Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Public Law (08/18/2003)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 - Authorizes the Secretary of Education to waive or modify any requirement or regulation applicable to the student financial assistance programs under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 as deemed necessary with respect to an affected individual who: (1) is serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency; (2) is performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war, operation, or emergency; (3) resides or is employed in an area that is declared a disaster area by any Federal, State, or local official in connection with a national emergency; or (4) suffered direct economic hardship as a direct result of a war or other military operation or national emergency.

Authorizes the Secretary to grant such a waiver to ensure that: (1) affected individuals who have received student financial assistance (affected recipients) are not placed in a worse position financially in relation to that financial assistance because of their status; (2) administrative requirements placed on affected recipients are minimized to ease the burden on them and avoid inadvertent, technical violations or defaults; (3) calculations of income or overpayment amounts required to be returned may be modified in light of the special circumstances; and (4) institutions of higher education, eligible lenders, guaranty agencies, and other participating entities that are located in declared disaster areas in connection with a national emergency, or whose operations are significantly affected by such a disaster, may be granted temporary relief from requirements that are rendered infeasible or unreasonable by the emergency, including due diligence requirements and reporting deadlines.

Declares the sense of Congress that: (1) all institutions offering postsecondary education should provide a full refund (or credit) of tuition and related fees to students who are affected individuals for that portion of a period of instruction such a student was unable to complete, or for which such individual did not receive academic credit, because he or she was called up for active duty or active service; and (2) if affected individuals withdraw from a course of study as a result of such active duty or active service, such institutions should make every effort to minimize deferral of enrollment or reapplication requirements and should provide the greatest flexibility possible with administrative deadlines related to those applications.