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e-CFR data is current as of November 25, 2020

Title 34Subtitle BChapter VIPart 685 → Subpart C


Title 34: Education
PART 685—WILLIAM D. FORD FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN PROGRAM


Subpart C—Requirements, Standards, and Payments for Direct Loan Program Schools


Contents
§685.300   Agreements between an eligible school and the Secretary for participation in the Direct Loan Program.
§685.301   Origination of a loan by a Direct Loan Program school.
§685.302   [Reserved]
§685.303   Processing loan proceeds.
§685.304   Counseling borrowers.
§685.305   Determining the date of a student's withdrawal.
§685.306   Payment of a refund or return of title IV, HEA program funds to the Secretary.
§685.307   Withdrawal procedure for schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.
§685.308   Remedial actions.
§685.309   Administrative and fiscal control and fund accounting requirements for schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.
§685.310   Severability.

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§685.300   Agreements between an eligible school and the Secretary for participation in the Direct Loan Program.

(a) General. Participation of a school in the Direct Loan Program means that eligible students at the school may receive Direct Loans. To participate in the Direct Loan Program, a school must—

(1) Demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the school meets the requirements for eligibility under the Act and applicable regulations; and

(2) Enter into a written program participation agreement with the Secretary.

(b) Program participation agreement. In the program participation agreement, the school must promise to comply with the Act and applicable regulations and must agree to—

(1) Identify eligible students who seek student financial assistance at the institution in accordance with section 484 of the Act;

(2) Estimate the need of each of these students as required by part F of the Act for an academic year. For purposes of estimating need, a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, a Direct PLUS Loan, or any loan obtained under any State-sponsored or private loan program may be used to offset the expected family contribution of the student for that year;

(3) Certify that the amount of the loan for any student under part D of the Act is not in excess of the annual limit applicable for that loan program and that the amount of the loan, in combination with previous loans received by the borrower, is not in excess of the aggregate limit for that loan program;

(4) Set forth a schedule for disbursement of the proceeds of the loan in installments, consistent with the requirements of section 428G of the Act;

(5) On a monthly basis, reconcile institutional records with Direct Loan funds received from the Secretary and Direct Loan disbursement records submitted to and accepted by the Secretary;

(6) Provide timely and accurate information to the Secretary for the servicing and collecting of loans—

(i) Concerning the status of student borrowers (and students on whose behalf parents borrow) while these students are in attendance at the school;

(ii) Upon request by the Secretary, concerning any new information of which the school becomes aware for these students (or their parents) after the student leaves the school; and

(iii) Concerning student eligibility and need, for the alternative origination of loans to eligible students and parents in accordance with part D of the Act;

(7) Provide assurances that the school will comply with requirements established by the Secretary relating to student loan information with respect to loans made under the Direct Loan Program;

(8) Accept responsibility and financial liability stemming from its failure to perform its functions pursuant to the agreement;

(9) Provide for the implementation of a quality assurance system, as established by the Secretary and developed in consultation with the school, to ensure that the school is complying with program requirements and meeting program objectives;

(10) Provide that the school will not charge any fees of any kind, however described, to student or parent borrowers for origination activities or the provision of any information necessary for a student or parent to receive a loan under part D of the Act or any benefits associated with such a loan;

(11) Comply with other provisions that the Secretary determines are necessary to protect the interests of the United States and to promote the purposes of part D of the Act.

(12) Accept responsibility and financial liability stemming from losses incurred by the Secretary for repayment of amounts discharged by the Secretary pursuant to §§685.206, 685.214, 685.215, 685.216, and 685.222.

(c) Origination. A school that originates loans in the Direct Loan Program must originate loans to eligible students and parents in accordance with part D of the Act. The note or evidence of the borrower's obligation on the loan originated by the school is the property of the Secretary.

[59 FR 61690, Dec. 1, 1994, as amended at 64 FR 58970, Nov. 1, 1999; 71 FR 64400, Nov. 1, 2006; 78 FR 65838, Nov. 1, 2013; 81 FR 76087, Nov. 1, 2016; 83 FR 34048, July 19, 2018; 84 FR 49933, Sept. 23, 2019]

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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]

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§685.302   [Reserved]

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§685.303   Processing loan proceeds.

(a) Purpose. This section establishes rules governing a school's processing of a borrower's Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, or Direct PLUS Loan proceeds. The school must also comply with any rules for processing loan proceeds contained in 34 CFR part 668.

(b) General—(1) A school may not disburse loan proceeds to a borrower unless the borrower has executed a legally enforceable promissory note.

(2) The Secretary provides Direct Loan funds to a school in accordance with 34 CFR 668.162.

(3)(i) Except in the case of a late disbursement under paragraph (f) of this section, or as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section, a school may disburse loan proceeds only to a student, or a parent in the case of a Direct PLUS Loan obtained by a parent borrower, if the school determines the student has continuously maintained eligibility in accordance with the provisions of §685.200 from the beginning of the loan period for which the loan was intended.

(ii) If a student delays attending school for a period of time, the school may consider that student to have maintained eligibility for the loan from the first day of the period of enrollment. However, the school must comply with the requirements under paragraph (b)(4) of this section.

(iii) If, after a school makes the first disbursement to a borrower, the student becomes ineligible due solely to the school's loss of eligibility to participate in the title IV programs or the Direct Loan Program, the school may make subsequent disbursements to the borrower as permitted by 34 CFR part 668.

(iv) If, prior to making any disbursement to a borrower, the student temporarily ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis, the school may make a disbursement and any subsequent disbursement to the student if the school determines and documents in the student's file—

(A) That the student has resumed enrollment on at least a half-time basis;

(B) The student's revised cost of attendance; and

(C) That the student continues to qualify for the entire amount of the loan, notwithstanding any reduction in the student's cost of attendance caused by the student's temporary cessation of enrollment on at least a half-time basis.

(4) If a student does not begin attendance in the period of enrollment, disbursed loan proceeds must be handled in accordance with 34 CFR 668.21.

(5)(i) If a student is enrolled in the first year of an undergraduate program of study and has not previously received a Direct Subsidized Loan, a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, a Subsidized or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan, or a Federal Supplemental Loan for Students, a school may not disburse the proceeds of a Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loan until 30 days after the first day of the student's program of study unless—

(A)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(A)(2) of this section, the school has a cohort default rate, calculated under subpart M of 34 CFR part 668, or weighted average cohort rate of less than 10 percent for each of the three most recent fiscal years for which data are available; or

(2) For loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2011, the school in which the student is enrolled has a cohort default rate, calculated under either subpart M or N of 34 CFR part 668 of less than 15 percent for each of the three most recent fiscal years for which data are available;

(B) The school is an eligible home institution originating a loan to cover the cost of attendance in a study abroad program and has a Direct Loan Program cohort rate, FFEL cohort default rate, or weighted average cohort rate of less than 5 percent for the single most recent fiscal year for which data are available.

(ii) Paragraphs (b)(5)(i)(A) and (B) of this section do not apply to any loans originated by the school beginning 30 days after the date the school receives notification from the Secretary of a cohort default rate, calculated under subpart M or subpart N of 34 CFR part 668, that causes the school to no longer meet the qualifications outlined in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(A) or (B) of this section, as applicable.

(iii) Paragraph (b)(5)(i)(B) of this section does not apply to any loans originated by the school beginning 30 days after the date the school receives notification from the Secretary of a cohort default rate, calculated under subpart M or subpart N of 34 CFR part 668, that causes the school to no longer meet the qualifications outlined in that paragraph.

(c) Processing of the proceeds of a Direct Loan. Schools must follow the procedures for disbursing funds in 34 CFR 668.164.

(d) Determining disbursement dates and amounts. (1) Before disbursing a loan, a school must determine that all information required by the promissory note has been provided by the borrower and, if applicable, the student.

(2) An institution must disburse the loan proceeds on a payment period basis in accordance with 34 CFR 668.164(b).

(3) Unless paragraph (d)(4) or (d)(6) of this section applies—

(i) If a loan period is more than one payment period, the school must disburse loan proceeds at least once in each payment period; and

(ii) If a loan period is one payment period, the school must make at least two disbursements during that payment period.

(A) For a loan originated under §685.301(a)(10)(i)(A), the school may not make the second disbursement until the calendar midpoint between the first and last scheduled days of class of the loan period.

(B) For a loan originated under §685.301(a)(10)(i)(B), the school may not make the second disbursement until the student successfully completes half of the number of credit hours or clock hours and half of the number of weeks of instructional time in the payment period.

(4)(i) If one or more payment periods have elapsed before a school makes a disbursement, the school may include in the disbursement loan proceeds for completed payment periods.

(ii) If the loan period is equal to one payment period and more than one-half of it has elapsed, the school may include in the disbursement loan proceeds for the entire payment period.

(5) The school must disburse loan proceeds in substantially equal installments, and no installment may exceed one-half of the loan.

(6)(i) A school is not required to make more than one disbursement if—

(A)(1) The loan period is not more than one semester, one trimester, one quarter, or, for non term-based schools or schools with non-standard terms, 4 months; and

(2)(i) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(6)(i)(A)(2)(ii) of this section, the school has a cohort default rate, calculated under subpart M of 34 CFR part 668 of less than 10 percent for each of the three most recent fiscal years for which data are available; or

(ii) For loan disbursements made on or after October 1, 2011, the school in which the student is enrolled has a cohort default rate, calculated under either subpart M or subpart N of 34 CFR part 668, of less than 15 percent for each of the three most recent fiscal years for which data are available; or

(B) The school is an eligible home institution originating a loan to cover the cost of attendance in a study abroad program and has a cohort default rate, calculated under subpart M or subpart N of 34 CFR part 668, of less than five percent for the single most recent fiscal year for which data are available.

(ii) Paragraphs (d)(6)(i)(A) and (B) of this section do not apply to any loans originated by the school beginning 30 days after the date the school receives notification from the Secretary of a cohort default rate, calculated under subpart M or subpart N of 34 CFR part 668, that causes the school to no longer meet the qualifications outlined in paragraph (d)(6)(i)(A) or (B) of this section, as applicable.

(iii) Paragraph (d)(6)(i)(B) of this section does not apply to any loans originated by the school beginning 30 days after the date the school receives notification from the Secretary of a cohort default rate, calculated under subpart M or subpart N of 34 CFR part 668, that causes the school to no longer meet the qualifications outlined in that paragraph.

(e) Annual loan limit progression based on completion of an academic year. (1) If a school measures academic progress in an educational program in credit hours and uses either standard terms (semesters, trimesters, or quarters) or nonstandard terms that are substantially equal in length, and each term is at least nine weeks of instructional time in length, a student is considered to have completed an academic year and progresses to the next annual loan limit when the academic year calendar period has elapsed.

(2) If a school measures academic progress in an educational program in credit hours and uses nonstandard terms that are not substantially equal in length or each term is not at least nine weeks of instructional time in length, or measures academic progress in credit hours and does not have academic terms, a student is considered to have completed an academic year and progresses to the next annual loan limit at the later of—

(i) The student's completion of the weeks of instructional time in the student's academic year; or

(ii) The date, as determined by the school, that the student has successfully completed the academic coursework in the student's academic year.

(3) If a school measures academic progress in an educational program in clock hours, a student is considered to have completed an academic year and progresses to the next annual loan limit at the later of—

(i) The student's completion of the weeks of instructional time in the student's academic year; or

(ii) The date, as determined by the school, that the student has successfully completed the clock hours in the student's academic year.

(4) For purposes of this section, terms in a loan period are substantially equal in length if no term in the loan period is more than two weeks of instructional time longer than any other term in that loan period.

(f) Late Disbursement. A school may make a late disbursement according to the provisions found under 34 CFR 668.164(g).

(g) Treatment of excess loan proceeds. Before the disbursement of any Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, or Direct PLUS Loan proceeds, if a school learns that the borrower will receive or has received financial aid for the period of enrollment for which the loan was intended that exceeds the amount of assistance for which the student is eligible (except for Federal Work-Study Program funds up to $300), the school must reduce or eliminate the overaward by either—

(1) Using the student's Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct PLUS Loan, or State-sponsored or another non-Federal loan to cover the expected family contribution, if not already done; or

(2) Reducing one or more subsequent disbursements to eliminate the overaward.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1840-0672)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1087a et seq.)

[59 FR 61690, Dec. 1, 1994, as amended at 60 FR 33345, June 28, 1995; 61 FR 29901, June 12, 1996; 61 FR 60610, Nov. 29, 1996; 64 FR 58971, Nov. 1, 1999; 65 FR 65651, Nov. 1, 2000; 66 FR 34766, June 29, 2001; 68 FR 75430, Dec. 31, 2003; 71 FR 45717, Aug. 9, 2006; 71 FR 64400, Nov. 1, 2006; 72 FR 62033, Nov. 1, 2007; 74 FR 55666, Oct. 28, 2009; 75 FR 67200, Nov. 1, 2010; 78 FR 65839, Nov. 1, 2013]

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§685.304   Counseling borrowers.

(a) Entrance counseling. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(8) of this section, a school must ensure that entrance counseling is conducted with each Direct Subsidized Loan or Direct Unsubsidized Loan student borrower prior to making the first disbursement of the proceeds of a loan to a student borrower unless the student borrower has received a prior Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Subsidized or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan, or Federal SLS Loan.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(8) of this section, a school must ensure that entrance counseling is conducted with each graduate or professional student Direct PLUS Loan borrower prior to making the first disbursement of the loan unless the student borrower has received a prior student Direct PLUS Loan or student Federal PLUS Loan.

(3) Entrance counseling for Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, and graduate or professional student Direct PLUS Loan borrowers must provide the borrower with comprehensive information on the terms and conditions of the loan and on the responsibilities of the borrower with respect to the loan. This information may be provided to the borrower—

(i) During an entrance counseling session, conducted in person;

(ii) On a separate written form provided to the borrower that the borrower signs and returns to the school; or

(A) Online or by interactive electronic means, with the borrower acknowledging receipt of the information.

(B) If a standardized interactive electronic tool is used to provide entrance counseling to the borrower, the school must provide to the borrower any elements of the required information that are not addressed through the electronic tool:

(1) In person; or

(2) On a separate written or electronic document provided to the borrower.

(4) If entrance counseling is conducted online or through interactive electronic means, the school must take reasonable steps to ensure that each student borrower receives the counseling materials, and participates in and completes the entrance counseling, which may include completion of any interactive program that tests the borrower's understanding of the terms and conditions of the borrower's loans.

(5) A school must ensure that an individual with expertise in the title IV programs is reasonably available shortly after the counseling to answer the student borrower's questions. As an alternative, in the case of a student borrower enrolled in a correspondence, distance education, or study-abroad program approved for credit at the home institution, the student borrower may be provided with written counseling materials before the loan proceeds are disbursed.

(6) Entrance counseling for Direct Subsidized Loan and Direct Unsubsidized Loan borrowers must—

(i) Explain the use of a Master Promissory Note (MPN);

(ii) Emphasize to the borrower the seriousness and importance of the repayment obligation the student borrower is assuming;

(iii) Describe the likely consequences of default, including adverse credit reports, delinquent debt collection procedures under Federal law, and litigation;

(iv) Emphasize that the student borrower is obligated to repay the full amount of the loan even if the student borrower does not complete the program, does not complete the program within the regular time for program completion, is unable to obtain employment upon completion, or is otherwise dissatisfied with or does not receive the educational or other services that the student borrower purchased from the school;

(v) Inform the student borrower of sample monthly repayment amounts based on—

(A) A range of student levels of indebtedness of Direct Subsidized Loan and Direct Unsubsidized Loan borrowers, or student borrowers with Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Direct PLUS Loans depending on the types of loans the borrower has obtained; or

(B) The average indebtedness of other borrowers in the same program at the same school as the borrower;

(vi) To the extent practicable, explain the effect of accepting the loan to be disbursed on the eligibility of the borrower for other forms of student financial assistance;

(vii) Provide information on how interest accrues and is capitalized during periods when the interest is not paid by either the borrower or the Secretary;

(viii) Inform the borrower of the option to pay the interest on a Direct Unsubsidized Loan while the borrower is in school;

(ix) Explain the definition of half-time enrollment at the school, during regular terms and summer school, if applicable, and the consequences of not maintaining half-time enrollment;

(x) Explain the importance of contacting the appropriate offices at the school if the borrower withdraws prior to completing the borrower's program of study so that the school can provide exit counseling, including information regarding the borrower's repayment options and loan consolidation;

(xi) Provide information on the National Student Loan Data System and how the borrower can access the borrower's records;

(xii) Provide the name of and contact information for the individual the borrower may contact if the borrower has any questions about the borrower's rights and responsibilities or the terms and conditions of the loan;

(xiii) For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020, if, as a condition of enrollment, the school requires borrowers to enter into a pre-dispute arbitration agreement, as defined in §668.41(h)(2)(iii) of this chapter, or to sign a class action waiver, as defined in §668.41(h)(2)(i) and (ii) of this chapter, the school must provide a written description of the school's dispute resolution process that the borrower has agreed to pursue, including the name and contact information for the individual or office at the school that the borrower may contact if the borrower has a dispute relating to the borrower's loans or to the provision of educational services for which the loans were provided;

(xiv) For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020, if, as a condition of enrollment, the school requires borrowers to enter into a pre-dispute arbitration agreement, as defined in §668.41(h)(2)(iii) of this chapter, the school must provide a written description of how and when the agreement applies, how the borrower enters into the arbitration process, and who to contact if the borrower has any questions;

(xv) For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2020, if, as a condition of enrollment, the school requires borrowers to sign a class-action waiver, as defined in §668.41(h)(2)(i) and (ii) of this chapter, the school must explain how and when the waiver applies, alternative processes the borrower may pursue to seek redress, and who to contact if the borrower has any questions; and

(xvi) For first-time borrowers as defined in §685.200(f)(1)(i), explain the limitation on eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans and possible borrower responsibility for accruing interest described in §685.200(f), including—

(A) The possible loss of eligibility for additional Direct Subsidized Loans;

(B) How a borrower's maximum eligibility period, remaining eligibility period, and subsidized usage period are calculated;

(C) The possibility that the borrower could become responsible for accruing interest on previously received Direct Subsidized Loans and the portion of a Direct Consolidation Loan that repaid a Direct Subsidized Loan during in-school status, the grace period, authorized periods of deferment, and certain periods under the Income-Based Repayment and Pay As You Earn Repayment plans; and

(D) The impact of borrower responsibility for accruing interest on the borrower's total debt.

(7) Entrance counseling for graduate or professional student Direct PLUS Loan borrowers must—

(i) Inform the student borrower of sample monthly repayment amounts based on—

(A) A range of student levels or indebtedness of graduate or professional student PLUS loan borrowers, of student borrowers with Direct PLUS Loans and Direct Subsidized Loans or Direct Unsubsidized Loans, depending on the types of loans the borrower has obtained; or

(B) The average indebtedness of other borrowers in the same program at the same school;

(ii) Inform the borrower of the option to pay interest on a PLUS Loan while the borrower is in school;

(iii) For a graduate or professional student Direct PLUS Loan borrower who has received a prior Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan, or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan, provide the information specified in §685.301(a)(3)(i)(A) through (a)(3)(i)(C); and

(iv) For a graduate or professional student Direct PLUS Loan borrower who has not received a prior Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan, or Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan, provide the information specified in paragraph (a)(6)(i) through paragraph (a)(6)(xii) of this section.

(8) A school may adopt an alternative approach for entrance counseling as part of the school's quality assurance plan described in §685.300(b)(9). If a school adopts an alternative approach, it is not required to meet the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(7) of this section unless the Secretary determines that the alternative approach is not adequate for the school. The alternative approach must—

(i) Ensure that each student borrower subject to entrance counseling under paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section is provided written counseling materials that contain the information described in paragraphs (a)(6)(i) through (a)(6)(v) of this section;

(ii) Be designed to target those student borrowers who are most likely to default on their repayment obligations and provide them more intensive counseling and support services; and

(iii) Include performance measures that demonstrate the effectiveness of the school's alternative approach. These performance measures must include objective outcomes, such as levels of borrowing, default rates, and withdrawal rates.

(9) The school must maintain documentation substantiating the school's compliance with this section for each student borrower.

(b) Exit counseling. (1) A school must ensure that exit counseling is conducted with each Direct Subsidized Loan or Direct Unsubsidized Loan borrower and graduate or professional student Direct PLUS Loan borrower shortly before the student borrower ceases at least half-time study at the school.

(2) The exit counseling must be in person, by audiovisual presentation, or by interactive electronic means. In each case, the school must ensure that an individual with expertise in the title IV programs is reasonably available shortly after the counseling to answer the student borrower's questions. As an alternative, in the case of a student borrower enrolled in a correspondence program or a study-abroad program approved for credit at the home institution, the student borrower may be provided with written counseling materials within 30 days after the student borrower completes the program.

(3) If a student borrower withdraws from school without the school's prior knowledge or fails to complete the exit counseling as required, exit counseling must, within 30 days after the school learns that the student borrower has withdrawn from school or failed to complete the exit counseling as required, be provided either through interactive electronic means, by mailing written counseling materials to the student borrower at the student borrower's last known address, or by sending written counseling materials to an email address provided by the student borrower that is not an email address associated with the school sending the counseling materials.

(4) The exit counseling must—

(i) Inform the student borrower of the average anticipated monthly repayment amount based on the student borrower's indebtedness or on the average indebtedness of student borrowers who have obtained Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans, student borrowers who have obtained only Direct PLUS Loans, or student borrowers who have obtained Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Direct PLUS Loans, depending on the types of loans the student borrower has obtained, for attendance at the same school or in the same program of study at the same school;

(ii) Review for the student borrower available repayment plan options including the standard repayment, extended repayment, graduated repayment, income-contingent repayment, and income-based repayment plans, including a description of the different features of each plan and sample information showing the average anticipated monthly payments, and the difference in interest paid and total payments under each plan;

(iii) Explain to the borrower the options to prepay each loan, to pay each loan on a shorter schedule, and to change repayment plans;

(iv) Provide information on the effects of loan consolidation including, at a minimum—

(A) The effects of consolidation on total interest to be paid, fees to be paid, and length of repayment;

(B) The effects of consolidation on a borrower's underlying loan benefits, including grace periods, loan forgiveness, cancellation, and deferment opportunities;

(C) The options of the borrower to prepay the loan and to change repayment plans; and

(D) That borrower benefit programs may vary among different lenders;

(v) Include debt-management strategies that are designed to facilitate repayment;

(vi) Explain to the student borrower how to contact the party servicing the student borrower's Direct Loans;

(vii) Meet the requirements described in paragraphs (a)(6)(i), (a)(6)(ii), and (a)(6)(iv) of this section;

(viii) Describe the likely consequences of default, including adverse credit reports, delinquent debt collection procedures under Federal law, and litigation;

(ix) Provide—

(A) A general description of the terms and conditions under which a borrower may obtain full or partial forgiveness or discharge of principal and interest, defer repayment of principal or interest, or be granted forbearance on a title IV loan; and

(B) A copy, either in print or by electronic means, of the information the Secretary makes available pursuant to section 485(d) of the HEA;

(x) Review for the student borrower information on the availability of the Department's Student Loan Ombudsman's office;

(xi) Inform the student borrower of the availability of title IV loan information in the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and how NSLDS can be used to obtain title IV loan status information;

(xii) Explain to first-time borrowers, as defined in §685.200(f)(1)(i)—

(A) How the borrower's maximum eligibility period, remaining eligibility period, and subsidized usage period are determined under §685.200(f);

(B) The sum of the borrower's subsidized usage periods, as determined under §685.200(f)(1)(iii), at the time of the exit counseling;

(C) The consequences of continued borrowing or enrollment, including--

(1) The possible loss of eligibility for additional Direct Subsidized Loans; and

(2) The possibility that the borrower could become responsible for accruing interest on previously received Direct Subsidized Loans and the portion of a Direct Consolidation Loan that repaid a Direct Subsidized Loan during in-school status, the grace period, authorized periods of deferment, and certain periods under the Income-Based Repayment and Pay As You Earn Repayment plans;

(D) The impact of the borrower becoming responsible for accruing interest on total student debt;

(E) That the Secretary will inform the student borrower of whether he or she is responsible for accruing interest on his or her Direct Subsidized Loans; and

(F) That the borrower can access NSLDS to determine whether he or she is responsible for accruing interest on any Direct Subsidized Loans as provided in §685.200(f)(3);

(xiii) A general description of the types of tax benefits that may be available to borrowers; and

(xiv) Require the student borrower to provide current information concerning name, address, social security number, references, and driver's license number and State of issuance, as well as the student borrower's expected permanent address, the address of the student borrower's next of kin, and the name and address of the student borrower's expected employer (if known).

(5) The school must ensure that the information required in paragraph (b)(4)(xiii) of this section is provided to the Secretary within 60 days after the student borrower provides the information.

(6) If exit counseling is conducted through interactive electronic means, a school must take reasonable steps to ensure that each student borrower receives the counseling materials, and participates in and completes the exit counseling.

(7) The school must maintain documentation substantiating the school's compliance with this section for each student borrower.

(8)(i) For students who have received loans under both the FFEL Program and the Direct Loan Program for attendance at a school, the school's compliance with the exit counseling requirements in paragraph (b) of this section satisfies the exit counseling requirements in 34 CFR 682.604(a) if the school ensures that the exit counseling also provides the borrower with the information described in 34 CFR 682.604(a)(2)(i) and (ii).

(ii) A student's completion of electronic interactive exit counseling offered by the Secretary satisfies the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section and, for students who have also received FFEL Program loans for attendance at the school, 34 CFR 682.604(a).

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1845-0021)

[74 FR 55666, Oct. 28, 2009, as amended at 78 FR 28986, May 16, 2013; 78 FR 65841, Nov. 1, 2013]; 84 FR 49933, Sept. 23, 2019

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§685.305   Determining the date of a student's withdrawal.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a school must follow the procedures in §668.22(b) or (c), as applicable, for determining the student's date of withdrawal.

(b) For a student who does not return for the next scheduled term following a summer break, which includes any summer term(s) in which classes are offered but students are not generally required to attend, a school must follow the procedures in §668.22(b) or (c), as applicable, for determining the student's date of withdrawal except that the school must determine the student's date of withdrawal no later than 30 days after the start of the next scheduled term.

(c) The school must use the date determined under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section for the purpose of reporting to the Secretary the student's date of withdrawal and for determining when a refund or return of title IV, HEA program funds must be paid under §685.306.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1087 et seq.)

[64 FR 59044, Nov. 1, 1999, as amended at 78 FR 65841, Nov. 1, 2013]

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§685.306   Payment of a refund or return of title IV, HEA program funds to the Secretary.

(a) General. By applying for a Direct Loan, a borrower authorizes the school to pay directly to the Secretary that portion of a refund or return of title IV, HEA program funds from the school that is allocable to the loan. A school—

(1) Must pay that portion of the student's refund or return of title IV, HEA program funds that is allocable to a Direct Loan to the Secretary; and

(2) Must provide simultaneous writ-ten notice to the borrower if the school pays a refund or return of title IV, HEA program funds to the Secretary on be-half of that student.

(b) Determination, allocation, and payment of a refund or return of title IV, HEA program funds. In determining the portion of a student's refund or return of title IV, HEA program funds that is allocable to a Direct Loan, the school must follow the procedures established in 34 CFR 668.22 for allocating and paying a refund or return of title IV, HEA program funds that is due.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1087a et seq.)

[64 FR 59044, Nov. 1, 1999; 65 FR 37045, June 13, 2000, as amended at 78 FR 65841, Nov. 1, 2013]

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§685.307   Withdrawal procedure for schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.

(a) A school participating in the Direct Loan Program may withdraw from the program by providing written notice to the Secretary.

(b) A participating school that intends to withdraw from the Direct Loan Program must give at least 60 days notice to the Secretary.

(c) Unless the Secretary approves an earlier date, the withdrawal is effective on the later of—

(1) 60 days after the school notifies the Secretary; or

(2) The date designated by the school.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1087a et seq.)

[59 FR 61690, Dec. 1, 1994, as amended at 78 FR 65841, Nov. 1, 2013]

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§685.308   Remedial actions.

(a) General. The Secretary may require the repayment of funds and the purchase of loans by the school if the Secretary determines that the school is liable as a result of—

(1) The school's violation of a Federal statute or regulation;

(2) The school's negligent or willful false certification under §685.215; or

(3) The school's actions that gave rise to a successful claim for which the Secretary discharged a loan, in whole or in part, pursuant to §685.206, §685.214, §685.216, or §685.222.

(b) In requiring a school to repay funds to the Secretary or to purchase loans from the Secretary in connection with an audit or program review, the Secretary follows the procedures described in 34 CFR part 668, subpart H.

(c) The Secretary may impose a fine or take an emergency action against a school or limit, suspend, or terminate a school's participation in the Direct Loan Program in accordance with 34 CFR part 668, subpart G.

[59 FR 61690, Dec. 1, 1994, as amended at 81 FR 76089, Nov. 1, 2016; 84 FR 49933, Sept. 23, 2019]

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§685.309   Administrative and fiscal control and fund accounting requirements for schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.

(a) General. A participating school must—

(1) Establish and maintain proper administrative and fiscal procedures and all necessary records as set forth in this part and in 34 CFR part 668; and

(2) Submit all reports required by this part and 34 CFR part 668 to the Secretary.

(b) Enrollment reporting process. (1) Upon receipt of an enrollment report from the Secretary, a school must update all information included in the report and return the report to the Secretary—

(i) In the manner and format prescribed by the Secretary; and

(ii) Within the timeframe prescribed by the Secretary.

(2) Unless it expects to submit its next updated enrollment report to the Secretary within the next 60 days, a school must notify the Secretary within 30 days after the date the school discovers that—

(i) A loan under title IV of the Act was made to or on behalf of a student who was enrolled or accepted for enrollment at the school, and the student has ceased to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis or failed to enroll on at least a half-time basis for the period for which the loan was intended; or

(ii) A student who is enrolled at the school and who received a loan under title IV of the Act has changed his or her permanent address.

(c) Record retention requirements. An institution must follow the record retention and examination requirements in this part and in 34 CFR 668.24.

(d) Accounting requirements. A school must follow accounting requirements in 34 CFR 668.24(b).

(e) Direct Loan Program bank account. Schools must follow the procedures for maintaining funds established in 34 CFR 668.163.

(f) Division of functions. Schools must follow the procedures for division of functions in 34 CFR 668.16(c).

(g) Limit on use of funds. Funds received by a school under this part may be used only to make Direct Loans to eligible borrowers and may not be used or hypothecated for any other purpose.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1840-0672)

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1087a et seq.)

[59 FR 61690, Dec. 1, 1994, as amended at 60 FR 33345, June 28, 1995; 61 FR 60493, Nov. 27, 1996; 61 FR 60610, Nov. 29, 1996; 78 FR 65841, Nov. 1, 2013]

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§685.310   Severability.

If any provision of this subpart or its application to any person, act, or practice is held invalid, the remainder of the subpart or the application of its provisions to any person, act, or practice shall not be affected thereby.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1087a et seq.)

[81 FR 76089, Nov. 1, 2016]

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