Just moments ago we received a copy of the “Unofficial Federal Register Notice” signaling the beginning of the 2021-2022 Federal Negotiated Rulemaking. As detailed in the unofficial notice, the topics detailed for negotiations by the “Affordability and Student Loans Committee” include:
- Borrower defense to repayment under 34 CFR 682.410, 682.411, 685.206, and 685.222;
- Closed school discharges under 34 CFR 685.214 and 682.402(d);
- Discharges for borrowers with a total and permanent disability under 34 CFR 674.61, 682.402(c), and 685.213;
- Discharges for false certification of student eligibility under 34 CFR 685.215 and 682.402(e);
- Loan repayment plans under 34 CFR 682.209, 682.215, 685.208, and 685.209;
- Interest capitalization on Federal student loans under 34 CFR 682.202, 685.202, 685.209, and 685.220;
- Mandatory pre-dispute arbitration and prohibition of class action lawsuits provisions in institutions’ enrollment agreements (formerly under 34 CFR 685.300) and associated counseling about such arrangements under 34 CFR 685.304;
- Pell Grant eligibility for prison education programs under 34 CFR part 690; and
- The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program under 34 CFR 685.219.
In addition to this Full Committee the unofficial notice also shares that the Department intends to form a Prison Education Program Subcommittee to expand the range of expertise and constituencies represented on this topic.
Submission of Nominees (Due No Later Than 20 Days After Official Publication of the Notice in the Federal Register)
Per the notice, all interested parties within the higher education community will have 20 days from the publication of the notice to officially submit nominees from both statutorily established groups and other potentially interested groups to participate as lead and alternate negotiators and there is also a new designated category of “Advisor” which will need to be further reviewed and discussed in the weeks ahead, but appear to provide for the nomination of up to two individuals with specific expertise on key issues to support the actual negotiators.
Schedule for Meetings
The dates for the upcoming virtual negotiations are tentatively set for:
Session 1: October 4-8, 2021
Session 2: November 1-5, 2021
Session 3: December 6-10, 2021