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The HERA Code - Loan Changes

The HERA Code - Loan Changes

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The HERA Code - Loan Changes

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  1. The HERA Code - Loan Changes Betsy Mayotte Director of Regulatory Compliance and Privacy American Student Assistance

  2. Topics • Loan Changes • School as Lender • Miscellaneous

  3. Loan Limits • First year students: $ 3,500 • Second year students: $ 4,500 • Third and Fourth year: $ 5,500 no change • Students in prep coursework: $ 7,000 • Teacher certification pgms: $ 7,000 • Grad Unsub: $12,000 • Effective: Loans disbursed on or after 7/1/07

  4. Interest Rates • Stafford Loan Interest Rates: • Maintains scheduled fixed interest rate for Stafford Loans at 6.8% fixed for new loans made on or after 7/1/06 • Consolidation Loan Interest Rates: • Maintains current fixed interest rates (calculated using the weighted average of the loans being consolidated, rounded to the next 1/8 percent) on both FFEL and DL

  5. Interest Rates • PLUS for FFEL fixed at 8.5% • PLUS for DL fixed at 7.9% • Effective: Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2006

  6. Borrower Fees - FFELP • Phase out of current 3% FFELP Stafford origination fee by 7/1/10 • Loans 1st disbursed on or after 7/1/06 2% • 7/1/07 1.5% • 7/1/08 1.0% • 7/1/09 .5% • 7/1/10 0.0% • Default Fee mandatory at 1% • Effective: Loans guaranteed on or after July 1st, 2006

  7. Borrower Fees – Direct Loans • Phase down of current statutory 4% DL Stafford origination fee by 7/1/10 • 7/1/06 3% • 7/1/07 2.5% • 7/1/08 2.0% • 7/1/09 1.5% • 7/1/10 1.0% • Effective: 7/1/06

  8. PLUS Eligibility • New PLUS eligibility for graduate and professional students • Same eligibility criteria as parent PLUS including credit checks and no in-school status • Eligible for in-school deferment • Effective: Loans certified on or after 7/1/06

  9. PLUS Eligibility • Processing • Grad students fill out both borrower and student section • Addendum sent (on all loans, including Stafford) • Adjusted disclosure for existing MPN’s

  10. PLUS Eligibility • Borrower required to apply for max Stafford 1st • Borrower must complete FAFSA • Credit Check/Endorsers • Loan limit = COA – EFA

  11. Consolidation Loans • No re-consolidation allowed • Unless FFEL consolidator is delinquent and wants DL ICR • Eliminates ability of borrower to request early repayment status or forego grace in order to consolidate • Single Holder Rule subsequently eliminated • Eliminates DL in-school consolidation • Eliminates joint consolidation loans • Effective: Applications received on or after 7/1/06

  12. Teacher LoanForgiveness • Extends Teacher Loan Forgiveness from Teacher-Taxpayer Act • $17,500 for highly qualified math, science and special ed teachers at qualified low-income schools • Effective: February 8th, 2006 • Retroactive to Oct. 1, 2005

  13. Teacher Loan Forgiveness for Private School Teachers • Under “certain conditions,” private school teachers who are exempt from State certification requirements may still be eligible for loan forgiveness. Effective: February 8th, 2006 Retroactive to Oct. 1, 2005

  14. Military Deferment • The creation of a deferment for FFEL, Direct Loan and Perkins Loan Program borrowers who serve on active duty military service during times of war or national emergency, and a reduction of subsidies paid to lenders Effective: July 1, 2006

  15. Disbursement Rule Changes • Reinstatement of low-default disbursement rule waivers • School must have: • cohort default rate less than 10% for • 3 most recent fiscal years • School Exempt from: • Multiple disbursements for single term loans and • from the 30-day delay requirement for first time students. • Effective: February 8, 2006

  16. Disbursement Rule Changes • Schools must participate in active confirmation for late disbursements • Including instructions and right to cancel • Return of Title IV time-frame increased from 30 to 45 days from withdrawal determination

  17. School As Lender • The school must have met the requirements to be an eligible lender as of February 7, and • The school must have made a loan on or before April 1, 2006.

  18. School as Lender • Under the new law, school lenders: • Cannot make loans to undergraduate students • Cannot make PLUS loans to parents or graduate/professional students • Shall not make a loan to a borrower not enrolled at that school • Can make both subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans to graduate or professional students • Must offer a lower origination fee and/or interest rate than allowed by law.

  19. School As Lender • Other new restrictions on school lenders include: • Cannot have a cohort default rate greater than 10% (previously 15%) • Must use a competitive basis for awarding a contract for financing, servicing or administering loans • Must submit an annual compliance audit to ED • Earnings (special allowance, interest, etc.) must be used for need-based grant aid and must supplement, not supplant funds that would otherwise go toward grant aid. • Interest rate and origination fee discounts can be included in administrative costs • Eligible lender trustee arrangements apply

  20. Rehabilitation • Reduces required payments from 12 to 9 consecutive • Must be made within 20 rather than 15 days from due date • Note that current language still requires payments within 15 days for regaining Title IV eligibility

  21. Escrow • Lenders may not begin to bill for interest subsidy prior to 3 days before the 1st disbursement date • Regardless of if the funds are sent through an escrow agent • Funds may not stay in escrow longer than 10 days (reduced from 21)

  22. Claims • Ineligible borrower claims • Disbursed on or after July 1, 2006 will receive 100% rather than 98% reinsurance • Exceptional performers • Default claims submitted on or after July 1st, 2006 will receive 99% rather than 100% reinsurance • This includes loans disbursed prior to 10/1/1993 • Non-exceptional performers • Default claims paid by the guarantor on or after July 1st, 2006 will receive 99% rather than 100% reinsurance • Still receives 100% on pre-10/1/1993 loans

  23. College Access Initiative • Guarantors must provide information on postsecondary education opportunities, programs, web sites, publications and other services within their designated states • Must be provided to ED and the public • Effective 270 days from date of enactment

  24. Miscellaneous • False Certification • Loans may be discharged if was falsely approved as a result of identity theft • Suspect must be convicted • Fraud • PLUS borrowers (including graduates) convicted or pleading no contest must pay back all monies prior to future Title IV eligibility

  25. Miscellaneous • Forbearance • Mandatory forbearances may be verbal • Includes: • Excessive debt • National service • Medical internship • Lender must send terms in writing

  26. Miscellaneous • Wage Garnishments • Guarantors may garnish up to 15% of a defaulted borrower’s disposable pay • Per pay period • Up from 10%

  27. Opus Dei - The Mixed Bag of Changes Eileen O’Leary Director, Student Aid and Finance Stonehill College

  28. Definition of Academic Year • Changes to the definition of an academic year for programs measured in clock hours only • Minimum number of weeks necessary to define an academic year is reduced to 26 for clock hour programs. • Effective 7/1/2006

  29. Distance Education • Changes and additions to provisions related to distance education and direct assessment academic programs • Under the amended HEA, courses offered by telecommunications that meet certain conditions are no longer considered correspondence courses, and students enrolled in telecommunications courses are no longer considered to be correspondence students.

  30. Distance Education • The amended definition of a telecommunications course acknowledges the importance of interactivity in electronically-delivered instruction and clearly distinguishes telecommunications from correspondence. • Statute: Section 8020 of the HERA adds a new type of eligible program to section 481(b) of the HEA--an instructional program that uses direct assessment of student learning, or recognizes the direct assessment of student learning by others, in lieu of measuring student learning in credit hours or clock hours. The assessment must be consistent with the institution's or program's accreditation. The HERA also provides that the Secretary will determine initially whether each program for which an institution proposes to use direct assessment is an eligible program. • The statute requires an institution to apply to the Secretary to have a direct assessment program determined to be an eligible program.

  31. Drug Conviction Changes • Ineligible for Title IV, HEA program assistance only if the conviction for a Federal or State offense involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance is for conduct that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid.

  32. Ineligibility Based on Fraud • A student or parent who has not repaid fraudulently obtained Title IV, HEA program funds is ineligible for additional Title IV, program assistance until the fraudulently obtained funds have been repaid.

  33. R2T4 Changes • Allows multiple leaves of absence within total of 180 days per year • Using scheduled clock hours to calculate the portion of the period completed (including the determination of the 60% point and regardless of the student’s progress, thereby eliminating the regulatory 70% rule • Limits aid subject to return to Pell, FSEOG, Perkins, FFEL, and DL • Requires institution to contact a borrower who is eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds to confirm that he/she still requires the funds and to explain the obligation to repay

  34. R2T4 • Allows the institution 45 days to return its share of unearned funds, from date it determined a withdrawal occurred (from 30 days in current regulation) • Clarifies that a student need not return more than 50% of the grant assistance he/she received for the period (rather than 50% of the grant amount subject to return) • Establishes a $50 de minimis for a student’s grant repayment • Effective July 1, 2006

  35. Need Analysis • Increases dependent student’s IPA to $3000 from $2200 (2007-2008) • Decreases the assessment of dependent student assets to 20% from 35% (2007-2008) • For independent students with dependents: • Reduces asset conversion rate to 7% from 12% (2007-2008)

  36. Need Analysis • Increases the IPA for independent students without dependents to $6050 if single or married with both in college (from $5000) (2007-2008) • To $9700 if married with one in college (from $8000) (2007-2008) • Reduces asset conversion rate to 20% from 35% (2007-2008)

  37. Simplified Needs Test • Eliminates the requirement that the dependent student meet the same tax filing criterion that the parents must meet • Adds alternative to the tax filing status: • Parents or student (or independent student & spouse) received benefits at some time during previous 12 month period under a means-tested federal benefit program (not Title IV) eg. • SSI, food stamps, school lunches, TANF, WIC, and other programs identified by ED • $50,000 AGI cap remains unchanged using either method above • Effective 2006-2007

  38. Automatic Zero EFC • Eliminates the requirement that the dependent student meet the same tax filing criterion that the parents must meet • Adds same alternative to the tax filing status under Simplified Needs Test • Changes the AGI cap to $20,000 regardless of criterion used above • Effective 2006-2007

  39. Independent Student Definition • Expanded to include members of the armed services currently serving on active duty for other than training purposes • Effective 2006-2007

  40. Assets • Count qualified education benefits as assets, except that they cannot be counted as an asset of a dependent student (eg. 529 plans, prepaid tuition plans, Coverdell education savings accounts) • Deleted language that treated tuition prepayment plans as a straight deduction from COA • Excluded any family-owned and –controlled small business with 100 or fewer full-time or full-time equivalent employees • Effective 2006-2007

  41. COA • COA may include room and board for less-than-half-time students for a limited number of semesters • COA may include one-time costs of obtaining first professional credentials for a student in a program requiring professional licensure or certification

  42. COA • COA may include room and board for less-than-half-time students for a limited number of semesters • COA may include one-time costs of obtaining first professional credentials for a student in a program requiring professional licensure or certification

  43. Being Smart about SMART (and ACG) or the Beginning of a New Age Bernie Pekala Director, Student Financial Strategies Boston College

  44. HERA – created two new grant programs • Academic Competitiveness Grant – ACG • National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant -National SMART Grant

  45. HERA – Participating Schools • All schools that participate in Pell and offer an eligible educational program must participate in ACG and SMART • No new Program Participation Agreement (PPA) required • No Administrative Cost Allowance (ACA)

  46. ACG Eligibility Requirements • U.S. Citizen • Federal Pell Grant Recipient • Full-time enrollment as a first or second year student in a qualifying program of study

  47. ACG Eligibility Requirements • 1st Year Students • May not have been previously enrolled in a program of undergraduate education • Have completed secondary school program of study after 01/01/2006 • 2nd Year Students • Have completed secondary school program of study after 01/01/2005 • Have 3.0 G.P.A. in an eligible program

  48. ACG Requirements • ACG requires completion of a rigorous high school program • ED has outlined options to meet this requirement in • Dear Colleague Letter GEN-06-08

  49. Rigorous Secondary Programs Include • 4 years of English • 3 years of Math – Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Statistics, Data Analysis • 3 years of Science – must be at least 1 year each of least two of the following • Biology, • Chemistry • Physics • 3 years of social studies • 1 year of a language other than English

  50. State Scholars Initiative Requirements • An advanced or honors secondary program established by a state and in existence for the 04/05 or the 05/06 academic year • Completion of at least two Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses with a passing test score • The website for information on individual states’ rigorous secondary programs of study ishttp://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/about/ac-smart/state-programs06.html