Notice Inviting Postsecondary Educational Institutions To Participate in Experiments Under the Experimental Sites Initiative; Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs Under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as Amended
The Secretary invites institutions of higher education (institutions) that participate in the Federal student financial assistance programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), to apply to participate in a new institutional experiment under the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI). Under the ESI, the Secretary has authority to grant waivers of certain title IV, HEA statutory or regulatory requirements to allow a limited number of institutions to participate in experiments to test alternative methods of administering the title IV, HEA programs. The alternative methods of title IV, HEA administration that the Secretary is permitting under this ESI experiment are designed to facilitate efforts by institutions to evaluate certain innovative loan counseling practices that can prepare students to manage their college finances, inform them about their student loan repayment options, and ensure students are well-prepared to repay their loans on time. Under this experiment, participating institutions will have the flexibility to require additional loan counseling for student borrowers beyond the statutorily required one-time entrance and one-time exit counseling as a condition for the students to receive Direct Loan funds, and to customize counseling based on students' needs.