[Federal Register: February 18, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 32)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 7333-7334]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 7333]]


Part III

Department of Education

34 CFR Part 668

Student Assistance General Provisions; Proposed Rule

[[Page 7334]]


34 CFR Part 668

Student Assistance General Provisions

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Extension of comment period and notification of the 
availability of additional information.


SUMMARY: On September 20, 1996, the Department of Education published 
in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the 
Student Assistance General Provisions (34 CFR Part 668). In the NPRM, 
the Secretary proposed new standards of financial responsibility (60 FR 
49552-49574) that would apply to all institutions participating in a 
program authorized by title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as 
amended (title IV, HEA programs).
    On December 18, 1996, the Secretary published a Notice in the 
Federal Register (61 FR 66854) reopening the comment period on 
particular parts of the NPRM until February 18, 1997. The Secretary 
reopened the comment period in response to public comment received on 
the NPRM that the higher education community needed more time to 
analyze the proposed financial standards and provide the Secretary with 
additional comment based on that analysis.
    The Secretary is further extending the reopened comment period. The 
Secretary is doing so to allow the higher education community to 
comment on information regarding the proposed ratio methodology, some 
of which will not be available to the public before the expiration of 
the reopened comment period on February 18.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 24, 1997.

ADDRESSES: All comments concerning this notice or the notice of 
proposed rulemaking should be addressed to Mr. David Lorenzo, U.S. 
Department of Education, P.O. Box 23272, Washington, D.C. 20026, or to 
the following internet address: fin__resp@ed.gov

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. David Lorenzo or Mr. John Kolotos, 
U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 3045 
ROB-3, Washington, D.C. 20202, telephone (202) 708-7888. 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 standard time, Monday through Friday.


    On September 20, 1996, the Secretary published an NPRM proposing 
new standards of financial responsibility based on a ratio methodology 
developed in consultation with the accounting firm of KPMG Peat Marwick 
LLP (KPMG), alternative standards of financial responsibility and other 
requirements under a proposed Subpart L of the Student Assistance 
General Provisions regulations, and compliance and financial statement 
audit requirements under Subpart B of these regulations. On November 
29, 1996, the Secretary published a Notice of Final Regulations 
amending Subpart B of the Student Assistance General Provisions 
regulations and making a conforming amendment to Sec. 600.5 of the 
Institutional Eligibility regulations.
    However, the Secretary did not codify in the November 29, 1996 
final regulations the general standards of financial responsibility, 
alternative standards, and change of ownership requirements proposed 
under Subpart L. Instead, the Secretary decided to obtain additional 
comment and information from the higher education community, and 
delayed promulgating final regulations for these provisions pending an 
extended review of that comment and information. Accordingly, on 
December 18, 1996, the Secretary published a Notice reopening the 
comment period until February 18, 1997. In that Notice, the Secretary 
identified the proposed provisions for which additional comment could 
be submitted and solicited comment on specific issues relating to those 
    In the meantime, the Secretary has retained KPMG to assist the 
Department in gathering additional data and in reexamining the proposed 
ratio methodology in light of those data and the issues raised by 
commenters. As the Department and KPMG reexamine the proposed ratio 
methodology and generate information that can be shared with the 
community, the Secretary will make that information available through 
meetings and by other means. To provide an opportunity for the public 
to comment on this additional information, and to ensure that the 
community's views and analyses of this information are incorporated in 
the regulatory record, the Secretary extends the current comment 
    While the Secretary will continue to evaluate comments already 
submitted, the Secretary is particularly interested in receiving 
comments on new information the Department makes available. Interested 
parties may obtain this information from the financial responsibility 
section of the Department's web site at the following URL address: 
http://www.ed.gov/offices/OPE/PPI. This web site also contains 
instructions for downloading earlier Federal Register publications and 
other documents relating to financial responsibility.

    Dated: February 13, 1997.
David A. Longanecker,
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 97-4054 Filed 2-14-97; 8:45 am]