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   Government Relations Committee
   
 

 Proposed Regulations for GEAR UP Program

Current Regulation:

  • None

Proposed Regulation (As created by Higher Education Act of 1965, amended 1998):

  • Each institution would be required to advertise to all prospective students its policy for the treatment of a GEAR UP institutional aid package unless it meets all of the following criteria:
    • the GEAR UP scholarship must not be considered in the determination of a student's eligibility for other Title IV grant assistance;
    • the institution has a policy under which the GEAR UP scholarship does not supplement other public or institutional gift aid that the student would have otherwise been eligible to receive; and
    • the institution must follow certain procedures when a student receives an overaward of student financial aid. If the combination of GEAR UP and other aid exceeds the student's cost of attendance, the institution must reduce nonpublic and non-institutional aid first and in a prescribed order.

Issue:

  • The provisions set a precedent enabling the federal government to dictate the use of institutional funds for a subset of students. This mandate is an inappropriate intrusion into institutional policies.

Proposed:

  • The regulations should not dictate college policy concerning the awarding of the institution's own funds. This should be eliminated from the NPRM.

Possible Objections:

  • The Department of Education believes it is regulating according to Congressional intent. However, NASFAA believes that the "supplement not supplant" language in the GEAR UP statute was included to ensure that entities with previously existing programs would not eliminate these because of this new federal program, and was not directed to individual students' aid packages.



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