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Education Dept. to Create Rule-Making Panel on Student Aid

The U.S. Department of Education said today that it intends to begin talks in September on new federal student-aid regulations, specifically relating to the use of debit cards to disburse financial aid. In a notice set to appear in Tuesday’s Federal Register, the department announced it would accept comments from the public on a new negotiated rule-making committee. The department is forming the panel in response to a report last fall about organized fraud rings that exploit distance-learning programs to collect student aid. Department officials have been working to crack down on “Pell runners,” scam artists who bounce from college to college receiving Pell Grant refunds. The department also plans to propose regulations to streamline campus-based student-aid programs. It will hold two public hearings in May on efforts to prevent fraud.

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