[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 5 (Tuesday, January 8, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1206-1209]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00163]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records--Evaluation of the Pell 
Grant Experiments Under the Experimental Sites Initiative--2012

AGENCY: Institute of Education Sciences, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of a new system of records.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended 
(Privacy Act), the Department of Education (Department) publishes this 
notice of a new system of records entitled ``Evaluation of the Pell 
Grant Experiments Under the Experimental Sites Initiative--2012'' (18-
13-31).

DATES: Submit your comments on this proposed new system of records on 
or before February 7, 2013.
    The Department filed a report describing the new system of records 
covered by this notice with the Chair of the Senate Committee on 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Chair of the House 
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Administrator of 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs,

[[Page 1207]]

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on January 3, 2013. This system 
of records will become effective at the later date of: (1) The 
expiration of the 40-day period for OMB review on February 12, 2013, 
unless OMB waives 10 days of the 40-day review period for compelling 
reasons shown by the Department, or (2) February 7, 2013, unless the 
system of records needs to be changed as a result of public comment or 
OMB review.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this new system of records to Dr. 
Audrey Pendleton, Associate Commissioner, Evaluation Division, National 
Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of 
Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue 
NW., room 502D, Washington, DC 20208-0001. Telephone: (202) 208-7078. 
If you prefer to send comments through the Internet, use the following 
address: [email protected].
    You must include the term ``Pell Grant Experiments Under the 
Experimental Sites Initiative--2012'' in the subject line of the 
electronic message.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all comments 
about this notice at the U.S. Department of Education in room 502D, 555 
New Jersey Avenue NW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. 
and 4:30 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week except 
Federal holidays.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking 
Record

    On request we will provide an appropriate accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance 
to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking 
record for this notice. If you want to schedule an appointment for this 
type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Marsha Silverberg. Telephone: 
(202)208-7178. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf 
(TDD) or text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), 
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 contact person listed in this section.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Introduction

    The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) requires the Department to publish 
in the Federal Register this notice of a new system of records 
maintained by the Department. The Department's regulations implementing 
the Privacy Act are contained in part 5b of Title 34 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR).
    The Privacy Act applies to any record about an individual that is 
maintained in a system of records from which individually identifying 
information is retrieved by a unique identifier associated with each 
individual, such as a name or Social Security Number. The information 
about each individual is called a ``record,'' and the system, whether 
manual or computer-based, is called a ``system of records.''
    The Privacy Act requires each agency to publish a notice of a 
system of records in the Federal Register and to prepare and send a 
report to OMB whenever the agency publishes a new system of records or 
makes a significant change to an established system of records. Each 
agency is also required to send copies of the report to the Chair of 
the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and 
the Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. 
These reports are inc1uded to permit an evaluation of the probable 
effect of the proposal on the privacy rights of individuals.
    The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional 
Assistance at the Department's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) 
commissioned a study to conduct an evaluation of the impacts of two 
different experiments involving the Pell Grant eligibility criteria. 
The first experiment expands eligibility for Pell Grants to income-
eligible students who already possess a bachelor's degree and who 
enroll in occupational training. The second experiment expands 
eligibility for Pell Grants to students who enroll in occupational 
programs that have a shorter duration than allowable under current 
rules. Both experiments are being implemented under the Experimental 
Sites Initiative (ESI), authorized by section 487A(b) of the Higher 
Education Act of 1965 (HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1094a(b)), which allows the 
Secretary to grant waivers from specific title IV HEA statutory or 
regulatory requirements to allow institutions to test alternative 
methods for administering those Federal student aid programs. The study 
will compare students with expanded access to Pell Grants to similar 
students who will not have access, in order to assess the effects of 
expanded Pell Grant access on educational attainment, employment, and 
earnings. It will be conducted under a contract that IES awarded in 
September 2012.
    The study will provide credible and reliable information to help 
guide future policy decisions in the area of Federal financial aid. The 
central research questions that the study will address are: What is the 
impact of expanding Pell Grant eligibility on employment and earnings? 
Does it improve access to occupational training? How does it affect 
financial aid receipt and student debt?
    The system will contain records on approximately 10,800 students 
from approximately 51 participating institutions of higher education.
    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 this 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.

    Dated: January 3, 2013.
John Q. Easton,
Director, Institute of Education Sciences.
    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Director of the 
Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, 
publishes a notice of a new system of records to read as follows:
SYSTEM NUMBER:
    18-13-31.

SYSTEM NAME:
    Evaluation of the Pell Grants Experiments Under the Experimental 
Sites Initiative--2012.

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:
    None.

SYSTEM LOCATIONS:
    (1) Evaluation Division, National Center for Education Evaluation 
and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S.

[[Page 1208]]

Department of Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue NW., room 502D, 
Washington, DC 20208-0001.
    (2) Social Policy Research Associates, 1330 Broadway, Suite 1426, 
Oakland, CA 94612-2513 (contractor).
    (3) Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., 600 Alexander Park, 
Princeton, NJ 08540-6346 (subcontractor).

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:
    The system will contain records on approximately 10,800 students 
from approximately 51 institutions of higher education.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:
    The system of records includes individually identifying information 
about the students who agree to participate in the study. This 
information includes name, birth date, and contact information; 
demographic information such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, and 
educational background; the type of program in which the student is 
enrolled, the student's progress through the program (credits earned) 
including completion; methods used to pay for the education and 
training, including financial aid received and amount of student debt 
incurred; receipt of support services; and information on employment 
and earnings.
    It is also our intention to include students' Social Security 
Numbers (SSNs) to obtain information on their financial aid and their 
employment and earnings; we expect to obtain the students' employment 
and earnings data from the administrative records of another Federal 
agency. Other methods for obtaining the information (i.e., self-
reporting) have proven to be infeasible and unreliable. SSNs are 
necessary to obtain the needed employment and earnings data, and this 
method will place a low burden on students and will not be costly to 
the Federal government.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:
    The study is authorized by section 487A(b)(2) of the Higher 
Education Act of 1965 (HEA), 20 U.S.C. 1094a(b)(2), which requires the 
Secretary of Education to review and evaluate the experiences of 
institutions that participate as experimental sites and to submit a 
biennial report based on the review and evaluation to the Committee on 
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Committee 
on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives. The study is 
also authorized by section 173(a)(1)(A) of the Education Sciences 
Reform Act of 2002 (ESRA) (20 U.S.C. 9563(a)(1)(A)), which authorizes 
the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance to 
conduct evaluations of Federal education programs administered by the 
Secretary and to determine the impact of such programs.

PURPOSE(S):
    The information contained in the records maintained in this system 
will support an evaluation of the impacts of two different experimental 
expansions to the Pell Grant eligibility criteria. The first experiment 
expands eligibility for Pell Grants to income-eligible students who 
already possess a bachelor's degree and who enroll in occupational 
training, while the second experiment expands eligibility for Pell 
Grants to students who enroll in occupational programs that have a 
shorter duration than allowable under current rules. Both experiments 
are being implemented under the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI), 
authorized by section 487A(b) of the HEA. The study will compare 
students with expanded access to Pell Grants to similar students who 
will not have access in order to assess the effects of expanded Pell 
Grant access on educational attainment, employment, and earnings. The 
study will address the following research questions:
    1. What is the impact of expanding Pell Grant eligibility on 
employment and earnings? The ultimate goal of the study is to determine 
if providing Pell Grants for those with a bachelor's degree and for 
relatively short-term job training affects participants' job prospects 
and income levels.
    2. Does it improve access to occupational training? Understanding 
whether the experiments made a difference in training enrollments will 
help in interpreting the presence or lack of earnings impacts.
    3. How does it affect financial aid receipt and student debt? With 
student debt loads being an increasing public policy concern, 
expansions in Pell Grant eligibility are intended to reduce reliance on 
loans that may carry high interest levels. The study will examine the 
impacts of the experiments on the types and amounts of financial aid 
students receive and on their expenditures for education and training.

ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES 
OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:
    The Department of Education (Department) may disclose information 
contained in a record in this system of records under the routine uses 
listed in this system of records without the consent of the individual 
if the disclosure is compatible with the purposes for which the record 
was collected. These disclosures may be made on a case-by-case basis 
or, if the Department has complied with the computer matching 
requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (Privacy Act), 
under a computer matching agreement. Any disclosure of individually 
identifiable information from a record in this system must also comply 
with the requirements of section 183 of the ESRA (20 U.S.C. 9573) 
providing for confidentiality standards that apply to all collections, 
reporting, and publication of data by IES.
    (1) Contract Disclosure. If the Department contracts with an entity 
for the purposes of performing any function that requires disclosure of 
records in this system to employees of the contractor, the Department 
may disclose the records to those employees. Before entering into such 
a contract, the Department shall require the contractor to maintain 
Privacy Act safeguards as required under 5 U.S.C. 552a(m) with respect 
to the records in the system.
    (2) Federal Agency Disclosure. The Department may disclose records 
from this system of records to another Federal agency for the purposes 
of allowing that agency to provide assistance to the Department with 
the evaluation of a federally supported education program. Under the 
requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 
20 U.S.C. 1232g and 34 CFR part 99, the Department will enter into an 
interagency agreement with the other Federal agency designating that 
agency as the Department's authorized representative before disclosing 
any personally identifiable information from any students' education 
records to that Federal agency. Under the terms of such an interagency 
agreement, the Federal agency will not be permitted to redisclose any 
personally identifiable information obtained from students' education 
records, and will be required to destroy any personally identifiable 
information from students' education records when no longer needed for 
the purposes of the evaluation as well as to maintain safeguards to 
protect the confidentiality of any personally identifiable information 
disclosed.
    (3) Research Disclosure. The Director of the Institute of Education 
Sciences may disclose information from this system of records to 
qualified researchers solely for the purpose of carrying out specific 
research that is compatible with the purpose(s) of this system of 
records. The researcher shall be required to maintain safeguards under 
the Privacy Act of 1974 and section 183 of the ESRA (20 U.S.C.

[[Page 1209]]

9573(c)) with respect to such records. When personally identifiable 
information from a student's education record will be disclosed to the 
researcher under FERPA, the researcher also shall be required to comply 
with the requirements in the applicable FERPA exception to consent.

DISCLOSURE TO CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES:
    Not applicable to this system of records.

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, 
AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:
STORAGE:
    The Department maintains records on CD-ROM, and the contractor 
(Social Policy Research Associates) and sub-contractor (Mathematica 
Policy Research, Inc.) maintain data for this system on computers and 
in hard copy.

RETRIEVABILITY:
    Records in this system are indexed and retrieved by a number 
assigned to each individual that is cross-referenced by the 
individual's name on a separate list.

SAFEGUARDS:
    All physical access to the Department's site and to the site of the 
Department's contractor and subcontractor, where this system of records 
is maintained, is controlled and monitored by security personnel. The 
computer system employed by the Department offers a high degree of 
resistance to tampering and circumvention. This security system limits 
data access to Department and contract staff on a need-to-know basis, 
and controls individual users' ability to access and alter records 
within the system. The contractor and subcontractor will establish a 
similar set of procedures at its site to ensure confidentiality of 
data. The contractor's and subcontractor's systems are required to 
ensure that information identifying individuals is in files physically 
separated from other research data. The contractor and subcontractor 
will maintain security of the complete set of all master data files and 
documentation. Access to individually identifying data will be strictly 
controlled. All data will be kept in locked file cabinets during 
nonworking hours, and work on hardcopy data will take place in a single 
room, except for data entry. Physical security of electronic data will 
also be maintained. Security features that protect project data 
include: Password-protected accounts that authorize users to use the 
contractor's system but to access only specific network directories and 
network software; user rights and directory and file attributes that 
limit those who can use particular directories and files and determine 
how they can use them; and additional security features that the 
network administrators will establish for projects as needed. The 
contractor's and subcontractor's employees who ``maintain'' (collect, 
maintain, use, or disseminate) data in this system shall comply with 
the requirements of the confidentiality standards in section 183 of the 
ESRA (20 U.S.C. 9573).

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:
    Records are maintained and disposed of in accordance with the 
Department's Records Disposition Schedule 068 (NARA Disposition 
Authority N1-441-08-18).

SYSTEM MANAGER AND ADDRESS:
    Associate Commissioner, Evaluation Division, National Center for 
Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education 
Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue NW., room 
502D, Washington, DC 20208-0001.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:
    If you wish to determine whether a record exists regarding you in 
the system of records, contact the systems manager. Your request must 
meet the requirements of regulations at 34 CFR 5b.5, including proof of 
identity.

RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURE:
    If you wish to gain access to your record in the system of records, 
contact the system manager. Your request must meet the requirements of 
regulations at 34 CFR 5b.5, including proof of identity.

CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURE:
    If you wish to contest the content of a record regarding you in the 
system of records, contact the system manager. Your request must meet 
the requirements of the regulations at 34 CFR 5b.7, including proof of 
identity.

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:
    This system contains records on students participating in the 
Evaluation of the Pell Grant Experiments Under the Experimental Sites 
Initiative. Data will be obtained through student records maintained by 
participating institutions, a survey of students, data extracts from 
Free Applications for Federal Student Aid, and from the administrative 
records of another Federal agency with data on the students' earnings 
and employment outcomes.

EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED FOR THE SYSTEM:
    None.

[FR Doc. 2013-00163 Filed 1-7-13; 8:45 am]
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