On July 16, 2015, the Department of Education issued a request through notice to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for emergency clearance so that Federal Student Aid (FSA) can initiate a formal security assessment program of the 28 independently owned Guaranty Agencies that are involved in the collection and transfer of data of students and families supported by federal student aid programs. The assessment is designed to “ensure the continued confidentiality and integrity of data entrusted to FSA by students and families” and will identify security deficiencies of the Guaranty Agencies based upon NIST publications. It appears through the notice that the Guaranty Agencies will be required to conduct a security self-assessment and attestation to FSA.

Although approval was requested by July 20, 2015, comments to the proposal will be accepted through September 14, 2015.