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Subject 268-11-2 SCHOOL ELIGIBILITY STANDARDS FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE ASSURED ACCESS LENDING PROGRAM

Rule 268-11-2-.01 Purpose

The purpose of these rules is:

(a) to establish the procedures required of an institution desiring to participate in the Assured Access Lending Program; and
(b) to establish the standards required for an institution to maintain its continued participation in the Assured Access Lending Program.

Rule 268-11-2-.02 Legislative Authority

(1) Under the federal Higher Education Act of 1965 ( P.L. 89-329), as amended, the Georgia Student Finance Authority (GSFA) is an eligible lender in the guaranteed student loan programs. All loans are guaranteed by the Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation (GHEAC), the guaranty agency in the State of Georgia. [Reference: 435(g)(1)(D)]
(2) GHEAC has designated GSFA as the lender of last resort (LLR) in the GHEAC service area. [Reference: Act 428(j); 34 CFR 682.401(c)(3); and Bulletin 88-G-153 (LD)]

Rule 268-11-2-.03 Definitions

(1) "Act" or "Federal Act" means Title IV, Part B of the Higher Education Act of 1965, ( P. L. 89-329 ) as amended, ( 20 U.S.C. 1071et seq).
(2) "Assured Access" or "Assured Access Lending Program" means, subject to available funding and in accordance with federal and state rules and regulations governing the programs, GSFA will make Stafford, PLUS, and SLS loans to any eligible student (or to the parent on behalf of the eligible student) for attendance at a postsecondary institution that is eligible to participate in the guaranteed student loan programs.
(3) "Authority" means the Georgia Student Finance Authority created by Georgia Code Section 20-3-313.
(4) "Borrower" means an eligible student or eligible parent who has obtained an educational loan.
(5) "Cohort Default Rate" means the percentage of current and former student borrowers who enter the repayment period in a given Federal Fiscal Year that default before the end of the following Federal Fiscal Year.
(6) "Corporation" means the Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation created by Georgia Code Section 20-3-263.
(7) "Loan" or "Educational Loan" means an obligation representing advances of money by a lender to an eligible student or eligible parent evidenced by one or more promissory note, on note forms prescribed by the corporation, as to which the payment of principle and interest is fully guaranteed by the corporation as evidenced by one or more loan guarantees issued by the corporation and reinsured by the secretary to the maximum extent permitted under the federal act, but in any event so reinsured for not less than 80 percent of principal and interest. In the event of the purchase and sale or the pledge or assignment of such loans or a participating interest in such loans, the term shall include contingent interests, security interests, pledges, commitments, and chooses in action, or other property interest in such loans.
(8) "Loan Guaranty" means the document or endorsement issued by GHEAC as evidence of the guaranty by GHEAC of an educational loan to be made by an eligible lender to an eligible student or eligible parent. The term "guaranty" shall have the same meaning as "insurance," as such term is used in the Act, and be synonymous therewith.
(9) "PLUS Loans" means educational loans authorized by the federal and state governments to help parents of dependent under-graduate or graduate students pay the costs of education beyond high school.
(10) "Secretary" means the United States secretary of education or any official succeeding to the powers of such secretary under the federal act.
(11) "SLS Loans" means supplemental loans for students authorized by the federal and state governments to help independent undergraduate, graduate and professional students pay the costs of education beyond high school.
(12) "Stafford Loans" means a low interest, educational loan, authorized by the federal and state governments to help dependent students who demonstrate financial need pay the costs of education beyond high school.

Rule 268-11-2-.04 School Eligibility

(1) A school is eligible to participate in Assured Access if it meets the following criteria:
(a) The school is a Georgia located institution;
(b) The school has established and maintained eligibility with the U.S. Department of Education to participate in the guaranteed student loan programs for at least three (3) years prior to the completion of the last federal fiscal year; and
(c) The school has established and maintained eligibility to participate in the guaranteed student loan programs with GHEAC for at least three (3) years prior to the completion of the last state fiscal year.
(d) The school meets one of the following criteria:
1. both the school's most recently published U.S. Department of Education cohort default rate and its most recently published GHEAC cohort default rate are less than 20 percent; or
2. the school's most recently published U.S. Department of Education cohort default rate is 20 percent or greater and the most recently published GHEAC cohort default rate for that school is less than 20 percent and GSFA finds, after review of evidence and arguments submitted by the school that the GHEAC rate is of sufficient history to be a valid measure and is otherwise a better indicator of probable future default experience; or
3. the school is a part B institution within the meaning of section 322(2) of the Act.
(e) School eligibility decisions will be made at least twice annually when new cohort default rates are made available by GHEAC and when new cohort default rates are made available by the U.S. Department of Education.
(f) The school will be governed by the Act and its regulations, as amended, the GSFA LLR policy, and GHEAC policies and procedures of the guaranteed student loan program.
(g) To establish eligibility in the Assured Access Lending Program, a school must provide GSFA with a letter requesting approval to participate. GSFA will respond by providing the school with written approval, denial, or a request for further information. GSFA will waive the request letter if the school meets the conditions of 268-11-2-.03(1)(d)(i) and (iii).

Rule 268-11-2-.05 Termination of School Eligibility

(1) Upon approval of the Assured Access Lending Policy by the GSFA Board of Directors, institutions that are participants in the Assured Access Lending Program on that date will be reviewed within 30 days of such Board approval and may be terminated from Assured Access at the conclusion of the review. No institution currently participating in Assured Access at the time of Board approval shall be automatically approved for continuation in the program based solely upon Board approval of this policy.
(2) GSFA may terminate any institution from participation in the Assured Access Lending Program if:
(a) GSFA determines from a review of the institution's most recent preclaims or default claims experience for one or more quarters that the institution may develop an excessive, future default rate; or
(b) GHEAC and/or GSFA has received significant consumer complaints that substantially indicate areas of non-compliance at the institution; GHEAC has conducted a program review or received information from a program review report conducted by an entity other than GHEAC, indicating program administration problems; or if GHEAC or GSFA has received other information indicating that the institution may lack the skills or capacity to properly administer student aid programs as required under 34 CFR 668.14 and .15; or
(c) the school/branch has a most recent year's published U.S. Department of Education or GHEAC cohort default rate of 20% or more and the institution is not a part B institution within the meaning of section 322(2) of the Act, as amended.
(3) GSFA will provide a 30-day written notification to any institution that is to be terminated from the Assured Access Lending Program.
(4) If an institution is terminated from the Assured Access Lending Program, it shall be eligible, unless otherwise ineligible under the Act and its regulations, as amended, to participate in the Lender of Last Resort Program.