On September 29th, the federal banking and thrift regulatory agencies announced a final Community Reinvestment Act rule to implement a provision of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. The provision requires the agencies to consider low-cost higher education loans to low-income borrowers as a positive factor when assessing a financial institution's record of meeting community credit needs under the CRA. The rule also incorporates a CRA statutory provision that allows the agencies to consider a financial institution's capital investment, loan participation, and other ventures with minority-owned financial institutions, women-owned institutions and low-income credit unions as factors in assessing the institution's CRA record. Federal Reserve Board Press Release.