[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 59922-59923]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



34 CFR Ch. VI

Office of Postsecondary Education, Student Assistance

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Request for advice and recommendations on regulatory issues 
under Title IV of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, ``Student 


SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education (Secretary) solicits advice and 
recommendations from the public prior to publishing proposed 
regulations to implement student assistance programs under Title IV of 
the Higher Education Act of 1965, as recently amended by the Higher 
Education Amendments of 1998.

DATES: We request that you send written comments by December 15, 1998. 
You may also submit comments at regional hearings to be held on 
December 4-12, 1998. (See dates, times and locations of regional 
hearings under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.)

ADDRESSES: Please send your comments to Brian Kerrigan, U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, ROB-3, Washington D.C. 20202-
5257, or fax them to Brian Kerrigan at (202) 205-0786. You may also E-
mail your comments to:


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Kerrigan, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Rob-3, Washington, DC 20202-5257. 
Telephone: (202) 708-5217. If you use a telecommunications device for 
the deaf (TDD) you 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.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed in the preceding 



    On October 7, President Clinton signed into law Public
    Law 105-244, the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (Amendments), 
amending the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). Section 492 of the 
HEA, as amended, requires that, before publishing any proposed 
regulations to implement programs under Title IV, the Secretary obtain 
public involvement in the development of the proposed regulations. The 
Secretary must obtain advice and recommendations from individuals and 
groups involved in student financial assistance, such as students, 
legal assistance organizations that represent students, institutions of 
higher education, guaranty agencies, lenders, secondary markets, loan 
servicers, guaranty agency servicers, and collection agencies, and must 
provide for a comprehensive discussion and exchange of information 
concerning the implementation of Title IV of the HEA. After obtaining 
advice and recommendations, the Secretary will conduct a negotiated 
rulemaking process to develop proposed regulations. All published 
proposed regulations must conform to any agreements resulting from the 
negotiated rulemaking process unless the Secretary reopens the 
negotiated rulemaking process, or provides a written explanation to the 
participants in that process why the Secretary has decided to depart 
from the agreements.
    Participants in the negotiation process will be selected by the 
Secretary from individuals nominated by the groups mentioned above, and 
will include both representatives of those groups from Washington, 
D.C., and industry participants. To the extent possible, the Secretary 
will select individuals reflecting the diversity in the industry, 
representing both large and small participants, and serving both local 
areas and national markets. The Secretary intends to include in the 
negotiation sessions those groups that participated in the 1992 and 
1994 higher education negotiation sessions. Any additional groups that 
did not

[[Page 59923]]

participate in the 1992 and 1994 negotiation sessions that would like 
to participate in these negotiation sessions should inform the 
Department of their interest in participating, either by submitting a 
written comment, or by attending one of the regional hearings.
    The negotiation process must be conducted in a timely manner so 
that the Secretary can issue the final regulations within 360 days of 
the date of enactment of the Amendments. Additionally, the Secretary 
must publish any final regulations under Title IV by November 1, 1999, 
as any final regulations not published by that date would not take 
effect until July 1, 2001, at the earliest. As a result of these time 
constraints, the Secretary anticipates a highly expedited process in 
the development of any proposed regulations.
    The Secretary therefore invites advice and recommendations from 
interested parties concerning what regulations may be necessary to 
implement Title IV of the HEA. The Secretary also invites advice and 
recommendations concerning which regulated issues should be subjected 
to a negotiated rulemaking process. The Secretary further requests 
advice and recommendations concerning ways to prioritize the numerous 
issues in Title IV, in order to meet the statutory deadlines mentioned 
above. Additionally, the Secretary would like advice and 
recommendations concerning how the negotiated rulemaking process should 
be conducted, given the time available and the number of regulations 
that may need to be developed.
    Under its principles for regulating, the Department of Education 
(Department) will regulate only when it improves the quality and 
equality of services to its customers--learners of all ages. The 
Department will regulate only when absolutely necessary, and then in 
the most flexible, most equitable, and least burdensome way possible. 
The Department will regulate if a demonstrated problem exists and 
cannot be resolved without regulation or if necessary to provide 
legally binding interpretation to resolve an ambiguity. The Department 
will not regulate if entities or situations to be regulated are so 
diverse that a uniform approach does more harm than good.

Regional Hearings

    Participants are welcome to address issues relating to the 
implementation of Title IV of the HEA, either by attending the regional 
hearings or submitting written comments. Comments will be used to help 
develop any proposed regulations, and will not result in any statutory 
changes. Individuals desiring to present comments at the hearings are 
encouraged to do so. It is likely that each participant choosing to 
make a statement will be limited to five minutes. Individuals 
interested in making oral statements will be able to sign up to make a 
statement beginning at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the hearing at the 
Department's regional hearing on-site registration table on a first-
come, first-served basis. If additional time slots remain, individuals 
may be given additional time to speak. If no time slots remain, the 
Department has reserved one additional hour at the end of the first 
day, and one-half hour at the end of the second day for people who were 
not able to register to speak. The amount of time available will depend 
upon the number of individuals who request reservations. Speakers may 
also submit written comments. The dates, times, and locations of the 
regional hearings are listed below.
    In addition, for anyone unable to attend any of the regional 
hearings, the Department will also accept, and strongly encourages, 
written comments. You should send your comments to Brian Kerrigan at 
the above address by December 15, 1998. If possible, please try to 
provide a copy of any written comments on a disk.
    The Department has reserved a limited number of rooms at each of 
the following hotels at a special government per diem room rate. To 
reserve these rates, be certain to inform the hotel that you are 
attending the regional hearings with the Department of Education.
    The hearing sites are accessible to individuals with disabilities. 
The Department will provide a sign language interpreter at each of the 
scheduled hearings. An individual with a disability who will need an 
auxiliary aid or service other than an interpreter to participate in 
the meeting (e.g., assistive listening device, or materials in an 
alternate format) should notify the contact person listed in this 
notice at least two weeks before the scheduled meeting date. Although 
the Department will attempt to meet a request received after that date, 
the requested auxiliary aid or service may not be available because of 
insufficient time to arrange it.

Dates, Times, and Locations of Regional Hearings

    1. December 4, 1998, 9:00-5:00 p.m., December 5, 1998, 9:00 a.m.-
12:00 p.m., Holiday Inn on the Hill, 415 New Jersey Ave., N.W., 
Washington, D.C.; 1-202-638-1616, and ask for reservations. Sleeping 
Room rate: $126.00 (inclusive of all taxes). Reservations must be made 
by November 13.
    2. December 8, 1998, 9:00-5:00 p.m., December 9, 1998, 9:00 a.m.-
12:00 p.m., The Regal Knickerbocker, Walton Place at North Michigan 
Avenue, Chicago, Illinois; 1-312-751-8100, and ask for reservations. 
Sleeping room rate: $120.00 (inclusive of all taxes). Reservations must 
be made by November 16.
    3. December 11, 1998, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., December 12, 1998, 9:00 
a.m.-12:00 p.m., Hyatt Regency Los Angeles, 711 South Hope Street, Los 
Angeles, California; 1-213-683-1234, and ask for reservations. Sleeping 
room rate: $124.26 (inclusive of all taxes). Reservations must be made 
by November 27.

Electronic Access to This Document

    Anyone may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in Text or 
portable document format (pdf) on the World Wide Web at either of the 
following sites:


    To use the pdf you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader Program with 
Search, which is available free at either of the previous sites. If you 
have questions about using the pdf, call the U.S. Government Printing 
Office toll free at 1-888-293-6498.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1090a.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number does not apply.)

    Dated: November 4, 1998.
Richard W. Riley,
Secretary of Education.
[FR Doc. 98-30004 Filed 11-5-98; 8:45 am]