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Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Department of Education.


The Secretary of Education requests comments on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that the Secretary proposes to use for the 2003-2004 year. The FAFSA is completed by students and their families and the information submitted on the form is used to determine the students' eligibility and financial need for financial aid under the student financial assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, (Title IV, HEA Programs).


Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before September 30, 2002.

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Section 483 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), requires the Secretary, “in cooperation with agencies and organizations involved in providing student financial assistance,” to “produce, distribute and process free of charge a common financial reporting form to be used to determine the need and eligibility of a student under” the Title IV, HEA Programs. This form is the FAFSA. In addition, Section 483 authorizes the Secretary to include non-financial data items that assist States in awarding State student financial assistance.

The Secretary requests comments on the draft 2003-2004 FAFSA that has Start Printed Page 55383been posted to the IFAP website (see below). In particular, in an effort to continually improve the application for students, parents, and schools, the Secretary seeks comments to further simplify the FAFSA form and reduce burden hours, including removing, replacing or combining data elements. For example, replace questions 11 and 12, or questions 96 and 97 with a new question asking for the student's e-mail address.

The Secretary is considering additional skip logic to incorporate the simplified needs test and automatic zero expected family contribution to the FAFSA on the Web product, and requests comments regarding adding this functionality. The Secretary is publishing this request for comment under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S. C. 3501 et seq. Under that Act, ED must obtain the review and approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before it may use a form to collect information. However, under procedure for obtaining approval from OMB, ED must first obtain additional public comment on the proposed form and, to obtain that comment, ED must publish this notice in the Federal Register. In addition to comments requested above, to accommodate the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Secretary is interested in receiving comments with regard to the following matters: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department, (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner, (3) is the estimate of burden accurate, (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology.

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Dated: August 23, 2002.

John D. Tressler,

Leader, Regulatory Information Management, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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Office of Postsecondary Education

Type of Review: Revision.

Title: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Frequency: Annually.

Affected Public: Individuals and families.

Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden:

  Responses: 13,726,803.

  Burden Hours: 7,680,346.

Abstract: The FAFSA collects identifying and financial information about a student applying for Title IV, Higher Education Act (HEA) Program funds. This information is used to calculate the student's expected family contribution, which is used to determine a student's financial need. The information is also used to determine the student's eligibility for grants and loans under the Title IV, HEA Programs. It is further used for determining a student's eligibility for State and institutional financial aid programs.


Requests for copies of the submission for OMB review; comment request may be accessed from, by selecting the “Browse Pending Collections” link and by clicking on link number 1930. When you access the information collection, click on “Download Attachments” to view. Written requests for information should be addressed to Vivian Reese, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4050, Regional Office Building 3, Washington, DC 20202-4651. Please specify the complete title of the information collection when making your request. In addition, interested persons can access this document on the Internet:

(1) Go to IFAP at

(2) Click on “Current SFA Publications”.

(3) Scroll down and click on “FAFSAs and Renewal FAFSAs”.

(4) Click on “By 2003-2004 Award Year”.

(5) Click on “Draft FAFSA Form/Instructions”.

Please note that the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software, version 4.0 or greater, is necessary to view this file. This software can be downloaded for free from Adobe's website:

Comments regarding burden and/or the information collection activity requirements should be directed to Joseph Schubart at (202) 708-9266 or via his internet address Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

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[FR Doc. 02-22009 Filed 8-28-02; 8:45 am]