Laws & Guidance HIGHER EDUCATION
Negotiated Rulemaking for Higher Education 2015 - 2016

| Federal Register Notices | Meeting Information | Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3 | Public Hearings |

This Web page provides the public with background information regarding the Department’s negotiated rulemaking effort to make changes to the regulations for the programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 in 2015-2016. For more information about negotiated rulemaking in general, please see our question and answer page.

Federal Register Notices by Date

  • Defense to Repayment Regulations: June 2016

    The Secretary proposes to amend the regulations governing the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program to establish a new Federal standard and a process for determining whether a borrower has a defense to repayment on a loan based on an act or omission of a school. We propose to also amend the Direct Loan Program regulations by prohibiting participating schools from using certain contractual provisions regarding dispute resolution processes, such as mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements or class action waivers, and to require certain notifications and disclosures by schools regarding their use of arbitration. We propose to also amend the Direct Loan Program regulations to codify our current policy regarding the impact that discharges have on the 150 percent Direct Subsidized Loan Limit. We also propose to amend the Student Assistance General Provisions regulations to revise the financial responsibility standards and add disclosure requirements for schools. Finally, we propose to amend the discharge provisions in the Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan), Direct Loan, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant programs.

    • Unofficial Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Request for Comments. Comments due August 1, 2016.
      PDF (1.41MB) | MS Word (1.45MB)
      [Note: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. This document has been sent to the Office of the Federal Register but has not yet been scheduled for publication.]

    • Borrower Defense Frequently Asked Questions: PDF (212K) | MS Word (41K)

    • Borrower Defense Fact Sheet: PDF (266K) | MS Word (70K)

  • Request for additional negotiator nominations

    On December 21, 2015, the Department published a notice in the Federal Register requesting additional nominations to represent the following constituencies: (1) State higher education executive officers; (2) Minority serving institutions; (3) Two-year public institutions of higher education; (3) Private, for-profit institutions of higher education; and (4) National, regional, or specialized accrediting agencies.

    Information on how to submit a nomination is provided in the Federal Register notice. The deadline for submitting nominations is December 28, 2015.

  • Request for negotiator nominations

    On October 20, 2015, the Department published a notice in the Federal Register requesting nominations for negotiators to serve on a negotiated rulemaking committee that will address for loans made under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Federal Direct Loan) Program: (1) the procedures to be used for a borrower to establish a defense to repayment; (2) the criteria that the Department will use to identify acts or omissions of an institution that constitute defenses to repayment of Federal Direct Loans, including the creation of a Federal standard; (3) the standards and procedures that the Department will use to determine the liability of the institution for amounts based on borrower defenses; (4) the effect of borrower defenses on institutional capability assessments; and (5) other loan discharges. In addition, the committee may also consider if and how these issues will affect the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program.

    Information on how to submit a nomination is provided in the Federal Register notice. The deadline for submitting nominations is Tuesday, November 19, 2015.

  • Intent to Establish Negotiated Rulemaking Committee; Public Hearings

    On August 20, 2015 the Department published a notice in the Federal Register announcing our intention to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee to prepare proposed regulations for the Federal Student Aid programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). This notice announced two public hearings at which interested parties may comment on the topics suggested by the Department in the notice, and suggest additional topics for consideration for action by the negotiated rulemaking committee.

    Written comments submitted in response to this notice may be viewed through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Instructions for finding comments are available on the site under "How to Use Regulations.gov" in the Help section. Individuals can locate the appropriate docket for the notice by entering Docket ID ED-2015-OPE-0103 in the search box.

Top

Committee Meetings Information

Committee Members List of negotiators MS Word (74K) | PDF (218K)

Meeting Schedule
  • Session 1: January 12-14, 2016
  • Session 2: February 17-19, 2016
  • Session 3: March 16-18, 2016

For the January and February meetings, the Committee will convene at:

The U.S. Department of Education
8th Floor Conference Center
1990 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006

For the March committee meetings, the Committee will convene at:

The U.S. Department of Education
Union Center Plaza (UCP) Learning Center
830 First Street N.E., Lobby Level
Washington, DC 20002

Meetings will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Meetings are open to the public.

Top

Session 1

Materials that the Department provided to the negotiating committee prior to Session 1:

  • Agenda: MS Word (25K)
  • Protocols (as adopted): MS Word (56K)
  • Issue Paper #1 – Federal Standards: MS Word (29K)
  • Issue Paper #2 – Time Limit: MS Word (25K)
  • Issue Paper #3 – Process: MS Word (30K)
  • Issue Paper #4 - False Certification: MS Word (29K)
  • Issue Paper #5 – Financial Responsibility: MS Word (26K)
  • Issue Paper #6 – Electronic Death Certificates: MS Word (38K)
  • Issue Paper #7 – Nurse Faculty Loans Consolidation: MS Word (24K)
  • Issue Paper #8 – Interest Capitalization: MS Word (27K)
  • Issue Paper #9 – REPAYE: MS Word (25K)
  • Issue Paper #10 – Collection Costs: MS Word (25K)

Materials provided by the Department to the negotiating committee at Session 1:

Materials provided by non-Federal negotiators to the negotiating committee at Session 1:

Top

Session 2

Materials that the Department provided to the negotiating committee prior to Session 2:

  • Agenda: MS Word (25K)
  • Draft meeting 1 summary (accepted as submitted): MS Word (42K)
  • Issue Paper #1 - #3 – Federal Standards (clean): PDF (307K)
  • Issue Paper #1 - #3 – Federal Standards (red lined): MS Word (92K)
  • Issue Paper #4 - False Certification (clean): PDF (279K)
  • Issue Paper #4 - False Certification (red lined): MS Word (47K)
  • Issue Paper #5 - Financial Responsibility (clean): MS Word (97K)
  • Issue Paper #5 - Financial Responsibility (red lined): MS Word (98K)
  • Issue Paper #6 - Electronic Death Certificates (clean): MS Word (36K)
  • Issue Paper #6 - Electronic Death Certificates (red lined): MS Word (38K)
  • Issue Paper #7 - Nurse Faculty Loans Consolidation (clean): MS Word (25K)
  • Issue Paper #7 - Nurse Faculty Loans Consolidation (red lined): MS Word (25K)
  • Issue Paper #8 - Interest Capitalization (clean): MS Word (31K)
  • Issue Paper #8 - Interest Capitalization (red lined): MS Word (31K)
  • Issue Paper #9 - REPAYE (clean): MS Word (41K)
  • Issue Paper #9 - REPAYE (red lined): MS Word (41K)
  • Issue Paper #10 - Collection Costs (clean): MS Word (27K)
  • Issue Paper #10 - Collection Costs (red lined): MS Word (27K)
  • Issue Paper #11 - Closed School Discharge (clean): MS Word (48K)
  • Issue Paper #11 - Closed School Discharge (red lined): PDF (280K)

Materials provided by non-Federal negotiators to the negotiating committee prior to Session 2:

  • False Cert Proposals Submitted by Noah Zinner and Eileen Conner, February 3, 2016 PDF (88K)
  • Debt Compromise Reg Proposal Submitted by Noah Zinner and Eileen Conner, February 3, 2016 PDF (18K)
  • Closed School Unpaid Refund Discharge Proposals , Submitted by Noah Zinner and Eileen Conner, February 3, 2016 PDF (30K)
  • False Cert English Language Proficiency Proposals, Submitted by Noah Zinner and Eileen Conner, February 3, 2016 PDF (83K)
  • Response to Department’s draft proposal, Issues 1 and 3, Submitted by Chris Lindstrom, Maggie Thompson, Margaret Reiter, Walter Ochinko, and Will Hubbard, February 5, 2016 MS Word (70K)
  • Explanation of our Borrower Defense Regulatory Proposal Issues 1 and 3, Submitted by Chris Lindstrom, Maggie Thompson, Margaret Reiter, Walter Ochinko, and Will Hubbard, February 5, 2016 MS Word (50K)
  • Proposal from the Legal Aid Community negotiators in response to the original Issue Paper 5, Submitted by Eileen Connor on behalf of the Legal Aid Community, February 11, 2016 PDF (143K)
  • Overview of current investigations of fraud and numbers of students impacted, Submitted by Ann Bowers, February 14, 2016 PDF (275K)
  • Additional information regarding fraudulent activity at for-profit Colleges, Submitted by Ann Bowers, February 14, 2016 PDF (202K)

Materials provided by non-Federal negotiators to the negotiating committee at Session 2:

  • Report referenced by Chris Hicks during the public comment period, Submitted by Maggie Thompson, February 19, 2016 PDF (91K)
  • February 4, 2015 letter to Secretary Duncan from Maura Healy, Attorney General of Massachusetts, submitted by Michael Firestone, February 17, 2016 PDF (660K)
  • April 9, 2015 letter to Secretary Duncan from Attorney Generals, submitted by Michael Firestone, February 17, 2016 PDF (1.03MB)

Top

Session 3

Materials that the Department provided to the negotiating committee prior to Session 3:

  • Agenda MS Word (32K)
  • Session 2 summary (accepted as submitted) MS Word (35K)
  • Issue Papers #1 - #3 – Federal Standards (clean): MS Word (104K)
  • Issue Papers #1 - #3 – Federal Standards (red lined): MS Word (124K)
  • Issue Paper #4 - False Certification (clean): MS Word (47K)
  • Issue Paper #4 - False Certification (red lined): MS Word (50K)
  • Issue Paper #5 - Financial Responsibility (clean): PDF (232K)
  • Issue Paper #5 - Financial Responsibility (red lined): PDF (266K)
  • Issue Paper #6 - Electronic Death Certificates (clean): MS Word (45K)
  • Issue Paper #6 - Electronic Death Certificates (red lined): MS Word (47K)
  • Issue Paper #7 - Nurse Faculty Loans Consolidation (clean): MS Word (34K)
  • Issue Paper #7 - Nurse Faculty Loans Consolidation (red lined): MS Word (34K)
  • Issue Paper #8 - Interest Capitalization (clean): MS Word (36K)
  • Issue Paper #8 - Interest Capitalization (red lined): MS Word (36K)
  • Issue Paper #9 - REPAYE (clean): MS Word (50K)
  • Issue Paper #9 - REPAYE (red lined): MS Word (51K)
  • Issue Paper #10 - Closed School Discharge (clean): MS Word (60K)
  • Issue Paper #10 - Closed School Discharge (red lined): MS Word (64K)
  • Issue Paper #11 - Collection Costs (clean): PDF (87K)
  • Issue Paper #11 - Collection Costs (red lined): MS Word (44K)

Top

Materials provided by non-Federal negotiators to the negotiating committee prior to Session 3:

  • Unpaid Refund Discharge Proposal, submitted by Eileen Connor and Noah Zimmer, March 4, 2016 PDF (24K)
  • Issue Paper 10 – Closed School Discharge Proposals, submitted by Eileen Conner and Noah Zimmer, March 4, 2016 PDF (188K)
  • Major Issues with the Department’s Borrower Defense Proposal, Issues 1-3, submitted by Margaret Reiter on behalf of the consumer, student and veteran negotiators PDF (326K)
  • Issue Paper 4 – False Certification Discharge Proposals, submitted by Eileen Connor and Noah Zimmer, March 7, 2016 PDF (165K)
  • §668.41 Reporting and disclosure of information, Issue Paper 5, submitted by Shannon Sheaff, Alyssa Dobson, David Sheridan, Sharon Oliver, Emily London-Jones, Mark Justice, Dennis Cariello, Becky Thompson, non-federal negotiator9, 2016s representing various school sectors and state higher education executives, March 7, 2016 MS Word (26K)
  • FinAid Schools proposal Issue 5, submitted by Shannon Sheaff, Alyssa Dobson, David Sheridan, Sharon Oliver, Emily London-Jones, Mark Justice, Dennis Cariello, Becky Thompson, non-federal negotiators representing various school sectors and state higher education executives, March 7, 2016 MS Word (29K)
  • Recommended Revisions to Issues 1-3 and 5, submitted by Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General Michael Firestone and California Deputy Attorney General Bernard Eskandari, March 9, 2016 PDF (85K)
  • Issue Paper 4 –Additional False Certification Discharge Proposals on Establishing a Fair Review Process for Borrowers and on Group Relief, submitted by Eileen Connor and Noah Zimmer, March 10, 2016 PDF (334K)
  • Language to include to facilitate non-taxable treatment of successful borrower defense, submitted by Margaret Reiter, March 11, 2106 PDF (88K)

Materials provided by the Department to the negotiating committee at Session 3:

  • The Department's opening remarks provided by Deputy Under Secretary Jeff Appel, March 16, 2016 MS Word (30K)
  • Meeting 3 Summary MS Word (37K)
  • Letter of Credit Data MS Word (53K)
  • Repayment Rate, FY 2009 Cohort MS Word (33K)
  • §668.41 Reporting and Disclosure of Information (Corrections made on March 17, 2016) MS Word (70K)
  • §682.211 Forbearance, March 18, 2016 MS Word (23K)
  • Issue papers 1-3 (redlined), March 18, 2016 MS Word (148K)
  • Issue paper 4 (redlined), March 18, 2016 MS Word (51K)
  • Issue paper 5 (redlined), March 18, 2016 MS Word (296K)
  • Issue paper 6 (redlined), March 18, 2016 MS Word (47K)
  • Issue paper 7 (redlined), March 18, 2016 MS Word (34K)
  • Issue paper 8 (redlined), March 18, 2016 MS Word (35K)
  • Issue paper 9 (redlined), March 18, 2016 MS Word (50K)
  • Issue paper 10 (redlined), March 18, 2016 MS Word (67K)
  • Issue paper 11 (redlined), March 18, 2016 MS Word (44K)

Top

Materials provided by non-Federal negotiators to the negotiating committee at Session 3:

  • Response to Department’s Revised Draft Proposal, Issues 1-3, submitted by Chris Lindstrom, March 15, 2016 MS Word (40K)
  • Concern with the Department’s March 11, 2016 Draft Proposal, submitted by Dennis Cariello and Chris Deluca, March 15, 2016 MS Word (62K)
  • Recommended Revisions to Issues 1-3, submitted by Michael Firestone and Bernard Eskandari, March 15, 2016 PDF (378K)
  • Letter from Senator Elizabeth Warren, submitted March 16, 2016 PDF (3.76MB)
  • Issue Paper 11 – Department’s Authority to Compromise Debts, submitted by Eileen Conner and Noah Zinner, March 16, 2016 PDF (88K)
  • Group Process Initiation, submitted by Eileen Conner, March 16, 2016 (red lined copy) PDF (229K) | (clean copy) MS Word (29K)
  • Letter Regarding Relief to Student Borrowers, submitted by Michael Firestone, March 18, 2016 PDF (4.54.MB)

Top

Public Hearings Information

September 10, 2015--U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C., Eighth Floor Conference Center, 1990 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006

  • List of presenters: MS Word (38K)
  • Hearing transcript: MS Word (165K)
  • Nearest Metro stops: Farragut West on the Orange, Blue and Silver Lines, Farragut North on the Red Line

September 16, 2015--Courtyard San Francisco Downtown, San Francisco, California, 299 2nd Street, Rincon Hill Room, San Francisco, California 94105

The public hearings will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., local time.

Top

OPE Policy page



   
Last Modified: 06/10/2016