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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Aug 14, 2008.
Higher Education Opportunity Act - Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) to revise and reauthorize HEA programs.
Title I: General Provisions - (Sec. 101) Revises the general definition of an institution of higher education (IHE) to include schools that: (1) admit students whose secondary education was conducted in a home school setting; (2) award degrees (not necessarily bachelor's degrees) that are acceptable for admission to a graduate or professional degree program; and (3) enroll students who will be dually or concurrently enrolled in a secondary school.
(Sec. 102) Revises the definition of an IHE for purposes of title IV student assistance programs.
Requires graduate medical schools located outside the country, that qualified to participate in the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program owing to their having a state-approved clinical training program as of January 1, 1992, to have continuously operated a clinical training program in at least one state that is approved by such state.
Allows foreign nursing schools to participate in the FFEL program if : (1) they have agreements with hospitals or nursing schools located in this country that require students to complete their training at such hospitals and schools, and such schools to provide graduates with their degrees; (2) they certify only subsidized Stafford loans and unsubsidized Stafford loans and PLUS loans under the FFEL program; (3) they agree to reimburse the Secretary of Education (Secretary) for the cost of any student loan defaults included in their cohort default rates; and (4) at least 75% of their students or graduates who take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses pass such exam.
Directs the advisory panel of medical experts to report to the Secretary and Congress, within one year of this Act's enactment, its recommendations for alternate eligibility requirements allowing foreign graduate medical schools with a clinical training program approved by a state before 2008 to participate in the FFEL program. Authorizes the Secretary to issue regulations establishing such alternate eligibility criteria.
Raises from 60% to 75% the pass rate required of foreign graduate medical schools on examinations administered by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates if such schools are to participate in the FFEL program.
Includes as proprietary IHEs any schools offering baccalaureate degrees in liberal arts and schools that enroll students who will be dually or concurrently enrolled in a secondary school.
Includes as postsecondary vocational institutions any schools that enroll students who will be dually or concurrently enrolled in a secondary school.
(Sec. 103) Adds definitions of critical foreign language, distance education, diploma mill, early childhood education program, poverty line, universal design, and universal design for learning.
(Sec. 104) Elaborates on the current sense of Congress regarding the speech and association rights of students in higher education to specify that such students should not be intimidated, harassed, discouraged from speaking out, or discriminated against.
(Sec. 106) Reconstitutes the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity in the Department of Education (Department) to advise the Secretary on accreditation matters until October 2014.
(Sec. 107) Requires biennial IHE reviews of their alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs to include a determination as to: (1) the number of drug- and alcohol-related violations and fatalities occurring on the campus or as part of their activities that are reported to campus officials; and (2) the number and type of sanctions the IHEs impose on students or employees as a result of such violations or fatalities.
Repeals the National Recognition Awards for outstanding IHE alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs.
Reauthorizes appropriations for alcohol and drug abuse prevention grants for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 108) Extends an authorization of appropriations to continue coverage of prior rights and obligations for servicing outstanding bonds from certain earlier programs under title VII of the HEA before it was amended by the Higher Education Amendments of 1992 and the Higher Education Amendments of 1998.
(Sec. 109) Directs the Secretary to place information on the Department's website to assist students, families, and employers in understanding what diploma mills are and how to identify and avoid them.
(Sec. 110) Directs the Secretary to display a link to the Department's student financial aid website in a prominent place on the homepage of the Department's website.
Requires the Secretary to provide access, via the Department's student financial aid website, to: (1) information concerning student financial aid options provided by other federal departments and agencies; (2) an Armed Forces information website, to be created by the Secretary, providing information about all federal and state student financial aid available to members and veterans of the Armed Forces and their families; and (3) a National Database on Financial Assistance for the Study of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, which is also to be created by the Secretary.
Prohibits charging user fees for use of the Department's financial aid websites.
(Sec. 111) Directs the Secretary to place on the College Navigator website each year lists of the: (1) 5% of IHEs that have the highest tuition and fees for the most recent year; (2) 5% of IHEs that have the highest net price (price minus student aid) for the most recent year; (3) 5% of IHEs that have the largest percentage increase in tuition and fees over the most recent three years; (4) 5% of IHEs that have the largest percentage increase in net price over the most recent three years; (5) 10% of IHEs that have the lowest tuition and fees for the most recent year; and (6) 10% of IHEs that have the lowest net price for the most recent year.
Requires IHEs on the lists for the largest percentage increases in tuition and fees or net price over the most recent three years to issue reports to the Secretary explaining such increases, the steps they will take toward reducing costs, and the extent to which their state governments are responsible for such cost increases. Requires the Secretary to summarize such reports in a report to be provided to Congress and placed on the College Navigator website.
Requires the Secretary to report annually on the College Navigator website comparisons for each state of percentage changes over the most recent five years in: (1) state spending per full-time student in public IHEs; (2) the tuition and fees such students have been charged over the most recent five years; and (3) the total amount of state need- and merit-based aid provided to such students.
Requires the Secretary to develop, and IHEs to make available on their websites, a net price calculator that allows current and prospective students, families, and other consumers to estimate a IHE's net price for individual students.
Requires the Secretary to post on the College Navigator website: (1) additional basic information about each IHE's students, teachers, assistance, costs, safety, services, and credit transfer policies; and (2) a link to the section of the Bureau of Labor Statistics website that provides regional data on starting salaries in all major occupations.
Directs the Commissioner of Education Statistics to continue to update and improve the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, including the reporting of information by institutions and the timeliness of the data collected.
Requires the Secretary to develop, and make available on the College Navigator website, a multi-year tuition calculator to help current and prospective students, their families, and other consumers estimate the amount of tuition an individual may pay to attend an IHE in future years and compare such estimate with those for other schools.
Directs the Secretary to conduct a survey of title IV student aid recipients on a state-by-state basis at least once every four years.
(Sec. 112) Requires publishers informing teachers or those selecting course materials at IHEs about available textbooks or supplements to include written information concerning: (1) the price the publisher would charge for such items to the bookstore associated with such institution and, if available, the price the publisher charges the public; (2) the copyright dates of the three previous editions of such textbooks; (3) substantial revisions to such items; and (4) whether such items are available in other formats, including paperback and unbound, and the price the publisher would charge the bookstore and, if available, the price the publisher charges the public, for items in those formats.
Requires a publisher that sells a textbook and any accompanying supplement as a single bundled item also to sell them as separately priced and unbundled items.
Directs IHEs to include on their Internet course schedules the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price for each required or recommended textbook or supplement for listed courses. Requires an institution to: (1) use the author, title, publisher, and copyright date if the ISBN is unavailable; and (2) indicate that the required information has yet to be determined if its disclosure for a course is impractical.
Requires IHEs to provide college bookstores, upon request, with: (1) their course schedules for the subsequent academic period; (2) the information this Act requires to be placed on Internet course schedules regarding each textbook or supplement required or recommended for each course; and (3) the number of students enrolled, and the maximum enrollment, in each course.
Encourages IHEs to inform students of ways to save money on course materials.
Directs the Comptroller General to report to Congress on the implementation of these requirements by IHEs, college bookstores, and publishers.
(Sec. 113) Prohibits the creation or maintenance of a federal database of personally identifiable student information. States that such prohibition does not apply to certain data systems in use before this Act's enactment, or state databases that track individuals over time.
(Sec. 114) Prohibits a state from charging more than the instate tuition for attending a public IHE in that state to: (1) members of the Armed Forces who are on active duty for more than 30 days and whose domicile or permanent duty station is in such state; or (2) such members' dependents.
Provides that, even if such members' permanent duty station is subsequently changed to a location outside the state, they or their dependents must continue to be charged no more than the instate tuition if they remain continuously enrolled at such IHE in the state.
(Sec. 115) Establishes a State Higher Education Information System Pilot program under which the Secretary shall award competitive grants to up to five states, consortia of states, or consortia of IHEs to: (1) design, test, and implement state-level postsecondary student data systems that provide the maximum benefits to states, IHEs, and state policymakers; and (2) examine the costs and burdens involved in implementing such systems.
(Sec. 116) Requires states to maintain or increase their funding of non-capital and indirect research and development costs at public IHEs and their funding of financial aid at private IHEs or become ineligible for this Act's new grants to expand college access and increase college persistence under the College Access Challenge Grant program. Allows the Secretary to waive such requirement for states facing exceptional circumstances.
(Sec. 117) Revises requirements for: (1) the performance-based organization for delivery of federal student financial assistance; and (2) procurement flexibility.
(Sec 119) Prohibits IHEs from using federal HEA funds to lobby for federal contracts, grants, loans, cooperative agreements, or earmarks.
(Sec. 120) Creates a new part E (Lender and Institution Requirements Related to Educational Loans) under title I of the HEA.
Directs the Secretary, within 18 months of this Act's enactment, to determine the minimum information that lenders, IHEs, and IHE affiliates participating in preferred lender arrangements must provide regarding FFELs offered to students and their families. Includes within such minimum information certain information required under the Truth in Lending Act. Requires the Secretary to develop a model disclosure form that preferred lenders, IHEs, and IHE affiliates may use.
Requires IHEs and their affiliates that participate in preferred lender arrangements to include on their websites and financial aid informational materials: (1) the minimum FFEL information required by the Secretary; (2) the maximum amount of student aid available under title IV of the HEA; (3) a statement that the IHE is required to process FFEL documents received from any eligible lender the student selects; and (4) with respect to private education loans, certain information required under the Truth in Lending Act.
Requires lenders in preferred lender arrangements annually to provide participating IHEs, IHE affiliates, and the Secretary with the minimum FFEL information required by the Secretary for each type of FFEL such lender plans to offer for the next award year.
Requires IHEs and their affiliates in preferred lender arrangements to: (1) prohibit providers of private education loans from implying that a loan is being made by the school or its affiliate; (2) ensure that the name of private lenders is on all materials relating to such loans; (3) issue annual reports to the Secretary and the public that include the minimum information required regarding FFELs and private loans issued under such arrangements, as well as an explanation of the rationale for entering into such arrangements; and (4) comply with the code of conduct schools participating in title IV loan programs are required to develop (see Sec. 493).
Requires lenders of FFELs that are in preferred lender arrangements to certify annually their compliance with this Act's requirements.
Directs IHEs and their affiliates that provide information about private education loans to: (1) provide prospective borrowers with certain information required under the Truth in Lending Act; (2) inform them that they may qualify for assistance under title IV of the HEA that has more favorable terms than private loans; and (3) ensure that title IV loan and private loan information is kept distinct.
Requires lenders to provide their borrowers of: (1) FFEL or Direct Loans (DLs) with specified written information concerning loan costs, terms, and repayment before or when they disburse such loans; and (2) private education loans with disclosures required under the Truth in Lending Act.
Requires FFEL lenders to report annually to the Secretary on certain reimbursements provided to agents of IHEs and their affiliates who are involved in financial aid. Requires the Secretary to summarize such reports in an annual report to Congress.
Directs the Secretary to provide IHEs participating in the DL program with completed model disclosure forms that contain the same information for DLs that is required to be disclosed for FFELs. Requires IHEs to provide students and prospective students with the information on such forms or on comparable forms they have designed.
Title II: Teacher Quality Enhancement - (Sec. 201) Revises and reauthorizes part A (Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants for States and Partnerships) of title II of the HEA.
Eliminates the State grant and Teacher Recruitment grant programs.
Turns the Partnership grant program into the revised Teacher Quality Partnership grant program.
Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive five-year grants to partnerships of high-need local educational agencies (LEAs), high-need schools, IHEs, and, as applicable, high-need early childhood education programs for use in carrying out a pre-baccalaureate teacher preparation program, a teaching residency program, or a combination of such programs. Authorizes the partnerships to use grant funds to implement a leadership development program, which may be carried out in partnership with a rural LEA.
Requires the pre-baccalaureate teacher preparation program to include: (1) educational reforms; (2) clinical experience and interaction; (3) induction programs for new teachers that provide them with mentoring and support for at least their first two years of teaching; (4) literacy training; and (5) teacher recruitment mechanisms.
Requires the teaching residency program to prepare teachers for success in the high-need schools in the partnership by engaging residents in rigorous graduate-level coursework to earn a master's degree while they undertake a guided teaching apprenticeship alongside a trained and experienced mentor teacher who may be relieved of teaching duties. Requires teacher residents to be: (1) recent graduates of a four-year IHE; or (2) mid-career professionals from outside the field of education who possess strong content knowledge or a record of professional accomplishment. Provides residents with a living stipend or salary during the one-year residency program in exchange for at least three years of service as highly qualified teachers in a high-need field in a high-need school served by the high-need LEA immediately following their successful completion of the residency program.
Requires the leadership development program to include: (1) preparing students for careers as school leaders; (2) a preservice clinical education program; (3) an induction program for new school leaders; and (4) school leader recruitment mechanisms. Includes in such program, in addition to students, any mid-career professionals from outside the field of education who possess strong content knowledge or a record of professional accomplishment, and current teachers who aspire to be school leaders or school leaders who aspire to be superintendents.
Allows partnership grantees to use grants for the pre-baccalaureate teacher preparation and teaching residency programs to improve the quality of such programs by partnering with entities that develop digital educational content.
Requires partnership grantees to provide an amount equal to the amount of the grant from nonfederal sources for program activities, unless the Secretary grants them a hardship waiver.
Adds programs that offer alternative routes to state certification and licensure to the teacher preparation programs that are the subject of annual reports which IHEs must provide to their states and the public, and states must provide to the Secretary and the public, concerning certain measures of program effectiveness, such as student success on certification or licensure assessments. Requires IHEs to include in such reports information concerning their goals for increasing the number of prospective teachers trained in teacher shortage areas. Prohibits the Secretary from using such information to create a national list or ranking of states, institutions, or schools.
Requires IHEs that provide teacher training and enroll students who receive HEA assistance to set annual quantifiable goals for increasing the number of prospective teachers trained in teacher shortage areas designated by the Secretary or by the State, including mathematics, science, special education, and instruction of limited English proficient (LEP) students.
Authorizes appropriations for the Teacher Quality Partnership grant program for FY2009-FY2011.
Replaces the Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology program of part B of title II with the Enhancing Teacher Education program.
Authorizes appropriations for such program for FY2009-FY2014.
Establishes a Preparing Teachers for Digital Age Learners program authorizing the Secretary to award to consortia of IHEs, states or LEAs, and entities able to assist in the technology-related reform of teacher preparation programs: (1) partnership grants for developing long-term partnerships among consortium members that are focused on effective teaching with modern digital tools and content that connect preservice teacher preparation with high-need schools; or (2) transformative grants for transforming the way departments, schools, and colleges of education teach classroom technology integration to teacher candidates.
Limits the federal share of any project's cost to 75%.
Establishes an Honorable Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence program authorizing the Secretary to award grants to certain minority-serving IHEs, or partnerships between such IHEs and other IHEs, to establish centers of excellence for teacher education.
Requires the use of such grants to ensure that current and future teachers are highly qualified by: (1) reforming teacher preparation programs so that teachers are able to understand scientifically-based research and use advanced technology effectively in the classroom; (2) providing preservice clinical experience and mentoring to prospective teachers, and increased interaction between IHE faculty and new and experienced elementary and secondary school teachers and administrators; (3) implementing initiatives to promote the retention of highly qualified teachers and principals; (4) awarding need-based scholarships for students in teacher preparation programs; (5) disseminating information on effective teacher preparation practices; and (6) conducting certain other activities authorized under title II.
Establishes a Teach to Reach grant program authorizing the Secretary to award competitive grants to partnerships between IHEs and high-need LEAs to more effectively prepare general education teacher candidates to instruct disabled students in their classrooms. Requires such preparation to include extensive clinical experience, with mentoring and induction support throughout participants' first year of full-time teaching. Requires grantees to evaluate their programs and the Secretary to use such evaluations to report to Congress and the public on best practices for instructing disabled students in general education classrooms.
Establishes an Adjunct Teachers Corps program authorizing the Secretary to award competitive grants to LEAs or partnerships of LEAs and public or private educational organizations or businesses to recruit and train individuals outside of the elementary and secondary education system who have expertise in mathematics, science, or critical foreign languages to serve as adjunct content specialists in such subjects at secondary schools.
Directs the Secretary to make grants to IHEs to provide graduate fellowships to students who are pursuing studies that lead to doctorates in studies that equip them to teach others to become highly qualified elementary and secondary school mathematics and science teachers, special education teachers, and teachers who provide instruction for LEP students. Requires fellowship recipients to teach, for a period of time equal to the term of their grant, at IHEs that have teacher preparation programs.
Title III: Institutional Aid - Revises and reauthorizes title III (Institutional Aid programs) of the HEA.
(Sec. 301) Expands the authorized uses of institutional aid to include remedial education, English language instruction, and educational or counseling services to improve the financial and economic literacy of students or their families.
(Sec. 303) Establishes a formula grant program, including a minimum grant amount, for tribally controlled colleges and universities (replacing the current competitive grant program). Authorizes the use of grant funds for: (1) acquiring adjacent property on which to construct instructional facilities; (2) instruction in tribal governance or tribal public policy; and (3) developing and improving facilities for Internet and other distance education technologies.
Authorizes the Secretary to reserve 30% of the appropriations for such colleges and universities to award one-year grants for their construction, maintenance, and renovation needs. (Sec. 305) Establishes a new program awarding formula grants to Predominantly Black Institutions to: (1) enhance their capacity to serve more low- and middle-income Black American students; (2) expand higher education opportunities for students eligible for student assistance under title IV of the HEA by encouraging such students to prepare for college and persist in secondary and postsecondary education; and (3) strengthen their financial ability to serve the academic needs of such students.
Defines Predominantly Black Institutions as accredited institutions serving at least 1,000 undergraduate students at least: (1) 50% of whom are pursuing a bachelor's or associate's degree; (2) 40% of whom are Black Americans; and (3) 50% of whom are low-income or first-generation college students. Requires the spending per full-time undergraduate student of such institutions to be low in comparison with that of institutions offering similar instruction.
Allows grant recipients to use up to 20% of their grant on an endowment fund, provided they raise nonfederal matching funds at least equal to the amount of the grant used for such endowment. Allots funding among institutions on the basis of their share of Pell Grant recipients, graduates, and graduates pursuing a higher degree.
Establishes a minimum allotment for each institution which is to be ratably reduced if appropriations are insufficient to pay it.
(Sec. 306) Establishes a new competitive grant program for Native American-serving, non-tribal institutions to enhance their capacity to serve Native Americans and low-income individuals. Requires the undergraduate student enrollment of Native Americans at such institutions to be at least 10% of the total undergraduate enrollment.
Sets the minimum grant at $200,000.
(Sec. 307) Establishes a new competitive grant program for Asian American and Pacific Islander-serving institutions to enhance their capacity to serve Asian American and Pacific Islander students and low-income individuals.
Defines Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions as accredited institutions with: (1) a significant enrollment of financially needy students; and (2) an enrollment of undergraduate students that are at least 10% Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander students. Requires the spending per full-time undergraduate student of such institutions to be low in comparison with that of institutions offering similar instruction.
Gives grant priority to institutions with an enrollment of Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander students at least 10% of which are low-income individuals.
(Sec. 308) Revises the grant program for historically Black colleges and universities to direct the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Secretary to consult with the Commissioner for Education Statistics in determining professional and academic areas in which blacks are underrepresented.
Authorizes the use of grant funds for: (1) the acquisition of real property for campus facilities; (2) education or financial services information designed to improve the financial literacy and economic literacy of students or their families; and (3) services necessary for the implementation of approved projects or activities.
Conditions the eligibility of historically Black colleges and universities for grants on their furnishing the Secretary with annual data indicating that in the previous academic year they enrolled Pell grant recipients, graduated students, and, where appropriate, had graduates who, within five years of graduation, went on to graduate or professional school in disciplines in which Blacks are underrepresented.
Authorizes the use of grant funds by historically Black graduate and professional institutions for: (1) the acquisition of real property adjacent to the campus for campus facilities; (2) education or financial services information designed to improve the financial literacy and economic literacy of students or their families; (3) services necessary for the implementation of approved projects or activities, and (4) tutoring, counseling, and student service programs designed to improve academic success.
Adds to the list of eligible graduate and professional institutions. Increases the amount of appropriations reserved for grants to institutions on such list before such additions.
(Sec. 313) Increases the maximum and minimum Endowment Challenge grant available to certain minority-serving institutions.
(Sec. 314) Alters responsibilities of designated bonding authorities under the historically Black colleges and universities capital financing program.
Increases the principal amount of outstanding bonds for loans to historically Black colleges and universities which may be federally insured under such program.
Requires the Secretary to: (1) ensure that the selection process for the designated bonding authority is competitive and transparent; and (2) review the performance of the designated bonding authority after the third year of the insurance agreement to determine if such selection process should be revamped.
Requires the Secretary to report to Congress on the Department's progress in implementing the recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in October 2006 for improving the Historically Black College and Universities Capital Financing program.
Alters the size and composition of the HBCU Capital Financing Advisory Board. Requires the Board to advise the Secretary and Congress on construction financing issues facing historically Black colleges and universities and the feasibility of reducing their borrowing costs under the capital financing program.
(Sec. 315) Establishes a new YES Partnerships grant program for partnerships of IHEs, high-need LEAs, and community organizations to encourage underrepresented minority or low-income students in kindergarten through grade 12 to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through outreach and hands-on, experiential-based learning projects.
Allows the Secretary to contract with a advertising firm to implement a campaign encouraging: (1) young Americans to enter STEM fields, particularly Latin-Americans, African-Americans, and women underrepresented in such fields; and (2) professionals in those fields to teach such subjects to elementary and secondary school students.
(Sec. 316) Moves the Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Other Minority-Serving Institutions program, created under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, from title IV to title III of the HEA.
(Sec. 317) Allows the Secretary to provide technical assistance to institutions desiring a grant under title III.
(Sec. 318) Directs the Secretary to waive, for FY2009-FY2011, the application of specified title III requirements for IHEs affected by a Gulf of Mexico hurricane disaster that were receiving title III assistance at the time of such disaster. Allows the Secretary to waive such requirements for FY2012 and FY2013.
(Sec. 319) Authorizes title III appropriations for FY2009-FY2014.
Title IV: Student Assistance - Revises and reauthorizes title IV Student Assistance programs.
Part A: Grants to Students in Attendance at Institutions of Higher Education - (Sec. 401) Sets the authorized maximum Pell Grant award at $6,000 for academic year 2009-2010, $6,400 for academic year 2010-2011, $6,800 for academic year 2011-2012, $7,200 for academic year 2012-2013, $7,600 for academic year 2013-2014, and $8,000 for academic year 2014-2015.
Sets the minimum Pell Grant (currently $400) at 10% of the appropriated maximum grant level for that academic year; but allows the award of a grant equal to 10% of such level if students are eligible for a grant between 5% and 10% of such level.
Allows the awarding of an additional Pell Grant during a single award year to certain students who attend school year-round to accelerate their progress toward a degree or certificate.
Prohibits from receiving a Pell Grant any persons subject to involuntary civil commitment after incarceration for a forcible or non-forcible sexual offense.
Limits the period during which a student may receive Pell Grants to 18 semesters or the equivalent. Provides that, for students who are not enrolled full-time, only the fraction of time enrolled shall count toward such limits.
Eliminates the expected family contribution used in determining Pell Grant eligibility in the case of a student applicant whose parent or guardian was killed while performing military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001.
(Sec. 402) Makes July 1, 2009, the effective date for amendments to the Academic Competitiveness grant program made by the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008. Requires that, on or after such date, first or second year students desiring such grants must have completed rigorous secondary school college preparatory curricula either recognized as such by appropriate officials, consistent with state law, or by the Secretary in regulations which were in effect on May 6, 2008.
(Sec. 403) Reauthorizes appropriations for TRIO programs (of grants and contracts designed to identify qualified individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and help prepare them for a program of postsecondary education) for FY2009-FY2014.
Makes community-based organizations with experience in serving disadvantaged youth eligible for TRIO grants and contracts. Eliminates the requirement that there be exceptional circumstances before secondary schools are eligible recipients of such grants and contracts.
Extends the duration of TRIO grants to five years. Sets the minimum grant at $200,000, except for staff training and development programs.
Prohibits the Secretary from providing assistance to an otherwise eligible program that has fraudulently used TRIO funds.
Requires TRIO grant applicants to ensure that homeless and foster care youth, including youth who leave foster care after reaching age 13, receive program services. Makes such youth eligible to participate in TRIO programs.
Directs the Secretary to issue guidance regarding the rights and responsibilities of TRIO applicants during the application and evaluation process.
Establishes an appeals process for TRIO applicants.
Directs the Secretary to establish outcome criteria for such programs.
Prohibits veterans of the Armed Forces Reserves from being deemed ineligible to participate in TRIO because of age if they served on active duty for a period of more than 30 days or in support of a contingency operation on or after September 11, 2001.
Revises required activities and permissible activities under TRIO programs. Authorizes and, for many TRIO programs, requires the use of funds for services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of students.
Permits TRIO programs that are designed specially for students who are: (1) LEP; (2) from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education; (3) disabled; (4) homeless; (5) in foster care or aging out of foster care; or (6) other disconnected students.
Prohibits the denial of TRIO Upward Bound program participation to students who enter the program after the ninth grade.
Requires the Secretary to discontinue the absolute priority for Upward Bound program participant selection and evaluation published by the Department in the Federal Register on September 22, 2006.
Includes Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Native Pacific Islanders in the Postbaccalaureate Achievement program designed to provide disadvantaged college students with effective preparation for doctoral study.
(Sec. 404) Reauthorizes appropriations for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEARUP) for FY2009-FY2014.
Includes Disabled students in the GEARUP program.
Allows the Secretary to award six-year GEARUP grants or seven-year grants to grantees that provide services to students through their first year in college.
Requires grantees to provide: (1) students with the option of receiving services through their first year at an IHE, if the provision of such services was described in their grant application; and (2) services to students who have received services under a previous GEARUP grant, but have not yet completed the 12th grade.
Allows GEARUP applicants or grantees to request reduced matching requirements. Allows grantees to count toward the matching requirement amounts contributed to, and administrative costs for, GEARUP student scholarships.
Revises required activities and permissible activities under GEARUP.
Includes among permissible GEARUP activities: (1) support for dual or concurrent enrollment programs between secondary school and IHE partners; (2) provision of intensive extended school day, school year, or summer programs; (3) special programs or tutoring in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics; (4) promotion of the importance of a college education; and (5) enabling eligible students to enroll in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or college entrance examination preparation courses. Lists permissible GEARUP activities by state grantees.
Requires eligible entities, if they do not use a cohort approach in providing GEARUP services, to treat certain types of low-income, homeless, or disconnected students as priority students for participation in GEARUP.
Requires a certain portion of state GEARUP funds to be used for scholarships. Alters the formula for determining the minimum GEARUP scholarship.
(Sec. 405) Repeals the Academic Achievement Incentive Scholarships program.
(Sec. 406) Reauthorizes appropriations for federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) for FY2009-FY2014. Increases the allowance for books and supplies in determining cost of attendance under SEOG.
(Sec. 407) Reauthorizes appropriations for the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) Program for FY2009-FY2014. Increases the maximum LEAP grant from $5,000 to the lesser of $12,500 or the student's cost of attendance each academic year.
Replaces the Special Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (SLEAP) program with the Grants for Access and Persistence program. Requires state grantees to be in partnership with: (1) at least one public and one private IHE in the state, if applicable; (2) early information and intervention, mentoring, or outreach programs in the state; and (3) at least one philanthropic organization or business in the state. Requires such partnerships to: (1) coordinate the provision of financial assistance to low-income students; (2) provide need-based grants for access and persistence to eligible low-income students; (3) provide early notification to low-income students of their eligibility for financial aid; and (4) encourage such students' participation in early information and intervention, mentoring, or outreach programs.
Sets the federal share of funds for the Grants for Access and Persistence program at: (1) 57%, if the state partnership includes IHEs whose combined enrollment is less than half of the student enrollment in the state; and (2) 66.66%, if more than half of the students in the state are enrolled in a participating IHE.
(Sec. 408) Reauthorizes appropriations for special programs for students whose families are engaged in migrant and seasonal farmwork (the High School Equivalency program and the College Assistance Migrant Program, HEP/CAMP) for FY2009-FY2014.
Revises eligibility requirements for both programs to make it the students or their immediate family (currently, the students or their parents) which must engage in the requisite period of migrant and seasonal farmwork.
Includes preparation for college entrance examinations and activities to improve persistence and retention in postsecondary education among the services provided under the HEP program.
Adds economic or personal finance education, internships, and certain follow-up services to authorized CAMP activities.
Increases the minimum allocation for each project under both programs.
Requires that when fiscal year HEP/CAMP appropriations equal or exceed $40 million at least 45% of those appropriations be devoted to the HEP and at least 45% be devoted to the CAMP.
(Sec. 409) Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2014 for the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program. Makes home-schooled children eligible under the program.
(Sec. 410) Reauthorizes appropriations for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School program for FY2009-FY2014.
Increases the minimum grant available to IHEs and decreases the amount of Pell Grant funds they must award each fiscal year to be eligible for such grants, if fiscal year appropriations equal or exceed $20 million. Alters the definition of low-income students to include those who would be eligible for Pell grants but for their enrollment in graduate level studies or their temporary status in this country. Requires program participants to report annually to the Secretary regarding their activities.
Requires the Secretary to publicize the availability of grants under such program.
(Sec. 411) Repeals the Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnerships program.
(Sec. 412) Requires TEACH grant applicants to be provided with a disclosure form regarding the service obligation attending such grants. Directs the Secretary to identify extenuating circumstances that would excuse grant recipients from service obligations.
Directs the Secretary to submit biennial reports to Congress regarding the TEACH grant program.
Part B: Federal Family Education Loan Program - (Sec. 421) Extends federal insurance and interest subsidies on FFELs through FY2014, and through FY2018 for new FFELs provided to existing borrowers.
(Sec. 422) Excludes students' receipt of veterans' educational benefits, including benefits received under the Montgomery GI Bill, in determining their need for FFEL interest subsidies.
Requires lenders that provide student borrowers of unsubsidized FFELs with a loan deferment to inform such borrowers regarding the effect such deferment will have on the total cost of the loan.
Adds to the business inducements FFEL guaranty agencies are prohibited from offering IHEs and lenders to include stock or other securities, prizes, travel, entertainment expenses, and tuition payment or reimbursement. Prohibits guaranty agencies from performing or paying another person to perform any function the IHE is required to perform under the FFEL or DL programs.
Requires FFEL lenders granting forbearance to borrowers to provide them with information concerning its effect on the total cost of their loan and to keep them updated, at least once every 180 days, concerning the loan's accrual of interest and their option to discontinue forbearance at any time.
Requires guaranty agencies that receive default claims from FFEL lenders to provide defaulting borrowers with information regarding options for removing their loans from default.
(Sec. 423) Directs the Secretary to submit annually to Congress an evaluation of the effect voluntary flexibility agreements with guaranty agencies (providing such agencies with statutory or regulatory waivers) have on the FFEL program.
(Sec. 424) Authorizes lenders to provide PLUS FFELs to parents who, between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2009, are no more than 180 days delinquent on their home mortgages or medical bills, if they do not otherwise have adverse credit histories as determined pursuant to certain regulations in effect before enactment of the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008.
Allows the deferral of PLUS FFEL principal repayment by graduate or professional students and parents who are students until six months after the date they cease to carry at least one-half the normal full-time academic workload.
(Sec. 425) Directs lenders to inform borrowers seeking to consolidate loans: (1) of repayment terms, including the ability to prepay or change repayment plans; (2) whether FFEL or DL repayment-related benefits will be lost; (3) that certain Federal Perkins Loan (PL) interest-free periods and deferment and cancellation options will be lost; (4) that other lenders may offer different terms; and (5) that applying for such loans does not oblige borrowers to take them.
Requires the Secretary of Education to offer direct consolidation loans to eligible military personnel who want to avoid the accrual of interest on existing loans. (See section 451, below, which makes no-accrual DLs available to certain military personnel).
Extends the authority for federal consolidation loans through FY2014.
(Sec. 426) Requires guaranty agencies and other holders of FFEL loans under default reduction programs to request consumer reporting agencies to remove borrowers' records of default upon the sale of such loans. Limits the loan rehabilitation benefits available to borrowers under such programs to one time per loan. Requires default reduction programs to make financial and economic education materials available to borrowers who rehabilitate loans.
(Sec. 427) Raises, from 10% to 15%, the cohort default rate which IHE's must fall below to be exempt from FFEL multiple disbursement and first year student endorsement requirements.
(Sec. 428) Clarifies that the $2,000 increase (to $6,000) in the maximum annual unsubsidized Stafford FFEL, provided under the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008, applies only to undergraduates.
(Sec. 429) Includes teachers employed by educational service agencies in the FFEL forgiveness program for teachers.
(Sec. 430) Turns the Loan Forgiveness for Child Care Providers program into the Loan Forgiveness for Service in Areas of National Need program providing loan forgiveness under the FFEL and DL programs to certain full-time early childhood educators, nurses, foreign language specialists, librarians, highly qualified teachers, child welfare workers, speech-language pathologists and audiologists, school counselors, public sector employees, nutrition professionals, medical specialists, mental health professionals, dentists, individuals employed in engineering, technology, applied sciences, or mathematics, physical therapists, school superintendents, principals, or other administrators, and occupational therapists.
Authorizes appropriations for such program for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 431) Directs the Secretary to assume the obligation to repay student loans under the FFEL, DL, and PL programs on behalf of civil legal assistance attorneys for the duration of agreements between the Secretary and such attorneys requiring their continued employment in such capacity for at least three years. Excludes Parent PLUS loans from such program. Authorizes the Secretary to enter into additional agreements with civil legal assistance attorneys who have completed their service obligation.
Authorizes appropriations for such program for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 432) Requires reports to credit bureaus (now to be referred to as credit reporting agencies) and IHEs to include information regarding the repayment status of educational loans.
(Sec. 433) Requires the Secretary, before agreeing to any proposed claims settlement under title IV exceeding $1 million, to ask the Attorney General to review its terms.
Allows IHEs to use a master promissory note for FFELs and DLs.
(Sec. 434) Requires lenders, prior to or when disbursing FFELs, other than consolidated loans, to provide specified additional information to borrowers concerning repayment options, the consequences of choosing such options, and options for obtaining forbearance or forgiveness of such loans.
Directs FFEL lenders, at or before commencement of loan repayment, to provide specified additional information to borrowers concerning: (1) loan repayment options and benefits; (2) their right to change repayment plans during the repayment period; (3) options for avoiding or being removed from default; and (4) other known sources of loan repayment advice and assistance.
Requires FFEL lenders to provide borrowers with specified loan information: (1) for each payment installment period; (2) when they indicate that they are having difficulty making payments; and (3) when they are 60 days delinquent in making payments.
(Sec. 435) Requires FFEL guaranty agencies to provide training for students and families in budgeting and financial management.
(Sec. 436) Raises from 25% to 30%, beginning in FY2012, the cohort default rate at which IHEs become ineligible for title IV student loan programs if they meet or exceed such rate for each of the three most recent fiscal years. Sets forth an appeals process allowing IHEs that meet or exceed such rate to obtain regulatory relief by demonstrating exceptional mitigating circumstances.
Requires an IHE whose cohort default rate meets or exceeds such threshold in any fiscal year to establish a default prevention task force to prepare a plan to remedy the situation and revise such plan if the school's failure continues for a second consecutive fiscal year.
Raises from .0375 to .0625 the FFEL and DL participation rate index figure excepting from title IV student loan ineligibility based on its high cohort default rate any IHE that equals or falls below the participation rate index for any of the three most recent fiscal years.
Includes as eligible FFEL lenders any credit unions or national or state chartered banks with assets of less than $1 billion that have as their primary consumer credit function the making or holding of student FFELs.
Expands the activities disqualifying lenders from participation in the FFEL program, including: (1) offering specified inducements to IHEs; (2) performing certain uncompensated services for IHEs; and (3) entering into certain business arrangements with students or school financial aid employees.
Requires schools serving as FFEL lenders and lenders serving as school trustees to provide annual compliance audits to the Secretary.
Revises the calculation of IHEs' cohort default rates for FFELs.
Directs the Secretary to report cohort default data and life of cohort default rates for each category of IHE.
(Sec. 437) Requires the Secretary to discharge a borrower's liability under the FFEL and DL programs if a borrower, although not permanently and totally disabled, is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a medically determinable impairment which can be expected to result in death or last at least 60 continuous months. Allows the Secretary to develop anti-fraud safeguards.
Requires the Secretary to accept documentation that the Department of Veterans Affairs has determined that a student borrower is unemployable due to a service-connected condition as sufficient documentation for the discharge of such borrower's FFELs due to permanent and totally disability.
Part C: Federal Work-Study Programs- (Sec. 441) Reauthorizes appropriations for Work-Study (WS) programs for FY2009-FY2014.
Includes emergency preparedness and response among the community services students may participate in under WS programs.
(Sec. 442) Increases the allowance for books and supplies in determining cost of attendance under the WS program.
(Sec. 443) Allows IHEs receiving WS program funds to include civic education and participation projects. Requires IHEs to give priority to employing students in educating and training the public about evacuation, emergency response, and injury prevention strategies relating to natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other emergencies. Allows the federal share of WS student compensation for such projects to exceed 75%.
(Sec. 444) Allows IHEs in major disaster-affected areas to pay disaster-affected students amounts equal to or less than the amounts such students would have been paid, for up to one academic year, had the students been able to complete their work obligation.
(Sec. 445) Increases the amount of its WS allocation which an IHE may use for job location and development.
(Sec. 446) Authorizes the Secretary to award grants to IHEs to supplement off-campus community service employment. Gives grant priority to IHEs that support postsecondary students who assist in early childhood education and disaster preparation and response activities.
Authorizes appropriations for such grant program for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 447) Revises work college requirements by: (1) referring to work college programs as comprehensive work-learning-service programs; (2) limiting eligibility to four-year degree-granting IHEs; and (3) requiring resident students, including at least half of all resident students enrolled on a full-time basis, to participate in a comprehensive work-learning-service program for at least five hours each week, or not less than 80 hours during each period of enrollment, unless they are engaged in study abroad or externship programs approved by the school.
Part D: Federal Direct Student Loan - (Sec 451) Adds the income-based repayment plan adopted by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act to the list of repayment options available to DL borrowers.
Clarifies the definition of public service jobs for the purpose of DL cancellations for public service employees.
Requires the Secretary to ensure that monthly DL statements and other Department publications do not contain more than four digits of any individual's Social Security number.
Provides that no interest shall accrue on DLs disbursed after FY2007 to individuals who are serving on active duty or performing National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency and are serving in areas of hostilities in which service qualifies for special pay. Limits receipt of such benefit to 60 months.
Requires IHEs and contractors with which the Secretary has agreements under the DL program to comply with the loan disclosure requirements imposed on lenders under the FFEL program.
(Sec. 452) Extends funding through FY2014 for the costs of administering the FFEL and DL programs and paying FFEL account maintenance fees to guaranty agencies.
(Sec. 453) Clarifies that when the Secretary purchases an FFEL the guaranty agency that insured such loan ceases to have any rights or responsibilities with regard to such loan.
Directs the Secretary to submit quarterly reports and annual cost estimates to Congress on the FFEL purchase program authorized by the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008.
(Sec. 454) Includes teachers employed by educational service agencies in the DL cancellation program for teachers.
Part E: Federal Perkins Loans - (Sec. 461) Reauthorizes appropriations for Perkins Loans (PLs) for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 462) Increases the allowance for books and supplies in determining cost of attendance under the program.
(Sec. 463) Allows IHEs to refer PLs to the Secretary for collection, but limits the Secretary's authority to require their assignment to the Secretary.
(Sec. 464) Increases: (1) the maximum PL amount a student may receive in an academic year to $5,500 for undergraduate students and $8,000 for graduate or professional students; and (2) aggregate limits on the unpaid principal amount of PLs made to a student to $60,000 for graduate or professional students, $27,500 for undergraduate students who have completed two years of undergraduate studies, and $11,000 for other students.
Requires the Secretary to cancel a borrower's liability under the PL program if the borrower, although not permanently and totally disabled, is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a medically determinable impairment which can be expected to result in death or last at least 60 continuous months. Cancels the liability of borrowers determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to be unemployable due to a service-connected disability. Allows the Secretary to develop anti-fraud safeguards regarding PL liability cancellation.
Requires documentation of PL forbearance agreements between IHEs and borrowers.
Allows defaulted PLs to be rehabilitated if the borrower makes nine (currently, 12) ontime, consecutive, monthly payments of amounts due.
(Sec. 465) Revises requirements for the cancellation of loans for certain public service to include service: (1) by full-time teachers employed by educational service agencies in locations that contain a high percentage of poor children; (2) in a prekindergarten or child care program; (3) as a full-time attorney employed in a defender organization; (4) as a full-time firefighter; (5) as a full-time faculty member at a tribal college or university; (6) as a librarian with a master's degree working in an elementary school eligible for assistance under title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA-I eligible) or in a public library serving an area containing an ESEA-I eligible school; and (7) as a full-time speech language pathologist with a master's degree working exclusively with ESEA-I eligible schools.
Provides loan cancellation for such occupations and for service in the Armed Forces in an area of hostilities at the rate of 15% for the first or second year of service, 20% for the third or fourth year of service, and 30% for the fifth year of service (though loan cancellation for service in prekindergarten or child care programs is provided at the rate of 15% for each year of such service).
(Sec. 466) Expresses the sense of Congress that the PL program is an important part of federal student aid and should remain a campus-based aid program.
Part F: Need Analysis - (Sec. 471) Expands the definition of an allowance for room and board to include an allowance for expenses reasonably incurred for board, but not for room, for those students who receive a military housing allowance or live on base.
(Sec. 472) Includes an individual's nursing home or dependent care expenses or status as a dislocated worker within the special circumstances financial aid administrators may consider in analyzing an individual's need. Authorizes financial aid administrators to award unsubsidized FFELs or DLs to students whose parents have ended financial support and refuse to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
(Sec. 473) Allows the Secretary to use tax return data from the second preceding tax year for the purpose of designing a simplified needs application.
Prohibits, beginning in July 2010, veterans' education benefits from being included in the calculation of expected family contributions or as available financial assistance in title IV need analyses.
Excludes the value of on-base military housing or a military housing allowance from consideration as untaxed income or benefits in the need analysis formula.
Includes as independent students individuals who were orphans, in foster care, or wards of the court at any time when they were at least 13 years old, or were emancipated minors or in legal guardianship immediately before attaining the age of majority.
Excludes earnings from IHE cooperative education work programs from need analyses.
Part G: General Provisions Relating To Student Assistance - (Sec. 481) Limits the Secretary's authority to waive the minimum weeks of instruction requirement for IHEs to IHEs that measure program length in credit or clock hours.
(Sec. 482) Directs the Secretary to provide to IHEs before each award year a compliance calendar listing all reports and disclosures required under HEA, including specified information.
(Sec. 483) Requires the Secretary to make the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): (1) consumer-friendly, with the goal of 50% fewer data elements; (2) available in both paper and (downloadable) electronic formats; (3) flexible enough to permit applicants to enter data years before enrolling and selectively update information; and (4) include data elements relevant to state student aid determinations.
Directs the Secretary to develop a simplified paper and (downloadable) electronic EZ FAFSA for applicants having no expected family contributions or for whom a simplified needs test applies.
Directs the Secretary to implement an early application demonstration program assessing the feasibility and benefits of allowing dependent students to complete a FAFSA or EZ FAFSA two years before their enrollment in an IHE.
Directs the Secretary to use any savings accrued by moving more applicants to electronic FAFSAs to increase access to such forms by students who meet simplified needs test or zero expected family contribution requirements.
Requires the Comptroller General to convene a study group, that includes the Secretary, to assess further FAFSA simplifications allowing students and families to supply substantially less income and asset information, such as by using tax return data to prepopulate the FAFSA.
(Sec. 484) Requires the Secretary to convene a group to develop recommendations for IHE financial aid offer forms that present in a consumer-friendly manner: (1) the student's cost of attendance; (2) the amount of financial aid that the student does not have to repay and the conditions on such aid; (3) the amount and terms of title IV loans; (4) the cost of attendance minus the financial aid offered; and (5) where to seek additional financial aid information.
(Sec. 485) Revises requirements for student eligibility for title IV assistance.
Requires the IHE to determine, for each student who is not a high school graduate, that the student has the ability to benefit from the education or training it offers, upon satisfactory completion of six credit hours or the equivalent coursework applicable to a degree or certificate it offers.
Allows the Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of the Treasury, to use applicants' tax return data to prepopulate FAFSAs and verify the information reported on such applications. Authorizes the Secretary to condition applicants' receipt of title IV assistance on their consenting to the release of such tax return data.
Makes students convicted of a drug offense eligible for assistance under the title IV or WS programs if they pass two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program.
Makes eligible for HEA student aid any intellectually disabled students who have been accepted for enrollment and are maintaining satisfactory progress in an IHE comprehensive transition and postsecondary education program for such students.
Requires the Secretary to analyze FAFSA data and report to Congress regarding the number, characteristics, and circumstances of students denied federal student aid based on drug convictions while receiving such aid.
(Sec. 486) Provides that a borrower may not raise a defense based on infancy against an IHE collecting an obligation under the PL program. Provides that, if a student is deceased, neither the student's estate nor family's estate is required to repay any title IV assistance or related costs.
(Sec. 487) Requires IHEs to readmit students who take a leave of absence to perform active military service at the same academic status they had attained prior to such service, provided their cumulative absence for such service does not exceed five years.
(Sec. 488) Adds to the institutional information IHEs must disclose to current and prospective students and, in certain cases, their employees or the public: (1) plans for improving their academic programs; (2) policies and sanctions related to copyright infringement; (3) student body diversity; (4) graduate employment; (5) the types of graduate and professional education pursued by graduates; (6) fire safety practices and standards; (7) their undergraduate student retention rates; (8) their policies regarding vaccinations; (9) additional categories of hate crimes occurring on or off campus; (10) immediate emergency response and evacuation procedures; (11) transfer of credit policies; and (12) penalties for student drug violations.
Requires IHEs to disaggregate completion and graduation rate data by student gender, race and ethnicity, receipt of a Pell Grant, receipt of a subsidized FFEL or DL but not a Pell Grant, and non-receipt of a Pell Grant or subsidized FFEL or DL. Makes this requirement inapplicable to two-year IHEs until the 2011-2012 academic year.
Sets forth requirements regarding emergency response and evacuation procedures, including the requirement that such procedures be tested on an annual basis.
Requires IHEs to inform prospective and enrolled students of the terms and conditions of FFELs, DLs, and PLs. Adds to the exit counseling information schools must provide to student borrowers. Requires certain information regarding: (1) costs and repayment terms, including the ability to prepay or change repayment plans; (2) loan forgiveness and forbearance options; (3) the consequences of defaulting on a loan; (4) the effects of consolidating such loans; (5) available tax benefits; and (6) the availability of the National Student Loan Data System for use in obtaining information on their loan status.
Requires IHEs to develop missing person procedures for students living on-campus that include: (1) allowing students to identify an individual they wish the school to contact if the student is reported missing; (2) requiring missing person reports regarding students to be referred to the school's police or campus security department; and (3) contacting the individual identified by the student or the parent of the student, if the student is under age eighteen and unemancipated, if the student has been missing for over 24 hours.
Requires IHEs, at or before disbursing a FFEL or DL to a first-time student borrower, to ensure that the borrower receives comprehensive information on the terms and conditions of the loan as well as the borrower's responsibilities.
(Sec. 489) Direct the Secretary to take actions necessary to maintain confidence in the National Student Loan Data System, at a minimum: (1) ensuring that guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools access it primarily for legitimate program operations; (2) prohibiting nongovernmental researchers or policy analysts from accessing personally identifiable information; (3) creating a disclosure form for actual and potential students describing the contents of, and access to, the system; (4) requiring guaranty agencies, lenders, and schools to inform borrowers of FFELs, DLs, and PLs that such a loan will be submitted to the system and accessible to such entities; (5) reviewing the system regularly to delete inactive users, monitor use, and ensure that data is not used for marketing purposes; and (6) developing standardized protocols for limiting access.
Requires the Secretary to study and report to Congress on: (1) mechanisms giving borrowers the option of restricting lender access to their system records; and (2) appropriate risk-based protocols for limiting access.
(Sec. 490) Directs the Secretary to implement a comprehensive system of early financial aid information in order to provide students and families with early information about financial aid and early estimates of such students' eligibility for financial aid from multiple sources.
(Sec. 492) Directs the Secretary to provide technical assistance to states and public IHEs to develop, enhance, and implement, comprehensive articulation agreements among such IHEs in a state, and (to the extent practicable) across state lines, by 2010.
(Sec. 493) Revises requirements for title IV program participation agreements.
Subjects to sanctions any proprietary IHEs that do not earn at least 10% of their revenue from non-title IV sources (the 90/10 rule), including suspension of their title IV eligibility after two consecutive years of noncompliance. Continues such suspension for at least two institutional fiscal years.
Sets forth rules for the calculation of non-title IV revenue.
Requires the Secretary to disclose on the College Navigator website the identity of any IHE that fails to meet the 90/10 rule and the extent of its failure.
Requires IHEs to develop, publicize, and enforce codes of conduct for their officers, employees, and agents that prohibit conflicts of interest with respect to educational loans.
Prohibits IHE financial aid personnel from: (1) soliciting or accepting gifts from lenders, guarantors, or servicers of educational loans; (2) accepting any compensation for providing services to or for lenders; and (3) receiving anything other than reasonable expenses for serving on advisory groups established by lenders or guarantors. Requires the Department's Inspector General to report to Congress and publicize annually any substantiated gift ban violation.
Bars IHEs from: (1) entering into revenue sharing agreements with lenders; (2) assigning a first-time borrower's loan to a particular lender or blocking a borrower's selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency; (3) requesting or accepting lenders' offers of funds for private student loans in exchange for business concessions or status as preferred lenders of title IV loans; or (4) requesting or accepting lender assistance with call center or financial aid office staffing, except in certain emergencies. Prohibits lenders from making such offers.
Requires IHEs to disclose to alleged victims of violent crime or non-forcible sex offenses, or to their next of kin if they have died, the final results of any disciplinary proceedings against alleged student perpetrators of such crimes.
Requires IHEs that enter into preferred lender arrangements to make available to students and parents preferred lender lists that: (1) include the minimum FFEL information the Secretary determines must be provided to students and parents; (2) fully disclose the reason for each lender's inclusion and the students' and parents' right to choose other lenders; (3) include at least three unaffiliated lenders and, if the school promotes or endorses private education loans, at least two unaffiliated lenders of such loans; and (4) prominently disclose the process used to ensure that lenders are selected on the basis of the borrowers' best interests.
Directs IHEs to provide applicants for private education loans, upon their request, with a specified form required under the Truth in Lending Act and the information the schools possess which is needed to complete such form.
Requires IHEs to: (1) develop plans to effectively combat the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material; and (2) offer alternatives to illegal downloading or peer-to-peer distribution of intellectual property.
Permits the Secretary to modify audit requirements for foreign IHEs, and waive such requirements for foreign IHEs that have title IV loan volumes under $500,000.
Requires IHEs whose access to title IV funds is being limited, suspended, or terminated to prepare written teach-out plans that provide for the equitable treatment of students if the school ceases operation before all students complete their studies.
(Sec. 494) Directs the Secretary to continue the voluntary participation of any experimental site in existence as of July 1, 2007, under the Quality Assurance program (which allows certain IHEs to implement their own comprehensive student aid management systems), unless the site fails to satisfy the program's purposes.
(Sec. 494A) Allows IHEs to transfer up to 25% of their WS program allotment to their PL program allotment and up to 25% of their SEOG allotment to their WS program.
(Sec. 494B) Includes among the duties of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance: (1) analyzing the adequacy of need-based grant aid to low- and moderate-income students and their postsecondary enrollment and graduation rates; (2) developing an information clearinghouse to help IHEs navigate the regulatory landscape; (3) reviewing and analyzing regulations; and (4) studying innovative pathways to baccalaureate degree attainment.
Includes among the Committee's purposes improving understanding of early intervention programs and making recommendations that result in increased availability and awareness of aid, and help streamline regulations for IHEs.
Reauthorizes the Committee through FY2014.
(Sec. 494C) Includes state student grant agencies and individuals with subject matter expertise in the title IV and WS rulemaking process.
Part H: Program Integrity - (Sec. 495) Revises requirements for recognition of an accrediting agency or association.
Requires accreditors, where applicable, to demonstrate that their standards effectively address an IHE's distance education programs; but does not require separate distance or correspondence education standards.
Requires accreditors to: (1) demonstrate, where applicable, that their standards effectively address an IHE's distance education or correspondence programs (without requiring them to have separate standards for such programs); (2) consider different standards of success developed by different IHEs; (3) consider updated financial information before taking final adverse action against an IHE, if the original information was material to the decision to take such action; (4) monitor the growth of programs at IHEs that are experiencing significant enrollment growth; and (5) confirm that an IHE has publicly disclosed transfer policies that include a statement of the IHE's criteria regarding the transfer of credit earned at another IHE.
Requires IHEs to submit teach-out plans for accreditor approval when they are to be sanctioned for violating student aid participation agreements, losing their accreditation, or intend to cease operations.
Prohibits the Secretary from issuing regulations regarding the specific standards an accrediting agency or association uses to assess an IHE.
(Sec. 496) Provides for special treatment of teach-outs at additional IHE locations.
(Sec. 497) Sets forth additional requirements for accreditors regarding program review and data.
Requires the Secretary to provide an IHE with an adequate opportunity to review and respond to any program review report, and materials relevant to such report, before a final program review report is issued.
Part I: Competitive Loan Auction Pilot Program - (Sec. 499) Directs the Secretary and the Secretary of the Treasury to evaluate a pilot program for the auction of FFEL PLUS loans, which is to be conducted by the Secretary, and report to Congress regarding auction costs and benefits and the feasibility of auctioning other FFELs. Requires the winning bidders in each state to agree to accept a special allowance payment (which compensates lenders for the difference between FFEL interest rates and market rates) for such loans in the amount proposed in the second lowest winning bid in such state.
Title V: Developing Institutions - Revises the title V Developing Institutions grant program for Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs).
(Sec. 501) Includes among authorized uses of funds: (1) innovative, customized courses which may include remedial education and English language instruction; (2) articulation agreements and student support programs designed to facilitate student transfers from two-year to four-year institutions; and (3) education, counseling, or financial information designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of students or their families.
(Sec. 502) Establishes a program of competitive grants to HSIs that offer postbaccalaureate certifications or degrees (part B grants). Limits a part B grant award's duration to no more than five years. Prohibits the Secretary from awarding more than one part B grant to an HSI in any one fiscal year.
(Sec. 505) Reauthorizes title V appropriations for FY2009-FY2014.
Title VI: International Education Programs - Revises and reauthorizes title VI International Education programs.
(Sec. 601) Directs the Secretary to: (1) consult with officials of a wide range of federal agencies on the national need for expertise in foreign languages and world regions before requesting applications for title VI funding during each grant cycle; and (2) assist grantees in developing a survey on student employment, education, or training after they graduate from title VI programs.
(Sec. 602) Revises requirements for graduate and undergraduate language and area centers and programs. Includes among authorized activities: (1) supporting instructors of the less commonly taught languages; and (2) projects that support students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields to achieve foreign language proficiency.
Makes undergraduates engaged in the intermediate or advanced study of a less commonly taught language eligible for fellowships for foreign language and area or international studies.
(Sec. 604) Revises requirements for undergraduate international studies and foreign language programs. Authorizes grants for educational programs abroad that are closely linked to the program's overall goals and promote foreign language fluency and knowledge of world regions.
Authorizes the Secretary to use up to 20% (currently, 10%) of the funds appropriated under part A (International and Foreign Language Studies) of title VI for such programs; but limits the study abroad component to 10%.
(Sec. 605) Includes among authorized research and study activities: (1) an evaluation of the extent to which title VI programs reflect diverse perspectives and generate debate on world regions and international affairs; and (2) the collection, analysis, and dissemination of title VI data.
(Sec. 606) Revises provisions for technological innovation and cooperation for foreign information access to authorize grants to certain partnerships with not-for-profit educational organizations and other specified entities.
Authorizes the use of grant funds to purchase foreign information and establish linkages with foreign institutions to facilitate access to such information.
(Sec. 607) Requires the Secretary, in choosing grant recipients for foreign language and area or international studies centers and programs, to consider an applicant's efforts to increase the number of students going into areas of national need.
(Sec. 608) Requires American overseas research centers that desire a title VI grant or contract to submit an application to the Secretary.
(Sec. 609) Reauthorizes appropriations under part A of title VI for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 611) Allows centers for international business education under part B (Business and International Education Programs) to conduct programs that encourage the advancement and understanding of technology-related disciplines, including manufacturing software systems and technology management.
Requires grant-funded education and training programs under part B to reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views on world regions and international affairs, where applicable.
Reauthorizes part B appropriations for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 612) Revises Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP) programs under part C of title V specifically to extend the minority foreign service professional development program to tribally controlled colleges or universities, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions, Hispanic-serving institutions, and IHEs that serve substantial numbers of underrepresented minority students. Requires grant-funded activities under such program to reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views on world regions and international affairs, where applicable.
(Sec. 613) Revises the IIPP institutional development, study abroad, advanced degree in international relations, and internships programs.
Adds international business and foreign language study programs to international affairs programs, as subjects of IIPP institutional development efforts.
Includes tribally controlled colleges or universities and Alaska Native-serving, Native Hawaiian-serving, and Hispanic-serving institutions in the study abroad and internships programs.
Turns the IIPP masters degree in international relations program into a program leading to an advanced degree in international relations, international affairs, international economics, or other academic areas related to the IIPP fellow's career objectives.
(Sec. 617) Authorizes IIPP to provide financial assistance, through summer stipends and Ralph Bunche scholarships, to low-income students to facilitate their participation in IIPP programs.
(Sec. 618) Makes the current annual IIPP report biennial.
(Sec. 620) Reauthorizes appropriations for the IIPP for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 622) Allows the Secretary to reduce or waive title VI cost sharing requirements for certain IHEs receiving assistance under title III or V of the HEA.
Sets forth title VI authority for assessment and enforcement, including evaluation, outreach, and information activities.
Directs the Secretary to submit a biennial report to Congress that identifies, and includes a plan to address, areas of national need in foreign language, area, and international studies.
Creates a new Science and Technology Advanced Foreign Language Education Grant program requiring the Secretary to award grants to IHEs that develop innovative programs for the teaching of foreign languages, which may include the preparation of teachers to teach foreign languages. Gives grant priority to IHEs combining the study of foreign languages with the study of science and technology and IHEs teaching critical foreign languages. Authorizes appropriations for such program.
Requires the Secretary to identify and report to Congress on best practices for strengthening the role IHEs that receive assistance under title III or V of the HEA play in increasing our critical foreign language education efforts.
Requires IHEs to report gifts in excess $250,000 in a fiscal year that are received from a foreign government or foreign corporation or foundation if a significant part of such contribution is to be used in a title VI program.
Title VII: Graduate and Postsecondary Improvement Programs - Revises and reauthorizes title VII Graduate and Post-Secondary Improvement programs.
(Sec. 702) Allows IHEs to grant Jacob K. Javits fellowship recipients an interruption of study in exceptional circumstances, such as active duty military service or a personal or family illness.
Directs the Secretary, when appointing members of the Jacob K. Javits Fellows Program Fellowship Board, to include representatives of various U.S. geographic regions and representatives from IHEs eligible for grants under title III or V of the HEA.
Reauthorizes appropriations for the program for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 703) Specifies the entities with which the Secretary must consult, and additional considerations to take into account, in determining areas of national need under the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need program.
Reauthorizes appropriations for the program for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 704) Revises the Thurgood Marshall Legal Educational Opportunity program to involve secondary school students in the program and provide Thurgood Marshall Fellowships to law school students who participate in certain summer institutes.
Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2014 for the program.
(Sec. 705) Expresses the sense of Congress that IHEs eligible for funds under part A (Graduate Education Programs) of title VII should be encouraged to consider the feasibility of an inter-institution monitoring organization to address under-representation by race, ethnicity, and gender in postsecondary faculty and administration.
(Sec. 706) Directs the Secretary to award grants to certain historically Black colleges and universities and to certain Predominantly Black Institutions for masters degree programs in mathematics, engineering, the physical or natural sciences, computer science, information technology, nursing, allied health, or other scientific disciplines in which African Americans are underrepresented. Requires a grantee to match federal funds to the extent they exceed $1 million. Authorizes appropriations for such grant programs for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 707) Adds to authorized activities under the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education program (FIPSE): (1) the establishment and continuation of joint efforts based on the technology of communications; (2) the reform of remedial education, including English language instruction; (3) programs increasing the secondary school graduation rates of LEP students and the number of eligible late-entering LEP students who pursue postsecondary education; (4) the creation of IHE consortia to establish interdisciplinary programs on poverty; (5) demonstration projects to provide comprehensive support services to ensure that homeless students, or students who were in foster care or were a ward of the court at any time before the age of 13, enroll and succeed in postsecondary education; and (6) promoting cultural diversity in the entertainment media industry.
Establishes new FIPSE programs to create: (1) a center, at an IHE, to study and develop best practices to support single-parent students; and (2) a scholarship program for the family members of veterans and military personnel.
Authorizes the Secretary to give FIPSE priority to IHEs that meet or exceed a specified energy efficiency standard for new construction or renovations.
Adds to the areas of national need eligible for special project funding under the FIPSE program: (1) improvements in academic instruction and student learning; (2) foreign language studies; and (3) the incorporation of medical quality and safety into medical and nursing courses.
Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2014 for the FIPSE program.
(Sec. 708) Eliminates the Urban Community Service program (part C of title VII of HEA).
(Sec. 709) Replaces the current part D (Demonstration Projects to Ensure Students with Disabilities Receive a Quality Higher Education) of title VII with additional programs to provide disabled students with a quality higher education.
Creates a new program of part D demonstration projects that expands the activities authorized under the current program to include: (1) the development of innovative teaching methods and strategies to ensure the successful transition of disabled students from secondary to postsecondary education; (2) making distance education accessible to disabled students; (3) teacher training and support in providing disabled students with career options; and (4) curriculum development to make postsecondary education more accessible to disabled students.
Establishes a new competitive matching grant program for IHEs to create or expand high-quality, inclusive model comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities focusing on academic enrichment, socialization, independent living, and integrated work experiences and career skills.
Establishes an advisory commission on accessible instructional materials in postsecondary education for students with disabilities to make recommendations for improving the timely delivery and quality of accessible instructional materials for postsecondary students, faculty, and staff with print disabilities.
Creates new model demonstration programs requiring the Secretary to award competitive grants or contracts to at least one partnership between an IHE and private entity to develop systems to improve the timely delivery and quality of postsecondary instructional materials in specialized formats to students with print disabilities. Allows the Secretary to expand the program to additional grantees if the model programs prove to be effective.
Directs the Secretary to provide for the establishment and support of a National Center for Information and Technical Support for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities to improve the postsecondary recruitment, transition, retention, and completion rates of such students.
Requires such center to: (1) provide information and technical assistance to disabled students, their families, and IHEs; (2) maintain a web-based data bank of IHE disability support services information; (3) work with disability support experts to evaluate, improve, and disseminate information related to the delivery of high quality disability support services at IHEs; and (4) report biennially regarding the postsecondary success of disabled students.
Directs the Secretary to enter into a cooperative agreement with an entity that has relevant experience for the establishment of a coordinating center for IHEs that offer inclusive model comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities to provide technical assistance, evaluations, and recommendations relating to standards for such programs. Requires the center to convene a working group to make recommendations to the Secretary, Congress and the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity on accreditation standards for such programs.
Authorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2014 for the part D programs.
(Sec. 710) Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2009-2014 for the College Access Challenge Grant program.
Title VIII: Additional Programs - Establishes a new title VIII (Additional Programs) of the HEA.
(Sec. 801) Establishes a Project GRAD program authorizing the Secretary to award a contract to Project GRAD USA (a nonprofit educational organization aiming to improve secondary school graduation and postsecondary attendance and completion rates for low-income students) to provide technical assistance and support through subcontracts to existing and new programs that implement a set of integrated education reform services.
Requires the contractor to select only subcontractors that serve a substantial number or percentage of low-income students. Requires the programs to identify one or more groups of public schools at which services will be provided through a feeder pattern through which elementary and middle schools channel students having participated in program services into an identified secondary school. Requires subcontractors to match federal funds.
Requires Project GRAD program services to include: (1) research-based programs in reading, mathematics, and classroom management; (2) campus-based social services programs, including increasing family and community involvement in schools; (3) a postsecondary school access program providing postsecondary school scholarships for students who meet established criteria, increasing student and family postsecondary awareness, and assisting students to apply for higher education financial aid; and (4) other services the contractor identifies as necessary.
Establishes the Mathematics and Science Scholars program, providing competitive matching grants to states for scholarships to students who, after completing a rigorous secondary school curriculum in mathematics and science, pursue postsecondary education, in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or a health-related field.
Directs the Secretary to award competitive grants to partnerships of IHEs, employers, workforce investment boards, and labor organizations to expand or create programs that provide job skills training in high-growth and high-wage fields and meet the needs of working students. Gives priority to programs focused on serving nontraditional students.
Requires the Secretary to award competitive grants to accredited: (1) undergraduate registered nurse (RN) nursing programs to expand faculty and facilities to accommodate additional students; or (2) graduate nursing programs to accommodate advanced practice degrees for RNs or provide teachers for nursing students.
Authorizes the use of such grants to support partnerships with hospitals or health facilities which will enable students to earn a salary while obtaining an advanced degree in nursing with the goal of becoming nurse faculty.
Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive grants to IHEs to establish or strengthen academic programs or centers that promote knowledge of traditional American history, free institutions, and Western civilization.
Authorizes the Secretary to award a grant to Teach For America, Inc. to implement and expand its program of recruiting, selecting, training, and supporting new teachers who commit to teach for two years in underserved communities. Directs the Secretary to provide for a study, at least once every three years, examining the achievement levels of students taught by such teachers.
Requires Teach For America, Inc. to contract with an independent auditor to conduct a comprehensive review of its accounting, financial reporting, and internal control systems.
Establishes the Patsy T. Mink Fellowship program of awards to assist highly qualified minorities and women to acquire the doctoral degree, or highest possible degree available, in academic areas in which such individuals are underrepresented, to enable them to enter the higher education professoriate. Requires fellowship recipients to serve at the IHE from which they received the fellowship for a period equivalent to the fellowship period.
Directs the Secretary to award a grant to a nonprofit organization to conduct a needs assessment of, and provide comprehensive services to, urban LEAs and rural states to improve postsecondary education enrollment rates.
Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive grants to a state for the establishment of a State Early Childhood Education Professional Development and Career Task Force: (1) composed of state, higher education, and early childhood education representatives; and (2) tasked with developing a plan for a comprehensive statewide early childhood education professional development and career system that includes the provision of postsecondary educational assistance to individuals who agree to work in early childhood education programs.
Authorizes the Secretary to award a grant to a partnership of IHEs and private career organizations to expand programs for the development of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics professionals, from elementary school through postsecondary education, including existing programs for Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students.
Establishes Pilot Programs to Increase College Persistence and Success which consist of: (1) a Pilot Program to Increase Persistence and Success in Community Colleges under which the Secretary awards competitive grants to community colleges for scholarships and counseling services for low-income students with dependent children; and (2) a Student Success Grant Pilot program awarding competitive, matching grants to IHEs to provide student success coaches and other support services to Pell grant-eligible students, beginning in their first year, who are assessed as needing developmental education to bring their reading, writing, or mathematics skills up to college level.
Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive matching grants to IHEs to do one or more of the following: (1) develop and implement a state-of-the art emergency communications system; (2) take measures to improve IHE safety; or (3) coordinate, with appropriate local entities, the provision of mental health services to students and staff affected by a campus or community emergency. Requires the Secretary to continue to advise IHEs and disseminate information concerning model emergency response policies, procedures, and practices.
Requires the Secretary to continue to coordinate with the Secretary of Homeland Security and other agencies to develop and maintain procedures to address the needs of IHEs in the event of a federally declared major disaster or emergency.
Authorizes the Secretary to establish an Education Disaster and Emergency Relief Loan program for IHEs affected by a federally declared major disaster or emergency.
Directs the Secretary to continue to provide guidance that clarifies the role of IHEs regarding disclosures of a student's education records in the event that such student demonstrates significant risk of harm to himself or herself or to others. Requires such guidance to clarify that IHEs which in good faith comply with the requirements of this Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 shall not be held liable for that disclosure.
Establishes a Low Tuition program requiring the Secretary to award: (1) grants to IHEs that, for an academic year, have tuition and fee increases that are in the lowest 20% of such increases for comparable schools, are public IHEs whose tuition and fees are in the lowest quartile of comparable IHEs, or are public IHEs whose tuition and fee increases are less than $600 for full-time undergraduate students; and (2) bonus amounts to public IHEs whose tuition and fees are in the lowest quartile of comparable IHEs, public IHEs that guarantee that their tuition and fee increases will not exceed $600 per year for full-time undergraduate students, and private IHEs that guarantee that their tuition and fees will not increase by a percentage greater than the percentage change in such tuition and fees over the past three academic years. Requires IHEs to distribute such grants and bonuses as need-based grant aid to students who are eligible for federal Pell Grants.
Establishes a Cooperative Education program authorizing the Secretary to award competitive grants to IHEs for cooperative education programs that provide alternating or parallel periods of study and employment, giving students work experience related to their academic or occupational objectives and the earnings needed to finance their education.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to, or enter into contracts with, IHEs or nonprofit organizations for: (1) demonstration projects testing innovations in cooperative education; (2) cooperative education training and resource centers; and (3) cooperative education research.
Authorizes the Secretary to make College Partnership grants to partnerships between IHEs and between IHEs and states for the implementation of articulation agreements between IHEs, academic program enhancements, and the removal of barriers that inhibit student transfers.
Creates a Jobs to Careers program directing the Secretary to award competitive grants to IHEs to create workforce bridge programs that customize developmental education curricula to reflect the content of for-credit occupational certificate or degree programs in which developmental education students are enrolled or plan to enroll.
Gives grant priority to IHEs: (1) in which at least 50% of the first-year students who are subject to mandatory assessment are assessed as needing developmental courses designed to give them collegiate reading, writing, or mathematics skills; and (2) that propose to collaborate with adult education providers or replicate practices that have proven effective with adults.
Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive grants to partnerships between rural IHEs, rural LEAs, and rural regional employers or workforce investment boards for activities to: (1) improve the rural IHE enrollment rates of rural secondary school students; (2) increase nontraditional students' participation in rural IHE degree programs; (3) create or strengthen academic programs at rural IHEs that prepare graduates for high-need occupations in the regional and local economies; and (4) provide additional career training to rural postsecondary school students in fields relevant to the regional economy.
Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive grants or contracts to IHEs to develop programs to reduce and eliminate the illegal downloading and distribution of intellectual property.
Directs the Secretary to make competitive grants to certain accredited court reporting programs to promote the recruitment, training, and placement of individuals, including those who have completed a court reporting training program, as realtime writers providing closed captioning in video programming.
Directs the Secretary to award grants to IHEs to develop model programs for students who are veterans that involve the establishment by each grantee of a campus Center of Excellence for Veteran Student Success, providing a single point of contact for the coordination of comprehensive support services for such students.
Directs the Secretary to make grants to establish sustainability programs at IHEs.
Requires such programs to develop and implement: (1) sustainability practices, including in the areas of energy management, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, green building, waste management, purchasing, transportation, and toxics management; and (2) other aspects of sustainability that integrate campus operations with multidisciplinary educational programs that can apply to the private and government sectors.
Requires the Secretary to establish a taskforce within the Department to recommend improvements to the study of modeling and simulation, and identify the core capacities that students in such programs should acquire.
Authorizes the Secretary to award: (1) competitive grants to IHEs for the enhancement of their existing modeling and simulation programs; and (2) grants to IHEs for the establishment of such programs.
Establishes a Path to Success program authorizing the Secretary to award grants to community colleges to establish partnerships with juvenile detention centers and secure juvenile justice residential facilities to provide assistance, services, and education to individuals age 16 through 25 who have been convicted of a criminal offense and have served or are serving time in such facilities and reenter the community and pursue certificates of completion for a specialized area of study or associates degrees.
Requires such education programs to establish a uniquely designed education plan for each individual program participant that requires the individual to receive at least such a certificate or degree in order to complete the program successfully.
Gives program priority to community colleges proposing to serve the highest number of individuals who have committed gang-related offenses.
Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award competitive grants to veterinary schools or entities offering veterinary training to increase the number of veterinarians in the workforce.
Authorizes the Secretary to establish an Early Federal Pell Grant Demonstration Program awarding: (1) grants to four state education agencies to cover program administrative expenses; and (2) Pell Grants to eighth grade students who are eligible for a free or reduced price meal under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.
Authorizes the Secretary to award a grant to the University of Hawaii Academy for Creative Media for the establishment, maintenance, and periodic modernization of the Henry Kuualoha Giugni Kupuna Memorial Archives at the University of Hawaii.
Requires the Archives to use grant funds for, among other things: (1) the acquisition of a secure web accessible repository of Native Hawaiian historical data; (2) college scholarships for disadvantaged students; (3) the creation of educational materials applicable to a broad range of indigenous students; (4) outreach to elementary and secondary school students; (5) relevant teacher training; and (6) the enhancement of the economic and financial literacy of college students.
Authorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2014 for the preceding title VIII programs.
Appropriates funds for FY2009-2014 for: (1) the masters degree programs at historically Black colleges and universities and Predominantly Black Institutions (See section 706, above); and (2) postbaccalaureate programs at Hispanic-serving institutions (See section 502, above).
(Sec. 802) Provides for the establishment of a nonprofit National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies to support, through competitive grants and contracts, the research, development, and adoption of innovative digital approaches to improving education, teaching, and learning.
(Sec. 803) Requires the Secretary to make competitive grants to up to 10 IHEs to support pilot programs that make it possible for bookstores to give students the option of saving money by renting course materials.
Title IX: Amendments to Other Laws - Part A: Education of the Deaf Act of 1986 - (Sec. 901) Amends the Education of the Deaf Act of 1986 (EDA) to identify the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center as the place where Gallaudet University's EDA elementary and secondary programs are to be held. Requires Gallaudet to adopt, for such elementary and secondary programs, a state's approved academic content and achievement standards and assessments.
(Sec. 903) Eliminates the preference given to IHEs located in metropolitan industrial areas in choosing an IHE to establish and operate a National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID).
(Sec. 904) Establishes an HEA title IX part C program of cultural experiences grants to and contracts with nonprofit organizations for activities to: (1) enrich the lives of deaf and hard-of-hearing children and adults; (2) increase public awareness and understanding of deafness and of the artistic and intellectual achievements of deaf and hard-of-hearing persons; or (3) promote the integration of hearing, deaf, and hard-of-hearing persons through shared cultural, educational, and social experiences.
(Sec. 907) Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2014 for monitoring, evaluation, and reporting under the EDA.
(Sec. 909) Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2009-FY2014 for federal endowment programs for Gallaudet University and NTID under the EDA.
(Sec. 911) Exempts international students participating in distance learning through Gallaudet University or NTID from: (1) counting against the international student enrollment cap; and (2) the tuition surcharge other international students at such schools must pay. Prohibits, however, the displacement by such international students of U.S. citizens applying for such courses.
Requires such schools to reduce the tuition surcharge from 100% to 50% for international students from developing countries. Permits such schools to use a sliding scale to reduce such surcharge to no less than 25% for students from developing countries, and to no less than 50% for students from non-developing countries, if such students demonstrate need and have made a good effort to secure aid from their home country or other sources.
Makes $5,345 the maximum per capita income level at which a country is considered a developing country, measured in 2005 dollars and adjusted for inflation.
(Sec. 913) Updates the national study on the education of the deaf to require the Secretary to establish a commission to conduct such study and reauthorize study appropriations for FY2009-FY2010.
(Sec. 914) Reauthorizes appropriations under the EDA for FY2009-FY2014 for: (1) Gallaudet University; (2) Kendall Demonstration Elementary School; (3) the Model Secondary School for the Deaf; and (4) NTID.
Part B: United States Institute of Peace Act - (Sec. 921) Amends the United States Institute of Peace Act to reauthorize appropriations for the U.S. Institute of Peace for FY2009-FY2014. Requires any authorization of appropriations for U.S. Institute of Peace programs to be extended in the same manner as applicable programs are extended under the General Education Provisions Act.
Part C: The Higher Education Amendments of 1998; The Higher Education Amendments of 1992 - (Sec. 931) Repeals specified provisions under title VIII (Studies, Reports, and Related Programs) of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998.
(Sec. 932) Revises requirements of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 relating to grants to states for workplace and community transition training for incarcerated youth offenders. Authorizes the Secretary to establish performance objectives and reporting requirements for state grantees.
Alters youth offender eligibility to: (1) include persons under age 35 (currently, 25) and eligible for release within seven years (currently, five); and (2) exclude persons who have committed a criminal offense against a minor, a sexually violent offense, or murder. Extends, from five to seven years, the maximum period of participation for incarcerated individuals. Increases the amount that each state can receive for each eligible student from a maximum of $1,500 to a maximum of $3,000 annually for tuition, books, and essential materials.
Reauthorizes appropriations for the program for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 933) Requires nonprofit grantees under the Underground Railroad educational and cultural program to make information related to the Underground Railroad available, including through electronic means, to elementary and secondary schools, IHEs, and the general public.
Reauthorizes appropriations for such program for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 934) Amends the Higher Education Amendments of 1992 to reauthorize appropriations for Olympic scholarships for FY2009-FY2014.
(Sec. 935) Amends the Department of Education Organization Act to establish, in the Department's Office of Postsecondary Education, a Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education with extensive experience in international and foreign language instruction.
Makes the Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for: (1) promoting the study of foreign languages and cultures at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels; and (2) coordinating such programs with other related federal programs.
Part D: Tribal College and Universities; Navajo Higher Education - Subpart 1: Tribal Colleges and Universities - (Sec. 941) Amends the Tribally Controlled College or University Assistance Act of 1978 to define an Indian student as a member of an Indian tribe or a biological child of such a member.
Sets forth the method of determining credits earned in an Indian continuing education program, but limits such credits to 10% of the Indian student count of a tribally controlled college or university.
Requires tribally controlled college or university grantees to be: (1) accredited by a nationally recognized accreditor that meets the Secretary's approval; or (2) making progress toward such accreditation according to such accreditor.
Increases the grant amount per Indian student count from $6,000 to $8,000.
Reauthorizes appropriations for various programs under the Tribally Controlled College or University Assistance Act of 1978.
Establishes a grant program for two tribally controlled postsecondary career and technical institutions, the United Tribes Technical College and the Navajo Technical College.
Subpart 2: Navajo Higher Education - Navajo Nation Higher Education Act of 2008 - (Sec. 946) Amends the Navajo Community College Act to replace references to the Navajo Community College with references to Dine college. Reauthorizes appropriations for grants to Dine college for FY2009-FY2014. Adds the improvement and expansion of Dine college to authorized grant uses.
Part E: Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 - John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act of 2008 - (Sec. 952) Amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to direct the Attorney General to assume the obligation to repay student loans for borrowers who agree to remain employed, for at least three years, as: (1) state or local criminal prosecutors; or (2) state, local, or federal public defenders in criminal cases. Allows a borrower and the Attorney General to enter into an additional loan repayment agreement, after the required three-year period, for a successive period of service which may be less than three years. Limits the amount paid under such program on behalf of any borrower to $10,000 per calendar year and $60,000 total.
Requires the Attorney General to give priority in granting repayment benefits to borrowers who have the least ability to repay their loans.
Requires the Inspector General of the Department of Justice to report to Congress on the cost of such loan repayment program and the impact such program has on the hiring and retention of prosecutors and public defenders.
Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to Congress on the impact of law school accreditation requirements and other factors on law school costs and access, including the impact of such requirements on racial and ethnic minorities.
Authorizes appropriations for such program for FY2009-FY2014.
Part F: Institutional Loan Repayment Assistance Programs - (Sec. 961) Permits public or private IHEs, notwithstanding any other provision of law, to grant student loan forgiveness to students or alumni who are federal or District of Columbia employees if the IHE has a written, published policy regarding such forgiveness for students or alumni who perform public service.
Part G: Minority Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Program - (Sec. 971) Amends the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 to direct the Secretary of Commerce to award grants and contracts to minority-serving IHEs and minority IHEs that serve a high proportion of needy students for the acquisition and augmentation of digital and wireless networking technologies to improve the quality and delivery of educational services at such institutions.
Authorizes appropriations for such program for FY2009-FY2012.
Title X: Private Student Loan Improvement - Private Student Loan Transparency and Improvement Act of 2008 - Amends the Truth in Lending Act to impose consumer protection and disclosure requirements on private educational lenders.
Subtitle A: Preventing Unfair and Deceptive Private Educational Lending Practices and Eliminating Conflicts of Interest - (Sec. 1011) Prohibits private educational lenders from: (1) offering or providing gifts to IHEs, or IHEs from receiving them, in exchange for loan business advantages; (2) revenue sharing with IHEs; (3) using IHEs' names or symbols in marketing their loans in a manner that implies that such IHEs endorse the loans; or (4) imposing fees or penalties on borrowers prepaying their loans.
Prohibits an institution's officers, employees, and agents with financial aid duties from receiving anything other than reasonable expenses for serving on advisory groups established by private educational lenders. Requires IHEs to report annually to the Secretary on payments for such reasonable expenses.
(Sec. 1012) Subjects private educational lenders to civil liability when they fail to comply with borrower protection and disclosure requirements. Requires civil actions to be brought within one year after the first regular payment of principal on the loan becomes due.
Subtitle B: Improved Disclosures for Private Education Loans - (Sec. 1021) Sets forth the private student loan terms and conditions which lenders must clearly and conspicuously disclose to borrowers in any application or solicitation for such a loan and contemporaneously with the approval of a private student loan application. Requires the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to create model forms that private educational lenders may use in providing such disclosures. Requires private educational lenders that have preferred lender arrangements with IHEs to provide such IHEs annually with model disclosure form information for each type of private education loan offered to the schools' students or families.
Gives private student loan borrowers 30 days after the loan is approved and the required loan disclosure information is received to accept and consummate the loan transaction. Allows borrowers to cancel such loans, without penalty, within three business days of their consummation.
Amends the HEA to prohibit private education loans from being consummated before applicants submit a signed self-certification form, that the Secretary develops and IHEs provide to students, informing applicants of the availability of, and their possible eligibility for, federal, state, and institutional student aid.
(Sec. 1022) Makes the Truth in Lending Act applicable to all private education loans.
Subtitle C: College Affordability - (Sec. 1031) Amends the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 to require that, when a federal financial supervisory agency assesses the record of a financial institution in meeting the credit needs of its local communities, the agency consider low-cost education loans provided by the financial institution to low-income borrowers.
Subtitle D: Financial Literacy; Studies and Reports - (Sec. 1042) Directs the Secretary of the Treasury, in coordination with the Secretary and certain other federal agencies, to take certain measures to enhance the financial literacy of postsecondary school students and assist them in navigating the financial aid process. Requires the Financial Literacy and Education Commission to report to Congress, within two years of this title's enactment, on the state of financial education among students at IHEs.
Title XI: Studies and Reports - (Sec. 1101) Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to Congress on: (1) the performance of American students who receive federal student aid to attend graduate medical schools abroad, and provide data and recommendations to the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation to assist the Department in reviewing such schools; (2) the collection of information on the employment of postsecondary school graduates; and (3) on the time and cost burdens to IHEs associated with completing the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
(Sec. 1104) Requires the Secretary to study and report to Congress on the implementation of articulation agreements at State-supported college and university systems and other IHEs.
(Sec. 1105) Directs the Comptroller General to analyze and report to Congress on the compliance of proprietary IHEs with the requirement that they derive at least 10% of their revenue from non-title IV sources.
(Sec. 1106) Requires the Secretary to contract with the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to study and report on: (1) the amount and scope of all federal regulations and reporting requirements with which IHEs must comply; and (2) recommendations for consolidating, streamlining, and eliminating those that are redundant and burdensome.
(Sec. 1107) Directs the Secretary to contract with the National Research Council to study and report to Congress on: (1) the quality of distance education programs as compared to campus-based education programs at IHEs; and (2) current and alternative environmental, health, and safety standards for IHE research and teaching laboratories and facilities.
(Sec. 1109) Requires the Secretary to commission a study and report to Congress and states on underrepresented minority males, particularly African American, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native males, completing high school and entering into and completing postsecondary education.
(Sec. 1110) Directs the Secretary to contract with the NAS Board on Testing and Assessment for a study identifying any race, ethnicity, and gender biases present in the content and construction of standardized tests that are used for admission to IHEs.
(Sec 1111) Requires the Comptroller General to study and report to Congress on the amounts, uses, and public purposes of IHE endowments.
(Sec. 1112) Directs the Secretary to assess and report to Congress on the effects of providing prisoners with a postsecondary education.
(Sec. 1113) Requires the Secretary to: (1) study and report to Congress on the feasibility of expanding the student aid available under title IV of the HEA to less-than-half-time students; and (2) recommend to Congress a demonstration project, statutory and regulatory modifications, and accountability mechanisms to facilitate that expansion.
(Sec. 1114) Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to Congress on the methodology used to determine expected family contribution, particularly: (1) the HEA title IV educational assistance need analysis formula; and (2) the need for regional sensitivity in need analysis.
(Sec. 1115) Requires the Secretary to coordinate with public service organizations and interested parties a study and report to Congress on: (1) the effect of student loan debt levels on the decisions of graduates of postsecondary and graduate education programs to enter into public service; and (2) measures that might be taken to increase the number of graduates who enter public service careers.
(Sec. 1116) Directs the Secretary to contract with the NAS Center for Education for a scientifically based study to determine if teachers and teacher education programs meet the needs of students with reading and language processing challenges, including dyslexia. Requires reports to the Secretary and to Congress. Directs the Secretary is to assemble a task force to make policy recommendations regarding the Center's findings.
(Sec. 1117) Requires the Secretary and the Secretary of the Treasury to study and report to Congress on the feasibility and benefits of developing a system through which a borrower who is repaying a loan through the income contingent repayment plan or the income-based repayment program may make payments on the loan using the income tax withholding system.
(Sec. 1118) Directs the Secretary to report to Congress about alternatives ways to measure and report degree or program completion rates for IHEs receiving title IV funds.
(Sec. 1119) Requires the Comptroller General to study all the financial and compliance audits and reviews required or conducted under the FFEL and DL programs to compare them between such programs and assess their effectiveness and use in protecting federal and borrower interests.
(Sec. 1120) Directs the Secretary to convene a summit of higher education experts, federal representatives, and business and industry leaders to encourage cooperative efforts to enhance sustainability programs at IHEs and apply such programs to the community and workplace.
(Sec. 1121) Requires the Secretary to contract with the NAS Institute of Medicine to study and report to the Secretary and Congress on: (1) constraints encountered by schools of nursing in admitting and graduating the number of registered nurses necessary to ensure patient safety and meet the need for health care quality assurance; and (2) recommendations to alleviate the constraints on a short-term and long-term basis.
(Sec. 1122) Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to Congress on: (1) the impact nonindividual factors, including cohort default rates, accreditation, and graduation rates at IHEs, have on the pricing, types, and availability of private education loans; (2) the feasibility of developing a national student loan clearinghouse on the Department's website that helps prospective borrowers make informed decisions in selecting lenders from whom to obtain federal and private education loans; and (3) the Secretary's efforts to enforce the ban on IHEs' offering incentive payments to persons or entities engaged in recruiting students or making student aid decisions for their success in securing enrollments or financial aid.