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Pub.L. 107-123 To amend the Securities <> Exchange Act of 1934 to reduce fees collected by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and for other purposes. ...


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[[Page 2385]]

     HIGHER EDUCATION RELIEF OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS ACT OF 2001

[[Page 115 STAT. 2386]]

Public Law 107-122
107th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To provide the Secretary of Education with specific waiver authority to 
    respond to conditions in the national emergency <<NOTE: Jan. 15, 
  2002 -  [S. 1793]>> declared by the President on September 14, 2001.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Higher Education 
Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2001. 20 USC 1070 note.>> 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Higher Education Relief Opportunities 
for Students Act of 2001''.
SEC. 2. WAIVER AUTHORITY FOR RESPONSE TO NATIONAL EMERGENCY.

    (a) Waivers and Modifications.--
            (1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
        unless enacted with specific reference to this section, the 
        Secretary of Education (referred to in this Act as the 
        ``Secretary'') may waive or modify any statutory or regulatory 
        provision applicable to the student financial aid programs under 
        title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et 
        seq.) as the Secretary deems necessary in connection with the 
        national emergency to provide the waivers or modifications 
        authorized by paragraph (2).
            (2) Actions authorized.--The Secretary is authorized to 
        waive or modify any provision described in paragraph (1) as may 
        be necessary to ensure that--
                    (A) borrowers of Federal student loans who are 
                affected individuals are not placed in a worse position 
                financially in relation to those loans because of their 
                status as affected individuals;
                    (B) administrative requirements placed on affected 
                individuals who are borrowers of Federal student loans 
                are minimized, to the extent possible without impairing 
                the integrity of the student loan programs, to ease the 
                burden on such borrowers and avoid inadvertent, 
                technical violations or defaults;
                    (C) the calculation of ``annual adjusted family 
                income'' and ``available income'', as used in the 
                determination of need for student financial assistance 
                under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
                U.S.C. 1070 et seq.) for any such affected individual 
                (and the determination of such need for his or her 
                spouse and dependents, if applicable), may be modified 
                to mean the sums received in the first calendar year of 
                the award year for which such determination is made, in 
                order to reflect more

[[Page 115 STAT. 2387]]

                accurately the financial condition of such affected 
                individual and his or her family; and
                    (D) institutions of higher education, eligible 
                lenders, guaranty agencies, and other entities 
                participating in the student assistance programs under 
                title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
                1070 et seq.) that are located in, or whose operations 
                are directly affected by, areas that are declared 
                disaster areas by any Federal, State, or local official 
                in connection with the national emergency may be granted 
                temporary relief from requirements that are rendered 
                infeasible or unreasonable by the national emergency, 
                including due diligence requirements and reporting 
                deadlines.

    (b) Notice of Waivers or Modifications.--
            (1) In general.--Notwithstanding <<NOTE: Federal Register, 
        publication.>>  section 437 of the General Education Provisions 
        Act (20 U.S.C. 1232) and section 553 of title 5, United States 
        Code, the Secretary shall, by notice in the Federal Register, 
        publish the waivers or modifications of statutory and regulatory 
        provisions the Secretary deems necessary to achieve the purposes 
        of this section.
            (2) Terms and conditions.--The notice under paragraph (1) 
        shall include the terms and conditions to be applied in lieu of 
        such statutory and regulatory provisions.
            (3) Case-by-case basis.--The Secretary is not required to 
        exercise the waiver or modification authority under this section 
        on a case-by-case basis.

    (c) Impact Report.--The Secretary <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  shall, not 
later than 15 months after first exercising any authority to issue a 
waiver or modification under subsection (a), report to the Committee on 
Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions of the Senate on the 
impact of any waivers or modifications issued pursuant to subsection (a) 
on affected individuals and the programs under title IV of the Higher 
Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.), and the basis for such 
determination, and include in such report the Secretary's 
recommendations for changes to the statutory or regulatory provisions 
that were the subject of such waiver or modification.

    (d) No Delay in Waivers and Modifications.--Sections 482(c) and 492 
of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1089(c), 1098a) shall not 
apply to the waivers and modifications authorized or required by this 
Act.
SEC. 3. TUITION REFUNDS OR CREDITS FOR MEMBERS OF ARMED FORCES.

    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
            (1) all institutions offering postsecondary education should 
        provide a full refund to students who are members of the Armed 
        Forces serving on active duty during the national emergency, for 
        that portion of a period of instruction such student was unable 
        to complete, or for which such individual did not receive 
        academic credit, because he or she was called up for such 
        service; and
            (2) if affected individuals withdraw from a course of study 
        as a result of such service, such institutions should make every 
        effort to minimize deferral of enrollment or reapplication

[[Page 115 STAT. 2388]]

        requirements and should provide the greatest flexibility 
        possible with administrative deadlines related to those 
        applications.

    (b) Definition of Full Refund.--For purposes of this section, a full 
refund includes a refund of required tuition and fees, or a credit in a 
comparable amount against future tuition and fees.

SEC. 4. USE OF PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT.

    At the time of publishing any waivers or modifications pursuant to 
section 2(b), the Secretary shall publish examples of measures that 
institutions may take in the appropriate exercise of discretion under 
section 479A of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087tt) to 
adjust financial need and aid eligibility determinations for affected 
individuals.

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Active duty.--The term ``active duty'' has the meaning 
        given such term in section 101(d)(1) of title 10, United States 
        Code, except that such term does not include active duty for 
        training or attendance at a service school.
            (2) Affected individual.--The term ``affected individual'' 
        means an individual who--
                    (A) is serving on active duty during the national 
                emergency;
                    (B) is serving on National Guard duty during the 
                national emergency;
                    (C) resides or is employed in an area that is 
                declared a disaster area by any Federal, State, or local 
                official in connection with the national emergency; or
                    (D) suffered direct economic hardship as a direct 
                result of the national emergency, as determined under a 
                waiver or modification issued under this Act.
            (3) Federal student loan.--The term ``Federal student loan'' 
        means a loan made, insured, or guaranteed under part B, D, or E 
        of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1071 
        et seq., 20 U.S.C. 1087a et seq., and 20 U.S.C. 1087aa et seq.).
            (4) National emergency.--The term ``national emergency'' 
        means the national emergency by reason of certain terrorist 
        attacks declared by the President on September 14, 2001, or 
        subsequent national emergencies declared by the President by 
        reason of terrorist attacks.
            (5) Serving on active duty during the national emergency.--
        The term ``serving on active duty during the national 
        emergency'' shall include service by an individual who is--
                    (A) a Reserve of an Armed Force ordered to active 
                duty under section 12301(a), 12301(g), 12302, 12304, or 
                12306 of title 10, United States Code, or any retired 
                member of an Armed Force ordered to active duty under 
                section 688 of such title, for service in connection 
                with such emergency or subsequent actions or conditions, 
                regardless of the location at which such active duty 
                service is performed; and
                    (B) any other member of an Armed Force on active 
                duty in connection with such emergency or subsequent 
                actions or conditions who has been assigned to a duty 
                station at a location other than the location at which 
                such member is normally assigned.

[[Page 115 STAT. 2389]]

            (6) Serving on national guard duty during the national 
        emergency.--The term ``serving on National Guard duty during the 
        national emergency'' shall include performing training or other 
        duty authorized by section 502(f) of title 32, United States 
        Code, as a member of the National Guard, at the request of the 
        President, for or in support of an operation during the national 
        emergency.

SEC. 6. TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY.

    The provisions of this Act shall cease to be effective on September 
30, 2003.

    Approved January 15, 2002.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 1793 (H.R. 3086):
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 147 (2001):
            Dec. 14, considered and passed Senate.
            Dec. 19, 20, considered and passed House.

                                  <all>

Pages: 1

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