FR Doc E7-20785
[Federal Register: October 22, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 203)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 59494-59496]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

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34 CFR Chapter VI

Office of Postsecondary Education; Notice of Negotiated 
Rulemaking for Programs Authorized Under Title IV of the Higher 
Education Act of 1965, as Amended

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of establishment of negotiated rulemaking committee.


SUMMARY: We announce our intention to establish one or two negotiated 
rulemaking committees to prepare proposed regulations under Title IV of 
the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). Each committee will 
include representatives of organizations or groups with interests that 
are significantly affected by the subject matter of the proposed 
regulations. We also announce three public hearings where interested 
parties can suggest issues that should be considered for action by the 
negotiating committees. In addition, we request nominations for 
individual negotiators who represent key stakeholder constituencies 
that are involved in the student financial assistance programs 
authorized under Title IV of the HEA to serve on these committees.

DATES: We must receive your nominations for negotiators to serve on the 
committees on or before November 29, 2007. The dates, times, and 
locations of the public hearings are listed under the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this notice.

ADDRESSES: Please send your nominations for negotiators to Patty Chase, 
U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 8050, 
Washington, DC 20006, or by fax to Patty Chase at (202) 502-7874. You 
may also e-mail your nominations to: Those 
nominated will be notified via letter as to whether or not they have 
been selected as a negotiator as soon as the Department's review 
process is completed.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about the hearings and 
the nomination submission process, contact: Patty Chase, U.S. 
Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 8050, Washington, DC 
20006. Telephone: (202) 502-7905. You may also e-mail your questions 
about the hearings and the nomination submission process to:

    For information about negotiated rulemaking in general, contact: 
John Kolotos, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 
8018, Washington, DC 20006. Telephone (202) 502-7762. You may also e-
mail your questions about negotiated rulemaking to:

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) by contacting the person responsible for information about 
the hearings and the nomination submission process listed in this 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 492 of the HEA requires that, before 
publishing any proposed regulations to implement programs authorized 
under Title IV of the HEA, the Secretary obtain public involvement in 
the development of the proposed regulations. After obtaining advice and 
recommendations from the public, the Secretary uses a negotiated 
rulemaking process to develop the proposed regulations.
    We intend to develop proposed regulations by following the 
negotiated rulemaking procedures in section 492 of the HEA. We intend 
to select participants for the negotiated rulemaking committees that 
represent the interests significantly affected by the proposed 
regulations. To the extent possible, we will select individual 
negotiators who reflect the diversity among program participants, in 
accordance with section 492(b)(1) of the HEA.

Regulatory Issues

    We intend to conduct negotiated rulemaking to develop proposed 
regulations for the new TEACH Grant program, which was added to Title 
IV of the HEA by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 
(CCRAA), Pub. L. 110-84. We will also address regulatory changes that 
will be needed for the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL) and 
the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program resulting from the enactment of 
the CCRAA including, but not limited to: rules for income-based 
repayment; changes to the maximum repayment period; reductions to the 
lender insurance rates and loan forgiveness for public service 
employees; and definitions of terms used in the programs. We will also 
consider whether the regulations need to be amended to implement or 
reflect Pub. L. 110-93, which made permanent the Secretary's authority 
under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 
2003 (HEROES Act).
    We note that there is legislation currently pending in Congress to 
reauthorize the HEA. If reauthorization of the HEA is completed prior 
to the first negotiating session, we may also include on the 
negotiating agenda additional changes to the regulations that may be 
    We also expect to conduct negotiated rulemaking on other regulatory 
issues. These may include issues raised by the public during the 
regional hearings. Other issues the Department identifies as necessary 
to improve program administration and accountability will also be 
negotiated, including potential Federal preemption of State laws that 
may conflict with the Department's regulations on improper inducements 
and the use of preferred lender lists in the FFEL program.
    We may also consider the establishment of competitive preference 
priorities within the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for 
Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) program.

[[Page 59495]]

Structure of the Committees

    We anticipate having one or two negotiating committees based upon 
the nature of the topics to be negotiated. The number of committees and 
their organization will be determined as necessary, depending upon the 
comments received as a result of this notice. If one negotiating 
committee is established, it will address all of the regulatory issues 
that we identify. If two negotiating committees are established, one 
negotiating committee would address issues related to the Federal 
student loan programs authorized by Title IV, Parts B and D of the HEA 
and the other committee would focus on TEACH Grants and other issues.
    Our goal is to establish committees that will allow significantly 
affected parties to be represented while keeping the committees' size 
    We strongly encourage nominations of individuals from coalitions of 
individuals and organizations representing the constituencies 
identified below. Moreover, the Department encourages nominations of 
individuals who are actively involved in administering the Federal 
programs that are the subject of these negotiated rulemaking sessions 
and who can represent the interests of groups that are significantly 
affected by the regulations. The committee or committees can create 
subgroups to discuss particular topics, such as TEACH Grants, Income-
Based Repayment, or the definition of a non-profit holder. The subgroup 
can also involve in its discussions additional individuals who are not 
members of the committees. Individuals who are not selected as members 
of a committee can attend committee meetings, access the individuals 
representing their constituencies, and participate in informal working 
groups on various issues between the meetings. Committee meetings will 
be open to the public.
    We have identified the following constituencies as having interests 
that are significantly affected by the subject matter of the negotiated 
rulemaking process. The Department anticipates that individuals 
representing each of these constituencies will participate as members 
of one or more of the negotiated rulemaking committees. These 
constituencies are:
     Legal assistance organizations that represent students.
     Financial aid administrators at institutions of higher 
     Business officers and bursars at institutions of higher 
     Institutional servicers (including collection agencies).
     State higher education executive officers.
     State Attorneys General and other appropriate State 
     Business and industry.
     Institutions of higher education eligible to receive 
Federal assistance under Title III, Parts A and B, and Title V of the 
HEA, which include Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 
Hispanic-Serving Institutions, American Indian Tribally Controlled 
Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving 
Institutions, and other institutions with a substantial enrollment of 
needy students as defined in Title III of the HEA.
     Two-year public institutions of higher education.
     Four-year public institutions of higher education.
     Private, non-profit institutions of higher education.
     Private, for-profit institutions of higher education.
     Institutions of higher education that prepare teachers.
     Organizations that represent teachers.
     Guaranty agencies and guaranty agency servicers (including 
collection agencies).
     Lenders, secondary markets, and loan servicers.
     Accrediting agencies.
    While an individual selected to represent a constituency may be an 
employee, official, or representative of a specific group, institution, 
or industry participant, the individual will be expected to represent 
the interests of the entire constituency that the individual has been 
designated to represent on the committee and to confer with other 
individuals and representatives of groups within that constituency.
    Nominations should include the following information:
     The name of the nominee, the organization the individual 
works for, if any, and a description of the interests that the 
individual represents.
     Evidence of support from individuals or groups of the 
constituency that the nominee will represent.
     The nominee's commitment that the nominee will actively 
participate in good faith in the development of the proposed 
     The nominee's contact information, including address, 
phone number, fax number, and e-mail address.

Schedule for Negotiations

    We anticipate that the negotiating committee(s) will meet in the 
Washington, DC, area three or more times beginning in January 2008 and 
concluding no later than April 2008. The dates and locations of these 
meetings will be published in a subsequent notice in the Federal 
Register, and will be posted on the Department's Web site at:

    We will post the schedule for negotiations on this same Web site. 
Each committee must use electronic mail to exchange documents and 
discuss proposals between meetings. We anticipate that the schedule 
will allow sufficient time for us to provide the public with a 60-day 
comment period for the proposed regulations resulting from the 
negotiated rulemaking process and sufficient time to address any issues 
raised in the comment period, while meeting the November 1 statutory 
deadline for publishing student financial assistance final regulations.

Regional Hearings

    We will hold three public regional hearings for interested parties 
to discuss the agenda for the negotiated rulemaking sessions. These 
hearings will be held on--
    November 2, 2007, at the Sheraton New Orleans, 500 Canal Street, in 
New Orleans, Louisiana;
    November 16, 2007, at the U.S. Department of Education in 
Washington, DC; and
    November 29, 2007, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, One 
Market Place, San Diego, California.
    The regional hearings in New Orleans and San Diego will be held 
from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., local time. The hearing in Washington, DC will be 
held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., local time.
    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 register to make a 
statement beginning at 10 a.m. for the regional hearings and at 8:30 
a.m. on the day of the Washington hearing at the Department's 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 day for individuals who were not able to 
register to speak. The amount of time available will depend upon the 
number of individuals who register to speak. Speakers may also submit 
written comments.

[[Page 59496]]

    In addition, for anyone unable to attend any of the regional 
hearings, the Department will also accept written comments. You should 
send your comments to: John Kolotos, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 
K Street, NW., room 8018, Washington, DC 20006. All comments must be 
received by November 29, 2007.
    All of the hearing sites are accessible to individuals with 
disabilities. Individuals needing an auxiliary aid or service to 
participate in the meeting (e.g., interpreting service, assistive 
listening device, or materials in alternative format), should notify 
the contact person for information about hearings listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in this notice in advance of the scheduled 
meeting date. Although we will attempt to meet any request we receive, 
we may not be able to make available the requested auxiliary aid or 
service because of insufficient time to arrange it. Further information 
on the regional hearing sites is available on

    Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site:

    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at:

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1098a.

    Dated: October 17, 2007.
Diane Auer Jones,
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
 [FR Doc. E7-20785 Filed 10-19-07; 8:45 am]