from the first FAFSA draft 
published June 6, 2006, 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.
    Many comments received during the 60-day public comment period 
indicated that financial aid administrators require information about a 
student's interest in work-study or student loans to properly package 
and award Federal student aid. Therefore, the draft FAFSA has been 
revised to restore one question (number 26) allowing students to enter 
a code from the instructions and indicate their interest in work-study, 
student loans, both programs, or neither program. Additional revisions 
to the FAFSA draft are as follows: (1) The new dependency question 
number 54 that asks if the student is currently serving on active duty 
in the U.S. armed forces has been placed prior to question number 55 
that asks if the student is a veteran, for a more logical flow. New 
instructions for responding to the active duty question have been added 
in the ``Notes'' section. (2) Questions about Federal benefits received 
by an independent student or spouse have been placed on page 4 as 
questions 92-96. A dependent student would report the receipt of 
Federal benefits in the parents' section, questions 71-75, as a member 
of the parents' household. (3) Instructions have been modified for 
reporting the receipt of benefits from Federal means-tested programs; 
for reporting investments; and for using tax returns with U.S. 
territories or freely associated states.
    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.
    In addition to comments requested above, to accommodate the 
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Secretary is

[[Page 47784]]

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: August 14, 2006.
Angela C. Arrington,
Leader, 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: 15,952,890.
     Burden Hours: 7,666,352.
    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, by selecting the 
``Browse Pending Collections'' link 

and clicking 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 electronically mailed to 
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 the e-mail address 
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.

 [FR Doc. E6-13619 Filed 8-17-06; 8:45 am]