TITLE IV--STUDENT ASSISTANCE
PART G--GENERAL PROVISIONS
SEC. 482. FORMS AND REGULATIONS
(a) COMMON FINANCIAL AID FORM DEVELOPMENT- Section 483(a) (20 U.S.C. 1090(a)) is amended--
(1) in the subsection heading, by striking `FORM' and inserting `FORM DEVELOPMENT';
(2) in paragraph (1)--
(A) by striking `A, C, D, and E' and inserting `A through E';
(B) by striking `and to determine the need of a student for the purpose of part B of this title';
(C) by striking the second sentence and inserting the following: `The Secretary shall include on the form developed under this subsection such data items as the Secretary determines are appropriate for inclusion. Such items shall be selected in consultation with States to assist in the awarding of State financial assistance. In no case shall the number of such data items be less than the number included on the form on the date of enactment of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998.'; and
(D) by striking the last sentence;
(3) in paragraph (2)--
(A) by striking `A, C, D, and E' each place the term appears and inserting `A through E';
(B) by striking `and the need of a student for the purpose of part B of this title,'; and
(C) by striking `or have the student's need established for the purpose of part B of this title';
(4) by amending paragraph (3) to read as follows:
`(3) DISTRIBUTION OF DATA- Institutions of higher education, guaranty agencies, and States shall receive, without charge, the data collected by the Secretary using the form developed pursuant to this section for the purposes of processing loan applications and determining need and eligibility for institutional and State financial aid awards. Entities designated by institutions of higher education, guaranty agencies, or States to receive such data shall be subject to all the requirements of this section, unless such requirements are waived by the Secretary.';
(5) by adding at the end the following:
`(5) ELECTRONIC FORMS- (A) The Secretary, in cooperation with representatives of agencies and organizations involved in student financial assistance, including private computer software providers, shall develop an electronic version of the form described in paragraph (1). As permitted by the Secretary, such an electronic version shall not require a signature to be collected at the time such version is submitted, if a signature is subsequently submitted by the applicant. The Secretary shall prescribe such version not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998.
`(B) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of the form developed by the Secretary pursuant to subparagraph (A) by an eligible institution, eligible lender, guaranty agency, State grant agency, private computer software providers, a consortium thereof, or such other entities as the Secretary may designate.
`(C) No fee shall be charged to students in connection with the use of the electronic version of the form, or of any other electronic forms used in conjunction with such form in applying for Federal or State student financial assistance.
`(D) The Secretary shall ensure that data collection complies with section 552a of title 5, United States Code, and that any entity using the electronic version of the form developed by the Secretary pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall maintain reasonable and appropriate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of the information, and to protect against security threats, or unauthorized uses or disclosures of the information provided on the electronic version of the form. Data collected by such version of the form shall be used only for the application, award, and administration of aid awarded under this title, State aid, or aid awarded by eligible institutions or such entities as the Secretary may designate. No data collected by such version of the form shall be used for making final aid awards under this title until such data have been processed by the Secretary or a contractor or designee of the Secretary.
`(6) THIRD PARTY SERVICERS AND PRIVATE SOFTWARE PROVIDERS- To the extent practicable and in a timely manner, the Secretary shall provide, to private organizations and consortia that develop software used by eligible institutions for the administration of funds under this title, all the necessary specifications that the organizations and consortia must meet for the software the organizations and consortia develop, produce, and distribute (including any diskette, modem, or network communications) which are so used. The specifications shall contain record layouts for required data. The Secretary shall develop in advance of each processing cycle an annual schedule for providing such specifications. The Secretary, to the extent practicable, shall use means of providing such specifications, including conferences and other meetings, outreach, and technical support mechanisms (such as training and printed reference materials). The Secretary shall, from time to time, solicit from such organizations and consortia means of improving the support provided by the Secretary.
`(7) PARENT'S SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER AND BIRTH DATE- The Secretary is authorized to include on the form developed under this subsection space for the social security number and birth date of parents of dependent students seeking financial assistance under this title.'.
(b) STREAMLINED REAPPLICATION PROCESS- Section 483(b)(1) is amended by striking `, within 240 days' and all that follows through `of 1992,'.
(c) INFORMATION TO COMMITTEES- Section 483(c) is amended by striking `and Labor' and inserting `and the Workforce'.
(d) TOLL-FREE INFORMATION- Section 483(d) is amended by striking `section 633(c)' and inserting `section 685(d)(2)(C)'.
(e) REPEAL- Subsection (f) of section 483 is repealed.
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