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Subject: 2011-2012 Federal Student Aid Application

Publication Date: September 16, 2010

Posted Date: September 16, 2010

Subject: 2011-2012 Federal Student Aid Application

FR Type: Notice

[Federal Register: September 16, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 179)]
[Page 56522-56525]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []
Notice of Proposed Information Collection Requests
AGENCY: Department of Education.
ACTION: Comment request.
SUMMARY: The Department of Education (the Department), in accordance 
with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 
3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with 
an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of 
information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its 
information collection requirements and minimize the reporting burden 
on the public and helps the public understand the Department's 
information collection requirements and provide the requested data in 
the desired format. The Director, Information Collection Clearance 
Division, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of 
Management, invites comments on the proposed information collection 
requests as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 
November 15, 2010.
ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted electronically to We also ask that you copy them to or mail to U.S. Department of Education, 400 
Maryland Avenue, SW., LBJ, Washington, DC 20202-4537. Please note that 
written comments received in response to this notice will be considered 
public records.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 3506 of the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) requires that Federal agencies provide 
interested parties an early opportunity to comment on information 
collection requests. The Director, Information Collection Clearance 
Division, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of 
Management, publishes this notice containing proposed information 
collection requests at the beginning of the Departmental review of the 
information collection. The Department of Education is especially 
interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (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 
    Dated: September 13, 2010.
Darrin A. King,
Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Regulatory 
Information Management Services, Office of Management.
Federal Student Aid
    Type of Review: Revision.
    Title of Collection: 2011-2012 Federal Student Aid Application.
    OMB Control Number: 1845-0001.
    Agency Form Number(s): N/A.
    Frequency of Responses: Annually.
    Affected Public: Individuals or households.
    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 35,818,915.
    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 32,239,328.
    Abstract: Public Law 89-329, Sections 401-495, the Higher Education 
Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), mandates that the Secretary of Education 
``* * * shall produce, distribute, and process free of charge common 
financial reporting forms as described in this subsection to be used 
for application and reapplication to determine the need and eligibility 
of a student for financial assistance.''
    The determination of need and eligibility are for the following 
Title IV, HEA, federal student financial assistance programs: The 
Federal Pell Grant Program; the Campus-Based programs (Federal 
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study 
(FWS), and the Federal Perkins Loan Program); the William D. Ford 
Federal Direct Loan Program; the Teacher Education Assistance for 
College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant; and the Iraq and 
Afghanistan Service Grant.
    Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education 
(hereafter ``the Department''), subsequently
[[Page 56523]]
developed an application process to collect and process the data 
necessary to determine a student's eligibility to receive Title IV, HEA 
program assistance. The application process involves an applicant's 
submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 
After submission of the FAFSA, an applicant receives a Student Aid 
Report (SAR) which is a summary of the data they submitted on the 
FAFSA. The applicant reviews the SAR, and, if necessary, will make 
corrections or updates to their submitted FAFSA.
    The Department seeks OMB approval of all application components as 
a single ``collection of information.'' The aggregate burden will be 
accounted for under OMB Control Number 1845-0001, currently assigned to 
the FAFSA form. The specific application components, descriptions and 
submission methods for each are listed in Table 1.

   [TABLE OMITTED] -- see the attached PDF file for Table 1

    This information collection also documents an estimate of the 
annual public burden. The updated estimates are the result of the 
Department's efforts to more accurately determine the public's burden 
as it relates to the application process for Federal student aid. The 
findings have led to the development of the Applicant Burden Model 
(ABM), which measures applicant burden through an assessment of the 
activities each applicant conducts in conjunction with other 
characteristics of the applicant. The ABM has been designed to more 
accurately describe, in terms of burden, the average applicant's 
experience. Key determinants of the ABM include:
     The total number of applicants that will potentially apply 
for Federal student aid;
     How the applicant chooses to complete and submit the 
FAFSA, e.g., by paper or electronically via FOTW;
     How the applicant chooses to submit any corrections and/or 
updates (e.g., the paper SAR or electronically via FOTW Corrections);
     The type of SAR document the applicant receives (paper 
SAR, SAR acknowledgment, or the eSAR);
     The formula applied to determine the applicant's EFC (full 
need analysis formula, Simplified Needs Test or Automatic Zero); and
     The average amount of time involved in preparing to 
complete the application.
    The ABM is largely driven by the number of potential applicants for 
the application cycle. The total application projection for 2011-2012 
is based upon two factors--estimates of the total enrollment in all 
degree-granting institutions and the percentage change in FAFSA 
submissions for the last completed application cycle. This results in 
an estimate of 23,611,500 total applicants that will submit a FAFSA for 
    The ABM is also largely based on the application options available 
to students and parents. In assessing the application options 
available, the Department recognized a need to restructure the current 
breakdown of the application components and revise the burden estimates 
for each application component based on a recently implemented web 
trending tool, FOTW survey information, and other Department data 
sources. The ABM changes the classification of the application 
components and combines the two previously separate collections for the 
FAFSA and the SAR. The final application components were listed in 
Table 1. These changes create a one-time re-alignment of the 
methodology, but do not reflect any change in the actual burden 
experienced by applicants. The changes have allowed the Department to 
utilize more controlled and accurate data for its burden calculations.
    Another critical element included in the ABM is the anticipated 
impacts of the Department's enhancements to the application process and 
application products. In an ongoing effort for process improvement, the 
Department routinely conducts a review of the application data elements 
to identify questions that could be revised or removed. As a result, 
for 2011-2012, two questions have been deleted from the application.
    Also for 2011-2012, FOTW will be further improved by the 
implementation of significant enhancements facilitated by a web 
technology upgrade. The upgraded application will include new features 
including a redesigned homepage and more dynamic and personalized 
navigation. In addition, there will be improved and simplified 
functionality for users that need to correct or update their FAFSA data 
using FAFSA Corrections.
    FOTW will also expand the offering of the IRS Data Retrieval tool 
to more users in 2011-2012 by offering the tool earlier in the 
application cycle and offering the tool in FAFSA Corrections. Beginning 
in January of 2010, the Department began offering FOTW applicants the 
IRS Data Retrieval tool which significantly simplifies the completion 
of the FAFSA for many applicants. The IRS Data Retrieval tool is an 
optional service that provides the applicant and their parents, if 
parental information is required, access to view the IRS tax 
information required to complete the FAFSA. The applicant can also 
securely transfer the IRS information into the FAFSA. The tool saves 
time and increases the accuracy of the data submitted.
    The Department has assessed that these simplification efforts over 
the last year, in addition to planned enhancements that will be 
deployed on January 1, 2011 for 2011-2012 cycle, will produce an 
overall reduction in burden. To understand the decrease in burden we 
should state that the decrease is even more notable because it is 
offset by the overall increase in the number of applicants choosing to 
attend college and apply for federal student aid.
    For 2010-2011, the Department estimated that 21,696,675 applicants 
would complete the application. This led to a total burden estimate of 
33,774,347 hours. The 2010-2011 FAFSA information collection (OMB 
Control  1845-0001) was approved for 26,781,074 hours and the 
2010-2011 SAR information collection (OMB Control  1845-0008) 
was approved for 6,993,273 hours. Table 2 demonstrates what the burden 
would have been for the FAFSA and SAR collection in 2011-2012 if only 
the increase in applicants was taken into account.

   [TABLE OMITTED] -- see the attached PDF file for Table 2 

    As shown in Table 2, if no other changes had been made to the 
application process and the burden was calculated taking into account 
only the 8.83% increase in applicants; the burden would have increased 
by 11.46%. This translates into a burden adjustment of 3,870,794 hours.
    Now that we have accounted for the burden change based solely on 
the increase in applicants, we can compare that figure to the actual 
burden calculated for 2011-2012. The Department's final total estimated 
burden for 2011-2012, which is 32,239,328, hours reflects all of the 
distinct application components combined into one information 
collection. The burden baseline for 2011-2012 based solely on the 
increase in applicants was 37,645,141 hours. Table 3 shows the 
difference in the two calculations.

   [TABLE OMITTED] -- see the attached PDF file for Table 3 

    Table 3 also demonstrates the reduction in the public burden as a 
result of the simplification initiatives developed and implemented by 
the Department. The burden decrease is 14.36%, the largest in several 
years, and translates into a program change decrease of more than 5.4 
million hours.
    Lastly, Table 4, depicts the overall burden change in total burden 
hours from 2010-2011 to 2011-2012.

   [TABLE OMITTED] -- see the attached PDF file for Table 4 

    This results in an overall program change reduction of 1,535,019 
hours when compared to 2010-2011. As stated previously, this reduction 
is attributed to the simplification enhancements which include the 
redesign of FAFSA on the Web application submission, the availability 
of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, a simplified FOTW homepage, more 
personalized navigation, and lastly, improved and simplified 
functionality for users that need to correct or update their FAFSA data 
through FOTW Corrections.
    Requests for copies of the proposed information collection request 
may be accessed from, by selecting the ``Browse 
Pending Collections'' link and by clicking on link number 4391. When 
you access the information collection, click on ``Download 
Attachments'' to view. Written requests for information should be 
addressed to U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 
LBJ, Washington, DC 20202-4537. Requests may also be electronically 
mailed to or faxed to 202-401-0920. Please specify 
the complete title of the information collection and OMB Control Number 
when making your request.
    Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) 
may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-
[FR Doc. 2010-23175 Filed 9-15-10; 8:45 am]

Last Modified: 09/15/2010