1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965
P.L. 105-244




Sec. 801. Study of market mechanisms in Federal student loan programs.

(a) STUDY REQUIRED- The Comptroller General and the Secretary of Education shall convene a study group including the Secretary of the Treasury, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, representatives of entities making loans under part B of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, representatives of other entities in the financial services community, representatives of other participants in the student loan programs, and such other individuals as the Comptroller General and the Secretary may designate. The Comptroller General and Secretary, in consultation with the study group, shall design and conduct a study to identify and evaluate means of establishing a market mechanism for the delivery of loans made pursuant to such title IV.

(b) DESIGN OF STUDY- The study required under this section shall identify not fewer than 3 different market mechanisms for use in determining lender return on student loans while continuing to meet the other objectives of the programs under parts B and D of such title IV, including the provision of loans to all eligible students. Consideration may be given to the use of auctions and to the feasibility of incorporating income-contingent repayment options into the student loan system and requiring borrowers to repay through income tax withholding.

(c) EVALUATION OF MARKET MECHANISMS- The mechanisms identified under subsection (b) shall be evaluated in terms of the following areas:

(1) The cost or savings of loans to or for borrowers, including parent borrowers.

(2) The cost or savings of the mechanism to the Federal Government.

(3) The cost, effect, and distribution of Federal subsidies to or for participants in the program.

(4) The ability of the mechanism to accommodate the potential distribution of subsidies to students through an income-contingent repayment option.

(5) The effect on the simplicity of the program, including the effect of the plan on the regulatory burden on students, institutions, lenders, and other program participants.

(6) The effect on investment in human capital and resources, loan servicing capability, and the quality of service to the borrower.

(7) The effect on the diversity of lenders, including community-based lenders, originating and secondary market lenders.

(8) The effect on program integrity.

(9) The degree to which the mechanism will provide market incentives to encourage continuous improvement in the delivery and servicing of loans.

(10) The availability of loans to students by region, income level, and by categories of institutions.

(11) The proposed Federal and State role in the operation of the mechanism.

(12) A description of how the mechanism will be administered and operated.

(13) Transition procedures, including the effect on loan availability during a transition period.

(14) Any other areas the study group may include.

(d) PRELIMINARY FINDINGS AND PUBLICATION OF STUDY- Not later than November 15, 2000, the study group shall make the group's preliminary findings, including any additional or dissenting views, available to the public with a 60-day request for public comment. The study group shall review these comments and the Comptroller General and the Secretary shall transmit a final report, including any additional or dissenting views, to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate, and the Committees on the Budget of the House of Representatives and the Senate not later than May 15, 2001.

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Last Modified: 09/26/2003