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Summary: HURRICANE RITA INFORMATION -- ELECTRONIC ANNOUNCMENT #9 - Federal Student Aid Programs - Waiver of Requirement to Return Title IV Funds by Gulf Hurricane Affected Institutions

Publication Date: February 23, 2006

HURRICANE RITA -- ELECTRONIC ANNOUNCEMENT # 9

From: Sally L. Stroup, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education
Theresa S. Shaw, Chief Operating Officer, Federal Student Aid

Summary: Federal Student Aid Programs - Waiver of Requirement to Return Title IV Funds by Gulf Hurricane Affected Institutions

Posted on 02-23-2006

This announcement addresses a waiver of the requirements for returning Title IV funds for withdrawn students or for those who never began attendance by institutions that were affected by Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita.

Section 202(a) of the Higher Education Hurricane Relief Act of 2005, included within Public Law 109-148, provides, in part, that the Secretary is authorized to waive or modify any statutory or regulatory provision applicable to the student financial assistance programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), or any student or institutional eligibility provision in the HEA, as the Secretary deems necessary in connection with a Gulf hurricane disaster.

Pursuant to this authority, the Secretary has determined that hurricane-impacted institutions that are in possession of Title IV funds that were awarded to students enrolled for an academic period that was disrupted will, generally, not be required to return those funds for students who withdrew or who never began attendance. For the purposes of this relief, a hurricane-impacted institution is an institution with a main campus that ceased on-campus operations for more than thirty days as a result of Hurricane Katrina or Rita, as determined by the Secretary. The Department has identified the hurricane-impacted institutions that are covered by this waiver and will be working with each of them to implement the necessary procedures to implement this waiver.

Other institutions with questions concerning the information provided in this announcement should contact Jeff Baker at Federal Student Aid by e-mail at jeff.baker@ed.gov or by phone at (202) 377-4009.

Last Modified: 02/22/2006