20 U.S.C. § 1085 - Definitions for student loan insurance program

Cite as:20 U.S.C. § 1085
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-193 (10/30/2020)
 
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As used in this part:

(a) Eligible institution

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the term "eligible institution" means an institution of higher education, as defined in section 1002 of this title, except that, for the purposes of sections 1077(a)(2)(C)(i) and 1078(b)(1)(M)(i) of this title, an eligible institution includes any institution that is within this definition without regard to whether such institution is participating in any program under this subchapter and includes any institution ineligible for participation in any program under this part pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(2) Ineligibility based on high default rates

(A) An institution whose cohort default rate is equal to or greater than the threshold percentage specified in subparagraph (B) for each of the three most recent fiscal years for which data are available shall not be eligible to participate in a program under this part for the fiscal year for which the determination is made and for the two succeeding fiscal years, unless, within 30 days of receiving notification from the Secretary of the loss of eligibility under this paragraph, the institution appeals the loss of its eligibility to the Secretary. The Secretary shall issue a decision on any such appeal within 45 days after its submission. Such decision may permit the institution to continue to participate in a program under this part if-

(i) the institution demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the Secretary's calculation of its cohort default rate is not accurate, and that recalculation would reduce its cohort default rate for any of the three fiscal years below the threshold percentage specified in subparagraph (B);

(ii) there are exceptional mitigating circumstances within the meaning of paragraph (5); or

(iii) there are, in the judgment of the Secretary, other exceptional mitigating circumstances that would make the application of this paragraph inequitable.

During such appeal, the Secretary may permit the institution to continue to participate in a program under this part. If an institution continues to participate in a program under this part, and the institution's appeal of the loss of eligibility is unsuccessful, the institution shall be required to pay to the Secretary an amount equal to the amount of interest, special allowance, reinsurance, and any related payments made by the Secretary (or which the Secretary is obligated to make) with respect to loans made under this part to students attending, or planning to attend, that institution during the pendency of such appeal.

(B) For purposes of determinations under subparagraph (A), the threshold percentage is-

(i) 35 percent for fiscal year 1991 and 1992;

(ii) 30 percent for fiscal year 1993;

(iii) 25 percent for fiscal year 1994 through fiscal year 2011; and

(iv) 30 percent for fiscal year 2012 and any succeeding fiscal year.

(C) Until July 1, 1999, this paragraph shall not apply to any institution that is-

(i) a part B institution within the meaning of section 1061(2) of this title;

(ii) a tribally controlled college or university, as defined in section 1801(a)(4) of title 25; or

(iii) a Navajo Community College under the Navajo Community College Act.

(D) Notwithstanding the first sentence of subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall restore the eligibility to participate in a program under subpart 1 of part A, part B, or part E of an institution that did not appeal its loss of eligibility within 30 days of receiving notification if the Secretary determines, on a case-by-case basis, that the institution's failure to appeal was substantially justified under the circumstances, and that-

(i) the institution made a timely request that the appropriate guaranty agency correct errors in the draft data used to calculate the institution's cohort default rate;

(ii) the guaranty agency did not correct the erroneous data in a timely fashion; and

(iii) the institution would have been eligible if the erroneous data had been corrected by the guaranty agency.

(3) Appeals for regulatory relief

An institution whose cohort default rate, calculated in accordance with subsection (m), is equal to or greater than the threshold percentage specified in paragraph (2)(B)(iv) for any two consecutive fiscal years may, not later than 30 days after the date the institution receives notification from the Secretary, file an appeal demonstrating exceptional mitigating circumstances, as defined in paragraph (5). The Secretary shall issue a decision on any such appeal not later than 45 days after the date of submission of the appeal. If the Secretary determines that the institution demonstrates exceptional mitigating circumstances, the Secretary may not subject the institution to provisional certification based solely on the institution's cohort default rate.

(4) Appeals based upon allegations of improper loan servicing

An institution that-

(A) is subject to loss of eligibility for the Federal Family Education Loan Program pursuant to paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection;

(B) is subject to loss of eligibility for the Federal Supplemental Loans for Students pursuant to section 1078-1(a)(2) 1 of this title; or

(C) is an institution whose cohort default rate equals or exceeds 20 percent for the most recent year for which data are available;

may include in its appeal of such loss or rate a defense based on improper loan servicing (in addition to other defenses). In any such appeal, the Secretary shall take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that such institution has access for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 30 days, to a representative sample (as determined by the Secretary) of the relevant loan servicing and collection records used by a guaranty agency in determining whether to pay a claim on a defaulted loan or by the Department in determining an institution's default rate in the loan program under part D of this subchapter. The Secretary shall reduce the institution's cohort default rate to reflect the percentage of defaulted loans in the representative sample that are required to be excluded pursuant to subsection (m)(1)(B).

(5) Definition of mitigating circumstances

(A) For purposes of this subsection, an institution of higher education shall be treated as having exceptional mitigating circumstances that make application of paragraph (2) inequitable, and that provide for regulatory relief under paragraph (3), if such institution, in the opinion of an independent auditor, meets the following criteria:

(i) For a 12-month period that ended during the 6 months immediately preceding the fiscal year for which the cohort of borrowers used to calculate the institution's cohort default rate is determined, at least two-thirds of the students enrolled on at least a half-time basis at the institution-

(I) are eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant award that is at least equal to one-half the Federal Pell Grant amount, determined under section 1070a(b)(2)(A) of this title, for which a student would be eligible based on the student's enrollment status; or

(II) have an adjusted gross income that when added with the adjusted gross income of the student's parents (unless the student is an independent student), of less than the poverty level, as determined by the Department of Health and Human Services.

(ii) In the case of an institution of higher education that offers an associate, baccalaureate, graduate or professional degree, 70 percent or more of the institution's regular students who were initially enrolled on a full-time basis and were scheduled to complete their programs during the same 12-month period described in clause (i)-

(I) completed the educational programs in which the students were enrolled;

(II) transferred from the institution to a higher level educational program;

(III) at the end of the 12-month period, remained enrolled and making satisfactory progress toward completion of the student's educational programs; or

(IV) entered active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States.

(iii)

(I) In the case of an institution of higher education that does not award a degree described in clause (ii), had a placement rate of 44 percent or more with respect to the institution's former regular students who-

(aa) remained in the program beyond the point the students would have received a 100 percent tuition refund from the institution;

(bb) were initially enrolled on at least a half-time basis; and

(cc) were originally scheduled, at the time of enrollment, to complete their educational programs during the same 12-month period described in clause (i).

(II) The placement rate shall not include students who are still enrolled and making satisfactory progress in the educational programs in which the students were originally enrolled on the date following 12 months after the date of the student's last date of attendance at the institution.

(III) The placement rate is calculated by determining the percentage of all those former regular students who-

(aa) are employed, in an occupation for which the institution provided training, on the date following 12 months after the date of their last day of attendance at the institution;

(bb) were employed, in an occupation for which the institution provided training, for at least 13 weeks before the date following 12 months after the date of their last day of attendance at the institution; or

(cc) entered active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States.

(IV) The placement rate shall not include as placements a student or former student for whom the institution is the employer.

(B) For purposes of determining a rate of completion and a placement rate under this paragraph, a student is originally scheduled, at the time of enrollment, to complete the educational program on the date when the student will have been enrolled in the program for the amount of time normally required to complete the program. The amount of time normally required to complete the program for a student who is initially enrolled full-time is the period of time specified in the institution's enrollment contract, catalog, or other materials, for completion of the program by a full-time student. For a student who is initially enrolled less than full-time, the period is the amount of time it would take the student to complete the program if the student remained enrolled at that level of enrollment throughout the program.

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