(d) Departmental publication of descriptions of assistance programs
(1) The Secretary shall make available to eligible institutions, eligible lenders, and secondary schools descriptions of Federal student assistance programs including the rights and responsibilities of student and institutional participants, in order to (A) assist students in gaining information through institutional sources, and (B) assist institutions in carrying out the provisions of this section, so that individual and institutional participants will be fully aware of their rights and responsibilities under such programs. In particular, such information shall include information to enable students and prospective students to assess the debt burden and monthly and total repayment obligations that will be incurred as a result of receiving loans of varying amounts under this title. Such information shall also include information on the various payment options available for student loans, including income sensitive and income-based repayment plans for loans made, insured, or guaranteed under part B and income-contingent and income-based repayment plans for loans made under part D. In addition, such information shall include information to enable borrowers to assess the practical consequences of loan consolidation, including differences in deferment eligibility, interest rates, monthly payments, and finance charges, and samples of loan consolidation profiles to illustrate such consequences. The Secretary shall provide information concerning the specific terms and conditions under which students may obtain partial or total cancellation or defer repayment of loans for service, shall indicate (in terms of the Federal minimum wage) the maximum level of compensation and allowances that a student borrower may receive from a tax-exempt organization to qualify for a deferment, and shall explicitly state that students may qualify for such partial cancellations or deferments when they serve as a paid employee of a tax-exempt organization. The Secretary shall also provide information on loan forbearance, including the increase in debt that results from capitalization of interest. Such information shall be provided by eligible institutions and eligible lenders at any time that information regarding loan availability is provided to any student.
(2) The Secretary, to the extent the information is available, shall compile information describing State and other prepaid tuition programs and savings programs and disseminate such information to States, eligible institutions, students, and parents in departmental publications.
(3) The Secretary, to the extent practicable, shall update the Department's Internet site to include direct links to databases that contain information on public and private financial assistance programs. The Secretary shall only provide direct links to databases that can be accessed without charge and shall make reasonable efforts to verify that the databases included in a direct link are not providing fraudulent information. The Secretary shall prominently display adjacent to any such direct link a disclaimer indicating that a direct link to a database does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of the database, the provider of the database, or any services or products of such provider. The Secretary shall provide additional direct links to information resources from which students may obtain information about fraudulent and deceptive practices in the provision of services related to student financial aid.
(4) The Secretary shall widely publicize the location of the information described in paragraph (1) among the public, eligible institutions, and eligible lenders, and promote the use of such information by prospective students, enrolled students, families of prospective and enrolled students, and borrowers.