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H.R. 5715 (110th): Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008


The text of the bill below is as of May 1, 2008 (Passed the Senate with an Amendment).


110th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5715

In the Senate of the United States,

April 30, 2008.

Amendments:

That the bill from the House of Representatives (H.R. 5715) entitled An Act to ensure continued availability of access to the Federal student loan program for students and families., do pass with the following

(1)

On page 2, line 5, strike and graduate

(2)

On page 7, line 11, strike issued and insert: first disbursed

(3)

On page 9, line 12, strike issued and insert: first disbursed

(4)

On page 9, line 24 through page 10 line 11 strike and insert:

(B)
(i)

Extenuating circumstances

An eligible lender may determine that extenuating circumstances exist under the regulations promulgated pursuant to paragraph (1)(A) if, during the period beginning January 1, 2007, and ending December 31, 2009, an applicant for a loan under this section—

(I)

is or has been delinquent for 180 days or fewer on mortgage loan payments or on medical bill payments during such period; and

(II)

is not and has not been more than 89 days delinquent on the repayment of any other debt during such period.

(ii)

Definition of mortgage loan

In this subparagraph, the term mortgage loan means an extension of credit to a borrower that is secured by the primary residence of the borrower.

(iii)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to limit an eligible lender’s authority under the regulations promulgated pursuant to paragraph (1)(A) to determine that extenuating circumstances exist.

.

(5)

On page 10, after line 24 insert:

(1)

in paragraph (1), by inserting after the second sentence the following: No loan under section 428, 428B, or 428H that is made pursuant to this subsection shall be made with interest rates, origination or default fees, or other terms and conditions that are more favorable to the borrower than the maximum interest rates, origination or default fees, or other terms and conditions applicable to that type of loan under this part.;

(6)

On page 12, line 14, strike lenders willing to make loans and insert: eligible lenders willing to make loans under this part

(7)

On page 13, after line 2 insert:

(6)

Expiration of authority

The Secretary’s authority under paragraph (4) to designate institutions of higher education for participation in the program under this subsection shall expire on June 30, 2009.

(7)

Expiration of designation

The eligibility of an institution of higher education, or borrowers from such institution, to participate in the program under this subsection pursuant to a designation of the institution by the Secretary under paragraph (4) shall expire on June 30, 2009. After such date, borrowers from an institution designated under paragraph (4) shall be eligible to participate in the program under this subsection as such program existed on the day before the date of enactment of the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008.

(8)

Prohibition on inducements and marketing

Each guaranty agency or eligible lender that serves as a lender-of-last-resort under this subsection—

(A)

shall be subject to the prohibitions on inducements contained in subsection (b)(3) and the requirements of section 435(d)(5); and

(B)

shall not advertise, market, or otherwise promote loans under this subsection, except that nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit a guaranty agency from fulfilling its responsibilities under paragraph (2)(C).

(9)

Dissemination and reporting

(A)

In general

The Secretary shall—

(i)

broadly disseminate information regarding the availability of loans made under this subsection;

(ii)

during the period beginning July 1, 2008 and ending June 30, 2010, provide to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives and make available to the public—

(I)

copies of any new or revised plans or agreements made by guaranty agencies or the Department related to the authorities under this subsection;

(II)

quarterly reports on—

(aa)

the number and amounts of loans originated or approved pursuant to this subsection by each guaranty agency and eligible lender; and

(bb)

any related payments by the Department, a guaranty agency, or an eligible lender; and

(III)

a budget estimate of the costs to the Federal Government (including subsidy and administrative costs) for each 100 dollars loaned, of loans made pursuant to this subsection between the date of enactment of the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008 and June 30, 2009, disaggregated by type of loan, compared to such costs to the Federal Government during such time period of comparable loans under this part and part D, disaggregated by part and by type of loan; and

(iii)

beginning July 1, 2010, provide to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives and make available to the public—

(I)

copies of any new or revised plans or agreements made by guaranty agencies or the Department related to the authorities under this subsection; and

(II)

annual reports on—

(aa)

the number and amounts of loans originated or approved pursuant to this subsection by each guaranty agency and eligible lender; and

(bb)

any related payments by the Department, a guaranty agency, or an eligible lender.

(B)

Separate reporting

The information required to be reported under subparagraph (A)(ii)(II) shall be reported separately for loans originated or approved pursuant to paragraph (4), or payments related to such loans, for the time period in which the Secretary is authorized to make designations under paragraph (4).

.

(8)

On page 13, line 12, strike agency's and insert: agencies

(9)

On page 14, line 3, strike adding at the end and insert: inserting before the matter following paragraph (5)

(10)

On page 15, line 19, strike loans originated and insert: loans first disbursed

(11)

On page 15, line 21, after October 1, 2003, insert: and before July 1, 2009,

(12)

On page 16, line 1, after Federal Government insert: (including the cost of servicing the loans purchased)

(13)

On page 16, strike lines 5 through 23, and insert the following:

(2)

Federal register notice

The Secretary, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, shall jointly publish a notice in the Federal Register prior to any purchase of loans under this section that—

(A)

establishes the terms and conditions governing the purchases authorized by paragraph (1);

(B)

includes an outline of the methodology and factors that the Secretary, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, will jointly consider in evaluating the price at which to purchase loans made under section 428, 428B, or 428H; and

(C)

describes how the use of such methodology and consideration of such factors used to determine purchase price will ensure that loan purchases do not result in any net cost to the Federal Government (including the cost of servicing the loans purchased).

.

(14)

On page 20, after line 9 insert the following:

10.

Academic Competitiveness Grants

(a)

Amendments

Section 401A of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a–1) is amended—

(1)

by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:

(a)

Academic competitiveness grant program authorized

The Secretary shall award grants, in the amounts specified in subsection (d)(1), to eligible students to assist the eligible students in paying their college education expenses.

;

(2)

in subsection (b)—

(A)

by striking academic year each place it appears and inserting year; and

(B)

in paragraph (2), by striking third or fourth and inserting third, fourth, or fifth;

(3)

in subsection (c)—

(A)

in the matter preceding paragraph (1)—

(i)

by striking full–time;

(ii)

by striking academic and inserting award; and

(iii)

by striking is made and inserting is made for a grant under this section;

(B)

by striking paragraphs (1) and (2) and inserting the following:

(1)

is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant;

(2)

is enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an institution of higher education on not less than a half-time basis; and

; and

(C)

in paragraph (3)—

(i)

by striking academic each place the term appears;

(ii)

in subparagraph (A)—

(I)

by striking the matter preceding clause (i) and inserting the following:

(A)

the first year of a program of undergraduate education at a two- or four-year degree-granting institution of higher education (including a program of not less than one year for which the institution awards a certificate)—

;

(II)

by striking clause (i) and inserting the following:

(i)

has successfully completed, after January 1, 2006, a rigorous secondary school program of study that prepares students for college and is recognized as such by the State official designated for such recognition, or with respect to any private or home school, the school official designated for such recognition for such school, consistent with State law, which recognized program shall be reported to the Secretary; and

; and

(III)

in clause (ii), by inserting , except as part of a secondary school program of study before the semicolon;

(iii)

in subparagraph (B)—

(I)

in the matter preceding clause (i), by striking year of and all that follows through higher education and inserting year of a program of undergraduate education at a two- or four-year degree-granting institution of higher education (including a program of not less than two years for which the institution awards a certificate); and

(II)

in clause (ii), by striking or after the semicolon at the end;

(iv)

in subparagraph (C)—

(I)

in the matter preceding subclause (I) of clause (i), by inserting certified by the institution to be after is;

(II)

by striking clause (i)(II) and inserting the following:

(II)

a critical foreign language; and

; and

(III)

in clause (ii), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(v)

by adding at the end the following:

(D)

the third or fourth year of a program of undergraduate education at an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101(a)), is attending an institution that demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the Secretary, that the institution—

(i)

offers a single liberal arts curriculum leading to a baccalaureate degree, under which students are not permitted by the institution to declare a major in a particular subject area, and the student—

(I)
(aa)

studies, in such years, a subject described in subparagraph (C)(i) that is at least equal to the requirements for an academic major at an institution of higher education that offers a baccalaureate degree in such subject, as certified by an appropriate official from the institution; and

(bb)

has obtained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (or the equivalent as determined under regulations prescribed by the Secretary) in the relevant coursework; or

(II)

is required, as part of the student's degree program, to undertake a rigorous course of study in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics, which consists of at least—

(aa)

4 years of study in mathematics; and

(bb)

3 years of study in the sciences, with a laboratory component in each of those years; and

(ii)

offered such curriculum prior to February 8, 2006; or

(E)

the fifth year of a program of undergraduate education that requires 5 full years of coursework, as certified by the appropriate official of the degree-granting institution of higher education, for which a baccalaureate degree is awarded by a degree-granting institution of higher education—

(i)

is certified by the institution of higher education to be pursuing a major in—

(I)

the physical, life, or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, or engineering (as determined by the Secretary pursuant to regulations); or

(II)

a critical foreign language; and

(ii)

has obtained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (or the equivalent, as determined under regulations prescribed by the Secretary) in the coursework required for the major described in clause (i).

;

(4)

in subsection (d)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

in subparagraph (A)—

(I)

by striking The and inserting In general.—The;

(II)

in clause (ii), by striking or after the semicolon at the end;

(III)

in clause (iii), by striking subsection (c)(3)(C). and inserting subparagraph (C) or (D) of subsection (c)(3), for each of the two years described in such subparagraphs; or; and

(IV)

by adding at the end the following:

(iv)

$4,000 for an eligible student under subsection (c)(3)(E).

; and

(ii)

in subparagraph (B)—

(I)

by striking Notwithstanding and inserting Limitation; ratable reduction.—Notwithstanding;

(II)

by redesignating clauses (i), (ii), and (iii), as clauses (ii), (iii), and (iv), respectively; and

(III)

by inserting before clause (ii), as redesignated under subclause (II), the following:

(i)

in any case in which a student attends an institution of higher education on less than a full-time basis, the amount of the grant that such student may receive shall be reduced in the same manner as a Federal Pell Grant is reduced under section 401(b)(2)(B);

;

(B)

by striking paragraph (2) and inserting the following:

(2)

Limitations

(A)

No grants for previous credit

The Secretary may not award a grant under this section to any student for any year of a program of undergraduate education for which the student received credit before the date of enactment of the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005.

(B)

Number of grants

The Secretary may not award more than one grant to a student described in subsection (c)(3) for each year of study described in such subsection.

; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following: and

(3)

Calculation of grant payments

An institution of higher education shall make payments of a grant awarded under this section in the same manner, using the same payment periods, as such institution makes payments for Federal Pell Grants under section 401.

;

(5)

by striking subsection (e)(2) and inserting the following:

(2)

Availability of funds

Funds made available under paragraph (1) for a fiscal year shall remain available for the succeeding fiscal year.

;

(6)

in subsection (f)—

(A)

by striking at least one and inserting not less than one; and

(B)

by striking subsection (c)(3)(A) and (B) and inserting subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (c)(3); and

(7)

in subsection (g), by striking academic and inserting award.

(b)

Effective date

The amendments made by subsection (a) shall take effect on January 1, 2009.

11.

Inapplicability of master calendar and negotiated rulemaking requirements

Sections 482 and 492 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1089, 1098a) shall not apply to amendments made by sections 2 through 9 of this Act, or to any regulations promulgated under such amendments.

Secretary