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§685.301 Origination of a loan by a Direct Loan Program school.
(a) Determining eligibility and loan amount. (1) A school participating in the Direct Loan Program must ensure that any information it provides to the Secretary in connection with loan origination is complete and accurate. A school must originate a Direct Loan while the student meets the borrower eligibility requirements of §685.200. Except as provided in 34 CFR part 668, subpart E, a school may rely in good faith upon statements made by the borrower and, in the case of a parent Direct PLUS Loan borrower, the student and the parent borrower.
(2) A school must provide to the Secretary borrower information that includes but is not limited to—
(i) The borrower's eligibility for a loan, as determined in accordance with §685.200 and §685.203;
(ii) The student's loan amount; and
(iii) The anticipated and actual disbursement date or dates and disbursement amounts of the loan proceeds, as determined in accordance with §685.303(d).
(3) Before originating a Direct PLUS Loan for a graduate or professional student borrower, the school must determine the borrower's eligibility for a Direct Subsidized and a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. If the borrower is eligible for a Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan, but has not requested the maximum Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan amount for which the borrower is eligible, the school must—
(i) Notify the graduate or professional student borrower of the maximum Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan amount that he or she is eligible to receive and provide the borrower with a comparison of—
(A) The maximum interest rate for a Direct Subsidized Loan and a Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the maximum interest rate for a Direct PLUS Loan;
(B) Periods when interest accrues on a Direct Subsidized Loan and a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, and periods when interest accrues on a Direct PLUS Loan; and
(C) The point at which a Direct Subsidized Loan and a Direct Unsubsidized Loan enters repayment, and the point at which a Direct PLUS Loan enters repayment; and
(ii) Give the graduate or professional student borrower the opportunity to request the maximum Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan amount for which the borrower is eligible.
(4) A school may not originate a Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, or Direct PLUS Loan, or a combination of loans, for an amount that—
(i) The school has reason to know would result in the borrower exceeding the annual or maximum loan amounts in §685.203; or
(ii) Exceeds the student's estimated cost of attendance less—
(A) The student's estimated financial assistance for that period; and
(B) In the case of a Direct Subsidized Loan, the borrower's expected family contribution for that period.
(5)(i) A school determines a Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan amount in accordance with §685.203.
(ii) When prorating a loan amount for a student enrolled in a program of study with less than a full academic year remaining, the school need not recalculate the amount of the loan if the number of hours for which an eligible student is enrolled changes after the school originates the loan.
(6) The date of loan origination is the date a school creates the electronic loan origination record.
(7) If a student has received a determination of need for a Direct Subsidized Loan that is $200 or less, a school may choose not to originate a Direct Subsidized Loan for that student and to include the amount as part of a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
(8) A school may refuse to originate a Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, or Direct PLUS Loan or may reduce the borrower's determination of need for the loan if the reason for that action is documented and provided to the borrower in writing, and if—
(i) The determination is made on a case-by-case basis;
(ii) The documentation supporting the determination is retained in the student's file; and
(iii) The school does not engage in any pattern or practice that results in a denial of a borrower's access to Direct Loans because of the borrower's race, gender, color, religion, national origin, age, disability status, or income.
(9) A school may not assess a fee for the completion or certification of any Direct Loan Program forms or information or for the origination of a Direct Loan.
(10)(i) The minimum period of enrollment for which a school may originate a Direct Loan is—
(A) At a school that measures academic progress in credit hours and uses a semester, trimester, or quarter system, or that has terms that are substantially equal in length with no term less than nine weeks in length, a single academic term (e.g., a semester or quarter); or
(B) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(10)(ii) or (iii) of this section, at a school that measures academic progress in clock hours, or measures academic progress in credit hours but does not use a semester, trimester, or quarter system and does not have terms that are substantially equal in length with no term less than nine weeks in length, the lesser of—
(1) The length of the student's program (or the remaining portion of that program if the student has less than the full program remaining) at the school; or
(2) The academic year as defined by the school in accordance with 34 CFR 668.3.
(ii) For a student who transfers into a school from another school and the prior school originated a loan for a period of enrollment that overlaps the period of enrollment at the new school, the new school may originate a loan for the remaining portion of the program or academic year. In this case the school may originate a loan for an amount that does not exceed the remaining balance of the student's annual loan limit.
(iii) For a student who completes a program at a school, where the student's last loan to complete that program had been for less than an academic year, and the student then begins a new program at the same school, the school may originate a loan for the remainder of the academic year. In this case the school may originate a loan for an amount that does not exceed the remaining balance of the student's annual loan limit at the loan level associated with the new program.
(iv) The maximum period for which a school may originate a Direct Loan is—
(A) Generally an academic year, as defined by the school in accordance with 34 CFR 668.3, except that the school may use a longer period of time corresponding to the period to which the school applies the annual loan limits under §685.203; or
(B) For a defaulted borrower who has regained eligibility, the academic year in which the borrower regained eligibility.
(b) Promissory note handling. (1) The Secretary provides promissory notes for use in the Direct Loan Program. A school may not modify, or make any additions to, the promissory note without the Secretary's prior written approval.
(2) A school that originates a loan must ensure that the loan is supported by a completed promissory note as proof of the borrower's indebtedness.
(c) Reporting to the Secretary. The Secretary accepts a student's Payment Data that is submitted in accordance with procedures established through publication in the Federal Register, and that contains information the Secretary considers to be accurate in light of other available information including that previously provided by the student and the institution. (Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1845-0021)
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1087a et seq.)
[78 FR 65838, Nov. 1, 2013]