[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 113 (Wednesday, June 12, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 35179-35181]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-13975]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter VI

[Docket ID ED-2013-OPE-0077]


Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, Negotiator Nominations and 
Schedule of Committee Meetings--Title IV Federal Student Aid Programs, 
Gainful Employment in a Recognized Occupation

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

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ACTION: Intention to establish negotiated rulemaking committee.

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SUMMARY: We announce our intention to establish a negotiated rulemaking 
committee to prepare proposed regulations for the Federal Student Aid 
programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, 
as amended (HEA) (title IV Federal Student Aid programs). The proposed 
regulations would establish standards for programs that prepare 
students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation. This 
committee will include representatives of organizations or groups with 
interests that are significantly affected by the subject matter of the 
proposed regulations. We request nominations for individual negotiators 
who represent key stakeholder constituencies for the issue to be 
negotiated to serve on the committee and we set a schedule for 
committee meetings.
    The Department continues to review and appreciates and values the 
testimony offered at the public hearings and the comments submitted 
through the public comment process regarding other proposed rulemaking 
topics, including: cash management of funds provided under title IV 
Federal Student Aid programs; regulations designed to prevent fraud; 
State authorization for programs offered through distance education or 
correspondence education; State authorization for foreign locations of 
institutions located in a State; clock to credit hour conversion; 
changes made by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 
to the campus safety and security reporting requirements in the HEA; 
the definition of ``adverse credit'' for borrowers in the Federal 
Direct PLUS Loan Program; and campus-based Federal Student Aid program 
reforms. We anticipate announcing our intention to establish a 
negotiated rulemaking committee or committees to consider some or all 
of these rulemaking issues in the coming months.

DATES: We must receive your nominations for negotiators to serve on the 
committee on or before July 12, 2013. The dates, times, and locations 
of the committee meetings are set out in the Schedule for Negotiations 
section under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, below.

ADDRESSES: Please send your nominations for negotiators to Wendy 
Macias, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 8017, 
Washington, DC 20006. Telephone: (202) 502-7526 or by email: 
wendy.macias@ed.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about the content of 
this notice, including information about the negotiated rulemaking 
process or the nomination submission process, contact: Wendy Macias, 
U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., room 8017, Washington, 
DC 20006. Telephone: (202) 502-7526 or by email: wendy.macias@ed.gov.
    For general information about the negotiated rulemaking process, 
see The Negotiated Rulemaking Process for Title IV Regulations, 
Frequently Asked Questions at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/hea08/neg-reg-faq.html.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or text 
telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-
8339.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an 
accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact 
disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 1, 2012, we published a notice in the 
Federal Register (77 FR 25658) announcing our intent to establish a 
negotiated rulemaking committee under section 492 of the HEA to develop 
proposed regulations designed to prevent fraud and otherwise ensure 
proper use of title IV Federal Student Aid program funds, especially 
within the context of current technologies. In particular, we announced 
our intent to propose regulations to address the use of debit cards and 
other banking mechanisms for disbursing title IV Federal Student Aid 
program funds, and to improve and streamline the campus-based Federal 
Student Aid programs. We also announced two public hearings at which 
interested parties could comment on the topics suggested by the 
Department and suggest additional topics for consideration for action 
by the negotiated rulemaking committee. Those hearings were held on May 
23, 2012, in Phoenix, Arizona, and on May 31, 2012, in Washington, DC. 
We invited parties to comment and submit topics for consideration in 
writing as well.
    On April 16, 2013, we published a notice in the Federal Register 
(78 FR 2247), as corrected at 78 FR 25235, announcing additional topics 
for consideration for action by the negotiated rulemaking committee. 
The additional topics for consideration are: cash management of funds 
provided under the title IV Federal Student Aid programs; State 
authorization for programs offered through distance education or 
correspondence education; State authorization for foreign locations of 
institutions located in a State; clock to credit hour conversion; 
gainful employment; changes made by the Violence Against Women 
Reauthorization Act of 2013, Public Law 113-4, to the campus safety and 
security reporting requirements in the HEA; and the definition of 
``adverse credit'' for borrowers in the Federal Direct PLUS Loan 
Program. We announced three public hearings at which interested parties 
could comment on the new topics suggested by the Department and suggest 
additional topics for consideration for action by the negotiating 
committee. On May 13, 2013, we announced in the Federal Register (78 FR 
27880) the addition of a fourth hearing. The hearings were held on May 
21, 2013, in Washington, DC; May 23, 2013, in Minneapolis, Minnesota; 
May 30, 2013, in San Francisco, California; and June 4, 2013, in 
Atlanta, Georgia. We also invited parties unable to attend a public 
hearing to submit written comments on the additional topics and to 
submit other topics for consideration. Transcripts from all six public 
hearings will be found once they are available at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2012/index.html. Written comments 
submitted in response to the May 1, 2012, and April 16, 2013, notices 
may be viewed through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at 
www.regulations.gov. Instructions for finding comments are available on 
the site under ``How to Use Regulations.gov'' in the Help section. 
Individuals can enter docket ID ED-2012-OPE-0008 in the search box to 
locate the appropriate docket.
    Regulatory Issues: After consideration of the information received 
at the regional hearings and the submitted written comments, we have 
decided to establish, at this time, one negotiating committee to 
prepare proposed regulations for the title IV Federal Student Aid 
programs establishing standards for programs that prepare students for 
gainful employment in a recognized occupation.
    We intend to select negotiators for the committee who represent the 
interests significantly affected by the establishment of standards for 
programs that prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized 
occupation. In so doing, we will follow the requirement in section 
492(b)(1) of the HEA that the individuals selected must have 
demonstrated expertise or experience in the relevant subject under 
negotiation. We will also select

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individual negotiators who reflect the diversity among program 
participants, in accordance with section 492(b)(1) of the HEA. Our goal 
is to establish a committee that will allow significantly affected 
parties to be represented while keeping the committee size manageable.
    The committee may create subgroups on particular aspects of this 
topic that may involve additional individuals who are not members of 
the committee. Such individuals who are not selected as members of the 
committee will be able to attend the meetings, have access to the 
individuals representing their constituencies, and participate in 
informal working groups on various issues between the meetings. The 
committee meetings will be open to the public.
    Through the publication of future Federal Register notices in the 
coming months, we intend to establish committees to address other 
rulemaking issues.
    Constituencies: We have identified the following constituencies as 
having interests that are significantly affected by the topic proposed 
for negotiations. The Department plans to seat as negotiators 
individuals from organizations or groups representing these 
constituencies:
     Students.
     Legal assistance organizations that represent students.
     Consumer advocacy organizations.
     Financial aid administrators at postsecondary 
institutions.
     State higher education executive officers.
     State attorneys general and other appropriate State 
officials.
     Business and industry.
     Institutions of higher education eligible to receive 
Federal assistance under title III, Parts A, B, and F and title V of 
the HEA, which include Historically Black Colleges and Universities, 
Hispanic-Serving Institutions, American Indian Tribally Controlled 
Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving 
Institutions, Predominantly Black Institutions, and other institutions 
with a substantial enrollment of needy students as defined in title III 
of the HEA.
     Two-year public institutions of higher education.
     Four-year public institutions of higher education.
     Private, non-profit institutions of higher education.
     Private, for-profit institutions of higher education.
     Regional accrediting agencies.
     National accrediting agencies.
     Specialized accrediting agencies.
    The goal of the committee is to develop proposed regulations that 
reflect a final consensus of the committee. Consensus means that there 
is no dissent by any member of the negotiating committee, including the 
committee member representing the Department. An individual selected as 
a negotiator will be expected to represent the interests of his or her 
organization or group, and participate in the negotiations in a manner 
consistent with the goal of developing proposed regulations on which 
the committee will reach consensus. If consensus is reached, all 
members of the organization or group represented by a negotiator are 
bound by the consensus and are prohibited from commenting negatively on 
the resulting proposed regulations. The Department will not consider 
any such negative comments that are submitted by members of such an 
organization or group.
    Nominations: Nominations should include:
     The name of the nominee, the organization or group the 
nominee represents, and a description of the interests that the nominee 
represents.
     Evidence of the nominee's expertise or experience in the 
subject to be negotiated.
     Evidence of support from individuals or groups within the 
constituency that the nominee will represent.
     The nominee's commitment that he or she will actively 
participate in good faith in the development of the proposed 
regulations.
     The nominee's contact information, including address, 
phone number, fax number, and email address.
    For a better understanding of the negotiated rulemaking process, 
nominees should review The Negotiated Rulemaking Process for Title IV 
Regulations, Frequently Asked Questions at http://www.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/hea08/neg-reg-faq.html prior to committing 
to serve as a negotiator.
    Nominees will be notified whether or not they have been selected as 
negotiators as soon as the Department's review process is completed.
    Schedule for Negotiations: The committee will meet for two sessions 
on the following dates:
    Session 1: September 9-11, 2013.
    Session 2: October 21-23, 2013.
    Sessions will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the first two 
days, and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the last day.
    The meetings will be held at the U.S. Department of Education at: 
1990 K Street NW., Eighth Floor Conference Center, Washington, DC 
20006.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of the Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF 
you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the 
site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1098a.

    Dated: June 7, 2013.
Martha Kanter,
Under Secretary for Education.
[FR Doc. 2013-13975 Filed 6-11-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P