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Notice

Proposed Collection; Comment Request

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Department of Education.

SUMMARY:

The Secretary of Education requests comments on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that the Secretary proposes to use for the 2005-2006 award 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 Start Printed Page 11847the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, (Title IV, HEA Programs). The Secretary also requests comments on changes under consideration for the 2005-2006 award year FAFSA.

DATES:

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before May 11, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments and requests for copies of the proposed information collection requests should be addressed to Joseph Schubart, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4050, Regional Office Building 3, Washington, DC 20202-4651.

In addition, interested persons can access this document on the Internet:

(1) Go to IFAP at http://ifap.ed.gov;​

(2) Scroll down to “Publications”;

(3) Click on “FAFSAs and Renewal FAFSAs”;

(4) Click on “By 2005-2006 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 Web site: http://www.adobe.com.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joseph Schubart (202) 708-9266. 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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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 draft 2005-2006 FAFSA (posted to the IFAP Web site) incorporates four new data elements in preparation for a potential match with IRS data. These new data elements are on page 3 of the form, questions 18-21. To allow room for these new data elements we are recommending the number of schools an applicant lists on the FAFSA be reduced from six to four. This recommendation is based on comments received during the previous clearance cycle. Other suggestions to fit these additional questions included removing some of the instructions on the form. The Secretary requests comments on ways to further simplify the application for students, parents, and schools, as well as suggestions for incorporating these new data elements.

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 public comment of 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: March 8, 2004.

Angela C. Arrington,

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

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Federal Student Aid

Type of Review: Revision.

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

Frequency: Annually.

Affected Public: Individuals or household.

Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden:

Responses: 14,762,847.

Burden Hours: 7,624,153.

Abstract: The FAFSA collects identifying and financial information about a student applying for Title IV, 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 for determining a student's eligibility for State and institutional financial aid programs.

Requests for copies of the proposed information collection request may be accessed from http://edicsweb.ed.gov, by selecting the “Browse Pending Collections” link and by clicking on link number 2465. 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 or to the e-mail address Vivian.Reese@ed.gov. Requests may also be electronically mailed to the Internet address OCIO_RIMG@ed.gov or faxed to (202) 708-9346. Please specify the complete title of the information collection when making your request.

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[FR Doc. 04-5586 Filed 3-11-04; 8:45 am]

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