Summary: This letter contains information about the recently enacted Higher Education Amendments of 1998. It includes an enclosure that provides summary descriptions of the provisions of the Amendments that affect the Title IV student assistance programs.
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On October 7, 1998, President Clinton signed into law the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 (Pub. L.105-244) that amended the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). Among the many important provisions of the new law was, of course, the reauthorization of the Title IV Student Financial Assistance Programs. The Amendments also contained a number of changes to the Title IV Programs and to the structure under which they are delivered. The enclosure to this letter provides summaries of those provisions of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 that directly affect the Title IV Student Aid Programs.
In addition to the summaries included with this letter, we are developing other materials that will assist you in fulfilling your responsibilities under the amended Higher Education Act. Within the next few weeks, we will create a new selection item on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website - http://ifap.ed.gov - which will allow you to select a specific provision of the Amendments for additional information. Each of these Reauthorization Information Pages will include a more thorough description of the provision, its effective date, and its related statutory and regulatory citations. Over the next several weeks, we will be annotating each of the Reauthorization Information Pages with implementation guidance. Finally, as we receive questions about each provision, we will add those questions and their answers (Q&A) to each Reauthorization Information Page.
We recognize that the Congress chose to impose a number of new responsibilities upon program participants immediately upon enactment of the Amendments and, consequently, you are required to implement a number of the new provisions before receiving guidance from the Department. Accordingly, during subsequent reviews of your compliance with the Amendments, we will take into account any guidance that had been provided by the Department during the period under review or, as applicable, the absence of such guidance.
I want to thank you for your continued cooperation as, together, we work to effectively and efficiently deliver critical student financial assistance to our students and their families.
Diane E. Rogers
Acting Chief Operating Officer
Office of Student Financial Assistance Programs