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(GEN-10-17) Subject: Approval of Military Service Deferment/Post-Active Duty Student Deferment Request Form

Publication Date: November 26, 2010

DCL ID: GEN-10-17
FP-10-07
CB-10-01

Subject: Approval of Military Service Deferment/Post-Active Duty Student Deferment Request Form

Summary: This letter announces the approval of a new Deferment Request: Military Service Deferment/Post-Active Duty Student Deferment form for use by borrowers in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, and the Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program, and provides guidance on implementation of the new form.

Dear Colleague:

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved a new Deferment Request: Military Service Deferment/Post-Active Duty Student Deferment form under OMB Control Number 1845-0080, with an expiration date of 07/31/2013. This form replaces the Military Deferment Request form that was previously approved under the same OMB Control Number with an expiration date of 04/30/2010.

The previous Military Deferment Request form (expiration date 04/30/2010) has served as the means by which Direct Loan, FFEL, and Perkins Loan program borrowers apply for the military service deferment that was established by the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-171) (HERA). Under this provision, borrowers may defer repayment on Titlei IV loans while they are performing qualifying active duty service or qualifying National Guard duty. As originally enacted into law, the military service deferment was limited to a maximum of three years, and was available only for loans that were first disbursed on or after July 1, 2001.

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-84) (CCRAA) amended the terms and conditions of the military service deferment by eliminating the three-year limit and removing the provision that allowed borrowers to receive the deferment only for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2001. In addition, for borrowers whose qualifying active duty service includes October 1, 2007 or begins on or after that date, the CCRAA extended the time period covered by the military service deferment to include an additional 180 days following the date the borrower completes the qualifying service.

The CCRAA also created a new post-active duty student deferment for Direct Loan, FFEL, and Perkins Loan program borrowers who are members of the National Guard or other reserve components of the Armed Forces (including retired members), and who are called to active duty while they are enrolled at least half time at an eligible postsecondary institution, or within six months of having been enrolled at least half time. Following the completion of their active duty service and any applicable grace period, these borrowers may defer repayment of their loans for up to 13 months or until they resume enrollment on at least a half-time basis at an eligible school, whichever occurs first. To qualify for this deferment, a borrower’s active duty service must include a period on or after October 1, 2007.

The new Deferment Request: Military Service Deferment/Post-Active Duty Student Deferment form (expiration date 07/31/2013) covers both the military service deferment (with the changes made by the CCRAA, as described above) and the post-active duty student deferment, as described above. Direct Loan, FFEL, and Perkins Loan program borrowers may use the new form to apply for one or both of these deferments. The new form also collects information that will be used by the U.S. Department of Education’s (the Department’s) Direct Loan servicers to determine whether a Direct Loan Program borrower qualifies for the “no accrual of interest benefit” for certain Direct Loan borrowers who serve in the military. Under this provision, which was established by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-315) (HEOA), no interest is charged on Direct Loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2008 for a period not to exceed 60 months while the borrower is (1) eligible for a military service deferment and (2) serving in an area of hostilities in which service qualifies for special pay under section 310 of Title 37, United States Code.

We provided guidance on the CCRAA and the HEOA, including the changes to the military service deferment, the post-active duty student deferment, and the Direct Loan Program’s no interest accrual benefit for military borrowers, in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-08-01 (CCRAA) and Dear Colleague Letter GEN-08-12 (HEOA) that were posted on the Department’s Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) web site.

Implementation of the Deferment Request: Military Service Deferment/Post-Active Duty Student Deferment Form

The OMB-approved Deferment Request: Military Service Deferment/Post-Active Duty Student Deferment form is attached to this letter, in both Word and PDF versions. The new form may be made available to borrowers for immediate use. Beginning April 1, 2011, only the new form may be provided to borrowers. However, the previous Military Service Deferment form (expiration date 04/30/2010) may continue to be accepted from borrowers after that date, and requests for the post-active duty student deferment made by borrowers using other means that were in place before the new deferment form was made available may continue to be processed.

Imaging Technology

The attached form instructs borrowers to complete and sign the form in ink. This is to accommodate imaging technology, but a pencil signature does not invalidate the form

The blank space at the top, bottom, or sides of the form may be used for bar coding.

Printing Instructions

The attached form must be printed with black ink on white paper. The typeface, point size, and general presentation of the form may not be changed from the version that was approved by OMB. However, program participants may change the order of the program names that appear in the header of the form so that the name of the program for which the form is being used appears first. (For example, a Perkins School could change the order of the names so that Federal Perkins Loan Program is listed first.) In addition, program participants may remove bold type in section headings or may add bold or italic type to the instructions.

FFEL Program loan holders and Perkins school lenders should pre-print the address to which the completed form should be sent, along with appropriate contact information, in Section 8.

Obtaining Copies for Reproduction

The new form, in both Microsoft Word and PDF format, is provided as an attachment to this letter. The form will also be available on the web site of the National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs (NCHELP) at www.nchelp.org.

FFEL Program participants and Perkins school lenders are responsible for ensuring that the form used is identical to the form approved by OMB. No changes may be made to the form except as expressly authorized above, unless the change is necessary to meet the requirements of individual processing systems and does not alter the general layout of the form, result in reduced point size, move text from one page to another, or otherwise change the general presentation of the form.

Sincerely,

Jeff Baker, Director
Policy Liaison and Implementation
Federal Student Aid

Last Modified: 11/25/2010