The Secretary is authorized to select institutions for voluntary participation in a Quality Assurance Program that provides participating institutions with an alternative management approach through which individual schools develop and implement their own comprehensive systems, related to processing and disbursement of student financial aid, verification of student financial aid application data, and entrance and exit interviews, thereby enhancing program integrity within the student aid delivery system.
The Quality Assurance Program authorized by this section shall be based on criteria that include demonstrated institutional performance, as determined by the Secretary, and shall take into consideration current quality assurance goals, as determined by the Secretary. The selection criteria shall ensure the participation of a diverse group of institutions of higher education with respect to size, mission, and geographical distribution.
The Secretary is authorized to waive for any institution participating in the Quality Assurance Program any regulations dealing with reporting or verification requirements in this subchapter that are addressed by the institution’s alternative management system, and may substitute such quality assurance reporting as the Secretary determines necessary to ensure accountability and compliance with the purposes of the programs under this subchapter. The Secretary shall not modify or waive any statutory requirements pursuant to this paragraph.
The Secretary shall review and evaluate the Quality Assurance Program conducted by each participating institution and, on the basis of that evaluation, make recommendations regarding amendments to this chapter that will streamline the administration and enhance the integrity of Federal student assistance programs. Such recommendations shall be submitted to the authorizing committees.
The Secretary shall continue the voluntary participation of any experimental sites in existence as of July 1, 2007, unless the Secretary determines that such site’s participation has not been successful in carrying out the purposes of this section. Any experimental sites approved by the Secretary prior to such date that have not been successful in carrying out the purposes of this section shall be discontinued not later than June 30, 2010.
The Secretary is authorized to waive, for any institution participating as an experimental site under subparagraph (A), any requirements in this subchapter, including requirements related to the award process and disbursement of student financial aid (such as innovative delivery systems for modular or compressed courses, or other innovative systems), verification of student financial aid application data, entrance and exit interviews, or other management procedures or processes as determined in the negotiated rulemaking process under section 1098a of this title, or regulations prescribed under this subchapter, that will bias the results of the experiment, except that the Secretary shall not waive any provisions with respect to award rules (other than an award rule related to an experiment in modular or compressed schedules), grant and loan maximum award amounts, and need analysis requirements unless the waiver of such provisions is authorized by another provision under this subchapter.