34 CFR 386.34 - What assurances must be provided by a grantee that intends to provide scholarships?

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§ 386.34 What assurances must be provided by a grantee that intends to provide scholarships?

A grantee under this part that intends to grant scholarships for any academic year beginning after June 1, 1992, shall provide the following assurances before an award is made:

(a) Requirement for agreement. No individual will be provided a scholarship without entering into a written agreement containing the terms and conditions required by this section. An individual will sign and date the agreement prior to the initial disbursement of scholarship funds to the individual for payment of the individual's expenses, such as tuition.

(b) Disclosure to applicants. The terms and conditions of the agreement that the grantee enters into with a scholar will be fully disclosed in the application for scholarship.

(c) Form and terms of agreement. Each scholarship agreement with a grantee will be in the form and contain the terms that the Secretary requires, including at a minimum the following provisions:

(1) The scholar will -

(i) Maintain employment -

(A) In a nonprofit rehabilitation agency or related agency or in a State rehabilitation agency or related agency, including a professional corporation or professional practice group through which the individual has a service arrangement with the designated State agency;

(B) On a full- or part-time basis; and

(C) For a period of not less than the full-time equivalent of two years for each year for which assistance under this section was received, within a period, beginning after the recipient completes the training for which the scholarship was awarded, of not more than the sum of the number of years required in this paragraph and two additional years; and

(ii) Repay all or part of any scholarship received, plus interest, if the individual does not fulfill the requirements of paragraph (c)(1(i) of this section, except as the Secretary by regulations may provide for repayment exceptions and deferrals.

(2) The employment obligation in paragraph (c)(1) of this section as applied to a part-time scholar will be based on the accumulated academic years of training for which the scholarship is received.

(3) Until the scholar has satisfied the employment obligation described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the scholar will inform the grantee of any change of name, address, or employment status and will document employment satisfying the terms of the agreement.

(4) Subject to the provisions in § 386.41 regarding a deferral or exception, when the scholar enters repayment status under § 386.43(e), the amount of the scholarship that has not been retired through eligible employment will constitute a debt owed to the United States that -

(i) Will be repaid by the scholar, including interest and costs of collection as provided in § 386.43; and

(ii) May be collected by the Secretary in accordance with 34 CFR part 30, in the case of the scholar's failure to meet the obligation of § 386.43.

(d) Executed agreement. The grantee will provide an original executed agreement upon request to the Secretary.

(e) Standards for satisfactory progress. The grantee will establish, publish, and apply reasonable standards for measuring whether a scholar is maintaining satisfactory progress in the scholar's course of study. The Secretary considers an institution's standards to be reasonable if the standards -

(1) Conform with the standards of satisfactory progress of the nationally recognized accrediting agency that accredits the institution's program of study, if the institution's program of study is accredited by such an agency, and if the agency has those standards;

(2) For a scholar enrolled in an eligible program who is to receive assistance under the Rehabilitation Act, are the same as or stricter than the institution's standards for a student enrolled in the same academic program who is not receiving assistance under the Rehabilitation Act; and

(3) Include the following elements:

(i) Grades, work projects completed, or comparable factors that are measurable against a norm.

(ii) A maximum timeframe in which the scholar shall complete the scholar's educational objective, degree, or certificate.

(iii) Consistent application of standards to all scholars within categories of students; e.g., full-time, part-time, undergraduates, graduate students, and students attending programs established by the institution.

(iv) Specific policies defining the effect of course incompletes, withdrawals, repetitions, and noncredit remedial courses on satisfactory progress.

(v) Specific procedures for appeal of a determination that a scholar is not making satisfactory progress and for reinstatement of aid.

(f) Exit certification. The grantee has established policies and procedures for receiving written certification from scholars at the time of exit from the program acknowledging the following:

(1) The name of the institution and the number of the Federal grant that provided the scholarship.

(2) The scholar's field of study.

(3) The number of years the scholar needs to work to satisfy the work requirements in § 386.34(c)(1)(i)(C).

(4) The total amount of scholarship assistance received subject to the work-or-repay provision in § 386.34(c)(1)(ii).

(5) The time period during which the scholar must satisfy the work requirements in § 386.34(c)(1)(i)(C).

(6) All other obligations of the scholar in § 386.34.

(g) Tracking system. The grantee has established policies and procedures to determine compliance of the scholar with the terms of the agreement. In order to determine whether a scholar has met the work-or-repay provision in § 386.34(c)(1)(i), the tracking system must include for each employment position maintained by the scholar -

(1) Documentation of the employer's name, address, dates of the scholar's employment, and the position the scholar maintained;

(2) Documentation of how the employment meets the requirements in § 386.34(c)(1)(i); and

(3) Documentation that the grantee, if experiencing difficulty in locating a scholar, has checked with existing tracking systems operated by alumni organizations.

(h) Reports. The grantee shall make reports to the Secretary that are necessary to carry out the Secretary's functions under this part.

(i) Records. The grantee shall maintain the information obtained in paragraphs (g) and (h) of this section for a period of time equal to the time required to fulfill the obligation under § 386.34(c)(1)(i)(C).

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1820-0018)
(Authority: 29 U.S.C. 711(c) and 771a(b))

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