[USC02] 20 USC 1092f: Early awareness of financial aid eligibility
Result 1 of 1
   
 

TEXT OF PART V OF SUBTITLE A (3001 ET SEQ.), EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022, CURRENTLY SET OUT AS A PREVIEW

20 USC 1092f: Early awareness of financial aid eligibility Text contains those laws in effect on July 23, 2021
From Title 20-EDUCATIONCHAPTER 28-HIGHER EDUCATION RESOURCES AND STUDENT ASSISTANCESUBCHAPTER IV-STUDENT ASSISTANCEPart G-General Provisions Relating to Student Assistance Programs

§1092f. Early awareness of financial aid eligibility

(a) In general

The Secretary shall implement, in cooperation with States, institutions of higher education, secondary schools, early intervention and outreach programs under this subchapter, other agencies and organizations involved in student financial assistance and college access, public libraries, community centers, employers, and businesses, a comprehensive system of early financial aid information in order to provide students and families with early information about financial aid and early estimates of such students' eligibility for financial aid from multiple sources. Such system shall include the activities described in subsection (b).

(b) Communication of availability of aid and aid eligibility

(1) Students who receive benefits

The Secretary shall-

(A) make special efforts to notify students who receive or are eligible to receive benefits under a Federal means-tested benefit program (including the supplemental nutrition assistance program under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.)), or another such benefit program as determined by the Secretary, of such students' potential eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant amount, determined under section 1070a(b)(2)(A) of this title, for which the student would be eligible; and

(B) disseminate such informational materials, that are part of the system described in subsection (a), as the Secretary determines necessary.

(2) Secondary school students

The Secretary, in cooperation with States, institutions of higher education, other organizations involved in college access and student financial aid, secondary schools, and programs under this subchapter that serve secondary school students, shall make special efforts to notify students in secondary school and their families, as early as possible but not later than such students' junior year of secondary school, of the availability of financial aid under this subchapter and shall provide nonbinding estimates of the amounts of grant and loan aid that an individual may be eligible for under this subchapter upon completion of an application form under section 1090(a) of this title. The Secretary shall ensure that such information is as accurate as possible and that such information is provided in an age-appropriate format using dissemination mechanisms suitable for students in secondary school.

(3) Adult learners

The Secretary, in cooperation with States, institutions of higher education, other organizations involved in college access and student financial aid, employers, workforce investment boards, and public libraries, shall make special efforts to provide individuals who would qualify as independent students, as defined in section 1087vv(d) of this title, with information regarding the availability of financial aid under this title and with nonbinding estimates of the amounts of grant and loan aid that an individual may be eligible for under this subchapter upon completion of an application form under section 1090(a) of this title. The Secretary shall ensure that such information-

(A) is as accurate as possible;

(B) includes specific information regarding the availability of financial aid for students qualified as independent students, as defined in section 1087vv(d) of this title; and

(C) uses dissemination mechanisms suitable for adult learners.

(4) Public awareness campaign

Not later than two years after August 14, 2008, the Secretary, in coordination with States, institutions of higher education, early intervention and outreach programs under this subchapter, other agencies and organizations involved in college access and student financial aid, secondary schools, organizations that provide services to individuals that are or were homeless, to individuals in foster care, or to other disconnected individuals, local educational agencies, public libraries, community centers, businesses, employers, employment services, workforce investment boards, and movie theaters, shall implement a public awareness campaign in order to increase national awareness regarding the availability of financial aid under this title. The public awareness campaign shall disseminate accurate information regarding the availability of financial aid under this subchapter and shall be implemented, to the extent practicable, using a variety of media, including print, television, radio, and the Internet. The Secretary shall design and implement the public awareness campaign based upon relevant independent research and the information and dissemination strategies found most effective in implementing paragraphs (1) through (3).

(Pub. L. 89–329, title IV, §485E, as added Pub. L. 110–315, title IV, §490, Aug. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 3305 ; amended Pub. L. 111–152, title II, §2101(b)(5), Mar. 30, 2010, 124 Stat. 1073 ; Pub. L. 116–260, div. FF, title VII, §702(o), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 3186 .)

Amendment of Section

Pub. L. 116–260, div. FF, title VII, §§701(b), 702(o), Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 3137 , 3186, provided that, effective July 1, 2023, except as otherwise expressly provided, and applicable with respect to award year 2023–2024 and each subsequent award year, as determined under this chapter, this section is amended to read as follows:

§1092f. Early awareness and outreach of financial aid eligibility

(a) In general

The Secretary shall implement early outreach activities in order to provide prospective students and their families with information about financial aid and estimates of financial aid. Such early outreach activities shall include the activities described in subsections (b), (c), and (d).

(b) Pell Grant early awareness estimates

(1) In general

The Secretary shall produce a consumer-tested method of estimating student eligibility for Federal Pell Grants under section 1070a(b) of this title utilizing the variables of family size and adjusted gross income, presented in electronic format. There shall be a method for students to indicate whether they are, or will be in-

(A) a single-parent household;

(B) a household with two parents; or

(C) a household with no children or dependents.

(2) Consumer testing

(A) In general

The method of estimating eligibility described in paragraph (1) shall be consumer tested with prospective first-generation students and families as well as low-income individuals and families.

(B) Updates

For award year 2023–2024 and each fourth succeeding award year thereafter, the design of the method of estimating eligibility shall be updated based on additional consumer testing with the populations described in subparagraph (A).

(3) Distribution

The method of estimating eligibility described in paragraph (1) shall be-

(A) made publicly and prominently available on the Department's website; and

(B) actively shared by the Secretary with-

(i) institutions of higher education participating in programs under this subchapter;

(ii) all middle and secondary schools eligible for funds under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965;

(iii) local educational agencies and middle schools and high schools that serve students not less than 25 percent of whom meet a measure of poverty as described in section 1113(a)(5) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965; and

(iv) agencies responsible for administering means-tested Federal benefit programs, as defined in section 1087ss(b)(4)(H) of this title.

(4) Electronic estimator on FAFSA

In accordance with subsection (d)(5) of section 1090 of this title, the Secretary shall maintain an electronic method for applicants to enter income and family size, and level of education sought information to calculate a non-binding estimate (which may include a range, ceiling, or minimum) of the applicant's Federal financial aid available under this subchapter and shall place such calculator on a prominent location on the FAFSA website and in a manner that encourages students to fill out the FAFSA.

(c) Early awareness plans

The Secretary shall establish and implement early awareness and outreach plans to provide early information about the availability of Federal financial aid and estimates of prospective students' eligibility for Federal financial aid as well as to promote the attainment of postsecondary education specifically among prospective first-generation students and families as well as low-income individuals and families, as follows:

(1) Outreach plans for low-income families

(A) In general

The Secretary shall develop plans for each population described in this subparagraph to disseminate information about the availability of Federal financial aid under this subchapter, in addition to and in coordination with the distribution of the method of estimating eligibility under subsection (b), to-

(i) all middle schools and secondary schools eligible for funds under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965;

(ii) local educational agencies and middle schools and high schools that serve students not less than 25 percent of whom meet a measure of poverty as described in section 1113(a)(5) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act;

(iii) households receiving assistance under the supplemental nutrition assistance program established under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.); and

(iv) agencies responsible for administering means-tested Federal benefit programs, as defined in section 1087ss(b)(4)(H) of this title.

(B) Content of plans

The plans described in paragraph (A) shall-

(i) provide students and their families with information on-

(I) the availability of the College Scorecard or any similar successor website;

(II) the electronic estimates of financial aid available under subsection (b);

(III) Federal financial aid available to students, including eligibility criteria for the Federal financial aid and an explanation of the Federal financial aid programs (including applicable Federal educational tax credits); and

(IV) resources that can inform students of financial aid that may be available from state-based financial aid, state-based college savings programs, and scholarships and other non-governmental sources;


(ii) describe how the dissemination of information will be conducted by the Secretary.

(C) Reporting and updates

The Secretary shall post the information about the plans under subparagraph (A) and associated goals publicly on the Department's website. On an annual basis, the Secretary shall report qualitative and quantitative outcomes regarding the implementation of the plans under subparagraph (A). The Secretary shall review and update such plans not less often than every 4 award years with the goal of progressively increasing the impact of the activities under this paragraph.

(D) Partnership

The Secretary may partner with States, State systems of higher education, institutions of higher education, or college access organizations to carry out this paragraph.

(2) Interagency coordination plans

(A) In general

The Secretary shall develop interagency coordination plans in order to inform more students and families, including low-income individuals or families and recipients of means-tested Federal benefits, about the availability of Federal financial aid under this subchapter through participation in existing Federal programs or tax benefits that serve low-income individuals or families, in coordination with the following Secretaries:

(i) The Secretary of the Treasury.

(ii) The Secretary of Labor.

(iii) The Secretary of Health and Human Services.

(iv) The Secretary of Agriculture.

(v) The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

(vi) The Secretary of Commerce.

(vii) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

(viii) The Secretary of the Interior.

(B) Process, activities, and goals

Each interagency coordination plan under subparagraph (A) shall-

(i) identify opportunities in which low-income individuals and families could be informed of the availability of Federal financial aid under this subchapter through access to other Federal programs that serve low-income individuals and families;

(ii) identify methods to effectively inform low-income individuals and families of the availability of Federal financial aid for postsecondary education under this subchapter and assist such individuals in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid;

(iii) develop early awareness and FAFSA completion activities that align with the opportunities and methods identified under clauses (i) and (ii);

(iv) establish goals regarding the effects of the activities to be implemented under clause (iii); and

(v) provide information on how students and families can maintain access to Federal programs that serve low-income individuals and families operated by the agencies identified under subsection (A) while attending an institution of higher education.

(C) Plan with Secretary of the Treasury

The interagency coordination plan under subparagraph (A)(i) between the Secretary and the Secretary of the Treasury shall further include specific methods to increase the application for Federal financial aid under this subchapter from individuals who file Federal tax returns, including collaboration with tax preparation entities or other third parties, as appropriate.

(D) Reporting and updates

The Secretary shall post the information about the interagency coordination plans under this paragraph and associated goals publicly on the Department's website. The plans shall have the goal of progressively increasing the impact of the activities under this paragraph by increasing the number of low-income applicants for, and recipients of, Federal financial aid. The plans shall be updated not less than once every 4 years.

(3) Nationwide participation in early awareness plans

(A) In general

The Secretary shall solicit voluntary public commitments from entities, such as States, State systems of higher education, institutions of higher education, and other interested organizations, to carry out early awareness plans, which shall include goals, to-

(i) notify prospective and existing students who are low-income individuals and families about their eligibility for Federal aid under this subchapter, as well as State-based financial aid, if applicable, on an annual basis;

(ii) increase the number of prospective and current students who are low-income individuals and families filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid; and

(iii) increase the number of prospective and current students who are low-income individuals and families enrolling in postsecondary education.

(B) Reporting and updates

Each entity that makes a voluntary public commitment to carry out an early awareness plan may submit quantitative and qualitative data based on the entity's progress toward the goals of the plan annually prior to a date selected by the Secretary.

(C) Early awareness champions

Based on data submitted by entities, the Secretary shall select and designate entities submitting public commitments, plans, and goals, as Early Awareness Champions on an annual basis. Those entities designated as Early Awareness Champions shall provide one or more case studies regarding the activities the entity undertook under this paragraph which shall be made public by the Secretary on the Department of Education website to promote best practices.

(d) Public awareness campaign

(1) In general

The Secretary shall develop and implement a public awareness campaign designed using current and relevant independent research regarding strategies and media platforms found to be most effective in communicating with low-income populations in order to increase national awareness regarding the availability of Federal Pell Grants and financial aid under this subchapter and, at the option of the Secretary, potential availability of state need-based financial aid.

(2) Coordination

The public awareness campaign described in paragraph (1) shall leverage the activities in subsections (b) and (c) to highlight eligibility among low-income populations. In developing and implementing the campaign, the Secretary may work in coordination with States, institutions of higher education, early intervention and outreach programs under this subchapter, other Federal agencies, agencies responsible for administering means-tested Federal benefit programs (as defined in section 1087ss(b)(4)(H) of this title), organizations involved in college access and student financial aid, secondary schools, local educational agencies, public libraries, community centers, businesses, employers, workforce investment boards, and organizations that provide services to individuals who are or were homeless, in foster care, or are disconnected youth.

(3) Reporting

The Secretary shall report on the success of the public awareness campaign described in paragraph (1) annually regarding the extent to which the public and target populations were reached using data commonly used to evaluate advertising and outreach campaigns and data regarding whether the campaign produced any increase in applicants for Federal aid under this subchapter publicly on the Department of Education website.

See 2020 Amendment note below.

References in Text

The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, referred to in subsec. (b)(1)(A), is Pub. L. 88–525, Aug. 31, 1964, 78 Stat. 703 , which is classified generally to chapter 51 (§2011 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2011 of Title 7 and Tables.

Amendments

2020-Pub. L. 116–260 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to early awareness of financial aid eligibility.

2010-Subsec. (b)(1)(A). Pub. L. 111–152 substituted "of such students' potential eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant amount, determined under section 1070a(b)(2)(A) of this title, for which the student would be eligible" for "of such students' potential eligibility for a maximum Federal Pell Grant under subpart 1 of part A".

Effective Date of 2020 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 116–260 effective July 1, 2023, except as otherwise expressly provided, and applicable with respect to award year 2023–2024 and each subsequent award year, as determined under this chapter, see section 701(b) of Pub. L. 116–260, set out as a note under section 1001 of this title.

Effective Date of 2010 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 111–152 effective July 1, 2010, see section 2101(c) of Pub. L. 111–152, set out as a note under section 1070a of this title.