Uncover the Mysteries of the Law and Regulations Devin Croft Margaret Day

What’s Important?
• How Does a Bill Become a Law? • Laws VS. Regulations • What's the Federal Register? • What's the Blue Book? • What is meant by “Guidance"? • Finding Answers Using the Federal Student Aid Handbook and Dear Colleague Letters

Title IV Federal Student Aid Programs
• Pell Grants • ACG & National SMART Grant • Campus Based Programs  FSEOG, FWS, Federal Perkins Loans • FFELP/FDLP


Who’s Responsible?
• Congress  Creation and modification of programs  Need analysis formula  Maximum grant and loan amounts  Amount of funding
 Executive

Branch  Cash management  Audit criteria  Enforcement (L, S & T)  FAFSA design  Reporting requirements


Legislation VS. Regulation
• Legislation  Congress Adopts with presidential signature or after overriding a veto  Amends the U.S. Code -- the statute (e.g., Higher Education Act)  Public Laws (108-XX)


How the Law is Numbered
• P.L. 105-244 (10/7/98) reauthorized the HEA • Title IV, Part G - General Provisions •Subpart (Arabic numerals when used) •Section 484 - Student Eligibility •Subsection (c) - Satisfactory Progress

• Example: Sec. 484(c)(1)(A)

– Paragraph (1) – Subparagraph (A) – Division - lower case Roman - (i), (ii), (iii) – Clause - upper case Roman - (I), (II), (III)


Legislative Process
• Authorizing Legislation:  Introduced by a Representative or Senator to amend or create a federal statute • Appropriating Legislation:  Sets annual funding levels for federal programs


Legislative Process Applied to HEA
• Authorizing Legislation  Established HEA of 1965 as amended  Reauthorization changes/renews authorizing legislation approximately every 5 years • Appropriating Legislation  Annually funds programs  Budget bills


What is Reauthorization?
Process of “reauthorizing” or continuing the existing law • Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended  Originally enacted as part of President Johnson’s “Great Society” programs  Authorizations “sunset” and must be renewed  Authorizes all federal Higher Education Programs

Why Reauthorization?
• Reauthorization provides the opportunity for Congressional review  Public hearings  More time to consider ideas  Ability to review fundamental issues  Access  Choice  Eligibility  Subsidies  Accountability

Hand-off to the Executive Branch
• Presidential signature required on all changes to the law –Date of enactment is the date that the President signs a bill into law


Hand-off to the Executive Branch

• Executive Branch must execute and enforce Laws  Statutory language may be vague  Congress may direct that regulations be written or may prohibit regulation  Regulations are the primary vehicles that executive branch agencies use to interpret and enforce statutes  Sub-Regulatory guidance includes Dear Colleague Letters, forms, Audit Guide

Legislation VS. Regulation
• Regulations  Promulgated by appropriate federal agency

 Interprets

•U.S. Department of Education •Reviewed by Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

statute  Amends Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.)

and adds detail to


Regulatory Process
• Negotiated Rulemaking (Neg-Reg)  Mandated by the Higher Education Act (HEA)  All rules implementing changes to the Higher Education Act, and revisions to regulations, are subject to this process  Secretary consults with the “community”

Regulatory Process

• New/amended regulations initially published in the Federal Register  Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
 Final

• Comment periods 30, 45, 60, or 120 days • Effective date 45-days following publication or • Later date published in Federal Register


• Regulations compiled once a year

 Notices

Regulatory Process - Master Calendar

• Rules must be published by the preceding November 1 to be effective for an academic year  Example: rules published by November 1, 2007 will be effective on July 1, 2008 for 2008-2009 award year  Secretary may permit earlier implementation

Title IV Regulations Federal Register
• The official daily compilation of federal regulations and notices • prepared by the NARA; published by GPO • Available on online or in hardcopy

Title IV Regulations Code of Federal Regulations
• Codification of the regulations • Divided into 50 titles; Title 34 governs federal financial aid • Updated once each calendar year • Available online or in hardcopy


How Regulations Are Numbered

• Title - 34 • Part – numbers 600 thru 694 • Subpart – numbers following the decimal point • Section – small letter, e.g. (a) • Explanatory Subsections – (1)(i)(A) • Example: the Standards of Administrative Capability Regulatory Cite is 34 CFR 668.16

Guidance vs. Laws and/or Regulations
• Guidance is information that provides direction or advice as to a decision or course of action • Guidance, as related to the Title IV programs, is  Issued by ED  Helps financial aid administrators interpret laws/regs  Administered in several different forms


Title IV Guidance FSA Handbook
• Primary resource for financial aid administrators • Provides “plain language” explanation of laws and regulations • Published annually • Available online or in hardcopy


Title IV Guidance The Blue Book
• Primary resource for school Business Office • Available online or in hardcopy


Title IV Guidance Dear Colleague Letters
• Issued by ED to provide additional policy/guidance  Q&A’s  Technical information  Introduce new rules  Explain rules in existence  Explain policies

Dear Colleague Letter Numbering
 ANN Training Announcements  CB Campus-based Programs  FP Financial Partners (FFEL lenders & guarantee agencies)  GEN General Distribution P Pell Grant Program  DLB Direct Loan Bulletins

Dear Colleague Letter Numbering
GEN = type of letter 07 = calendar year 02 = number of letter in that calendar year Second GEN letter in 2007

Title IV Guidance Electronic Announcements

• Less formal memos/letters from Senior FSA staff to assist schools • Provide updates, guidance, reminders, notices • Delivered electronically  Sent to SAIG mailbox  Listed on IFAP by date

Where can I find this information?
• IFAP – • ifap.ed.gov

• FAP Portal – fsa4schools.ed.gov


Federal Student Aid (FSA) Handbook


Order hardcopies of Handbooks, Blue Books, CFRs and other items


What’s Involved? - Review
• The Law – Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended  Created by Congress • Regulations – implement the Law  Created by ED through negotiated rulemaking process • Dear Colleague Letters  Issued by ED to provide additional policy/guidance • Electronic Announcements  Less formal information from ED to assist schools

Legislation and Regulation

Now You’re An Expert!!!


We appreciate your feedback and comments. We can be reached at:
Devin Croft • Phone: (303) 844-3677 ext. 125 • Email: devin.croft@ed.gov Margaret Day • Phone: (303) 844-3677 ext. 127 • Email: margaret.day@ed.gov 32

Please provide any comments regarding this training or the trainers to: Jo Ann Borel Title IV Training Supervisor joann.borel@ed.gov 202-377-3930