FinAid – Ever changing and ALWAYS challenging.
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Please note that deadlines and event dates noted in all of our newsletters are always subject to change as determined by the Department of Education.
Important note From FA Solutions: Since our newsletter updates are excerpts from original electronic announcements from the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website, please review the update in its entirety by clicking the link to the original posting included with each update. As a reminder, we are not always able to post all Federal updates and deadlines in this newsletter. Therefore, schools and organizations are strongly encouraged to review additional information on the IFAP website to stay current on various financial aid topics — especially deadlines. The IFAP website includes helpful information pages dedicated to topics such as Gainful Employment (GE) and the COD System. Links to some of IFAP’s other information pages can be accessed at the end of this newsletter.
OUTAGE ALERT – Federal Student Aid Website and System Outages April 27-29, 2018: During the period April 27-29, 2018, Federal Student Aid (FSA) plans to complete important system work that will impact several FSA websites and systems. This work is related to the transition of FSA’s data center to a new location and is in addition to the regular weekly maintenance that occurs each weekend. Outage details are provided in an April 20, 2018 electronic announcement about the websites and systems that will be affected.
In the coming months, additional outage periods that will impact other FSA websites and systems will be required as FSA completes the transition to the new data center. FSA will post announcements to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website informing schools/organizations in advance of these outages. As a reminder, FA Solutions may not always be able to provide advance notice of these outages if the relevant IFAP updates are not available to us by the newsletter publication date. Therefore, schools are urged to monitor the IFAP website for those announcements and FSA’s COD Processing Update. Please review the April 20, 2018 electronic announcement for additional information.
Upcoming Live Internet Webinar – Submitting Draft Gainful Emploment (GE) Completers List Corrections in NSLDS: This letter announces a 90-minute webinar that will be held on May 9, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. EST regarding the Draft GE Completers List. The National Student Loan Data System will begin to generate and send the Lists to institutions in upcoming weeks. The webinar will focus on how to view the Completers List data and how to submit a correction to the data. Institutions will have 45 days to review and correct the information. This training is intended for anyone who will be working with the GE Completers List and who needs to understand how to effectively manage and respond to the data. Registration is required to view the webinar and to ask questions during the presentation. For additional information, please view the April 17, 2018 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL ID: ANN-18-07).
2017–18 Verification Reporting and Verification Status Code “W” Warning Message: For each Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) award disbursed to a student who was selected for verification, a school must report the student’s verification status to the Department of Education (the Department) via the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System. To do this, the school includes a verification status code (“W,” “V,” or “S”) in the Common Record document it submits to the COD System via batch processing or when it creates the award online via the COD Web Site. An April 13, 2018 electronic announcement is available that reviews, in detail, verification status code reminders and the 2017–18 verification status Code “W” warning message that was processed on April 11, 2018, as well as the verification deadline. Please review the announcement for additional information.
REVISED 2018-2019 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules: The revised PDF and Excel versions of the Payment and Disbursement Schedules for determining Federal Pell Grant awards for the 2018-2019 award year (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019) are now available as attachments to an April 10, 2018 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL ID: GEN-18-04). These disbursement schedules are for full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, and less-than-half-time students. All 2018-2019 Federal Pell Grant awards must be based on the revised schedules. Please review the Dear Colleague Letter for additional information.
Operational Implementation Guidance #1 – Federal Student Aid’s Implementation of Revised 2018–19 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules: Important preliminary information for institutions is now available in an April 13, 2018 electronic announcement regarding the system, web, and software modifications that are currently being made to reflect the revised 2018–19 Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) payment and disbursement schedules, including changes that must be implemented to the Central Processing System (CPS), the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System, and the EDExpress for Windows software. Please review the announcement for additional information.
Total and Permanent Disability Match Process with Department of Veterans Affairs Begins: In 2016, the Department of Education (the Department) began a new process to identify and assist disabled federal student loan borrowers who may be eligible for Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) loan discharge. The process simplified the steps needed to obtain a TPD discharge by directly leveraging Social Security Administration (SSA) data to document a borrower’s eligibility.
This year, the Department will begin a similar data-matching process with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Like the SSA process, the Department will begin to match the borrowers on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) who owe federal student loans or have Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants to the VA database. Beginning in April 2018, borrowers who were positively identified in the match will start to receive a customized letter from the Department’s TPD servicer, Nelnet. Please review the April 17, 2018 electronic announcement for additional information.
TPD Discharge Information – Updated Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Loan Holder Notification File Effective April 2018: Updated information about the Total and Permanent Disability Loan Holder Notification (TPD LHN) File used in Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge processing is now available in an April 17, 2018 electronic announcement. As a reminder, the TPD LHN File is used to communicate information to Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program guaranty agencies, FFEL Program lenders or lender servicers, and Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program schools about individuals whose TPD discharge applications are received by the U.S. Department of Education (the Department). This version of the TPD LHN File supersedes all previous guidance. Please review the announcement, including attachments, for additional information. FSA also offers an online information resource center for TPD.
NSLDS School Portfolio Report Extract File Layout for Schools (SCHPR1) Comma Separated Values: The NSLDS School Portfolio Report Extract File Layout for Schools (SCHPR1) Comma Separated Values recently became available. The file is attached to an April 17, 2018 electronic announcement. For information about the updates to the file layout, please also refer to the April 2018 Electronic Announcement titled “Total and Permanent Disability Match Process with Department of Veterans Affairs Begins.” A link to this announcement is included in this newsletter. The fixed width version of the file is also available in a separate electronic announcement also issued on April 17, 2018.
Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program Special Allowance Rates for the Quarter Ending March 31, 2018: Please review FSA’s April 12, 2018, electronic announcement for additional information about these updated FFEL rates.
INFORMATION PAGES FOR SCHOOLS TO MONITOR WEEKLY: The list below represents just a few of the information pages available on the IFAP website. Please review the organization’s website for additional guidance, resources, deadlines, and information related to the administration and processing of Title IV federal student aid.
- COD System – Schools are urged to regularly monitor this page, which includes COD Processing News/Updates.
- NSLDS newsletters, user guides and technical documents
- Gainful Employment
- Early FAFSA
- Cash Management
- Loan Servicing and Collection
- Perkins Loan FAQs
- 150 Percent Direct Subsidized Loan Limit Information
- Application Processing (Electronic Announcements)
- The iFAP iLibrary includes many resources — including a consolidated list of Electronic Announcements, Dear Colleague Letters, and Federal Registers.
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