- 07/01/17 – Deadline to submit an alternative earnings appeal to the Gainful Employment (GE) Debt-to-Earnings rates and to comply with the GE program disclosure requirements (The March 14, 2017, issue of the Fed-Updates newsletter noted the incorrect year for the appeal deadline as July 1, 2016. The actual deadline is July 1, 2017. See repeat update at the end of this newsletter. )
Reminder from FA Solutions: At the end of each issue of the Fed-Updates Newsletter are links to a few informational pages on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website. Since we are unable to post all Federal updates and deadlines in this newsletter, schools/organizations are encouraged to review the IFAP website weekly to stay current on various financial aid topics — especially deadlines.
Schools Are Required to Complete the Registration Confirmation of Their DUNS Number Annually: To prevent delays in the receipt of Title IV program funds, all schools are asked to complete their annual confirmation of their DUNS number with the SAM website. A 60-day and 30-day reminder email will be sent to the Point of Contact (POC) and alternate POC for your school prior to your school’s renewal deadline. If a school needs to register one or more DUNS numbers, it should allow 3-5 business days to complete the registration process. Please review the March 15, 2017, announcement for additional information.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool is Unavailable: The online IRS Data Retrieval Tool on Fafsa.gov and StudentLoans.gov is currently unavailable. The IRS anticipates that it will not be available for several weeks. Steps are being taken to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. For additional information, including details on how applicants can still apply for aid while the data tool is unavailable, please review the March 10, 2017, announcement.
Withdrawal of Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) 15-14 – Repayment Agreements and Liability for Collection Costs on Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) Loans: The Department of Education (ED) is withdrawing the statements of policy and guidance reflected in its Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) GEN 15-14 that it issued on July 10, 2015. The Letter specifically addresses FFELP loans and not Direct Loans in the Department’s portfolio. Please review the March 16, 2017, announcement, which explains why this action is being taken.
Change to EDE Suite Operating System Requirements Beginning in Fall 2017: With the first release of EDExpress 2018-2019, scheduled for October 2017, global enhancements to the EDESuite software will require that users have one of the following supported Microsoft operating systems installed on any PC that runs an EDESuite software product: Windows 7 or Windows 8. The upcoming change to the required operating systems will be a significant change for some EDESuite users who are encouraged to evaluate the impact to their processing environment as soon as possible. Please see the March 7, 2017, announcement for additional information.
Updated Third-Party Servicer Questions and Answers: On January 9, 2015, ED published Dear Colleague Letter GEN 15-01, which addressed institutional responsibilities and requirements for institutions that enter into contracts with third-party servicers. The Letter generated a number of questions, and in response ED published a set of Questions and Answers (Q&A) that were attached to Dear Colleague Letter GEN 16-15. An updated version of the set of third-party servicer Q&A is now available with four new questions – D&E-Q8, D&E-Q9, D&E-Q10, D&E-Q11. The updated document is available as an attachment to a March 8, 2017, announcement.
Federal Student Aid Posts Updated Reports to FSA Data Center: This update refreshes more than 30 quarterly application, disbursement, and portfolio reports to include data through December 31, 2016. The March 9, 2017, announcement notes a few highlights of key report findings related to these topics:
- Application Volume and Aid Disbursements
- Shifts in the Outstanding Loan Portfolio
- Increased Enrollment in Income-Driven Repayment Plans
- Tracking Toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness
- New Defaults and Delinquency Rates Fall
- Default Recoveries
Please review the announcement for additional information.
Additional Time for Submission of an Alternate Earnings Appeal and to Comply with Gainful Employment (GE) Disclosure Requirements: The Department of Education (ED) is allowing additional time, until July 1, 2017, for institutions to submit an alternative earnings appeal to the GE Debt-to-Earnings rates and to comply with the GE program disclosure requirements. This action is taken to allow the Department to further review the GE regulations and their implementation. Additionally, the new deadline for submitting final appeal documentation to ED is now July 1, 2017. As a reminder, institutions seeking to appeal a zone or failing rate were required to provide a Notice of Intent to appeal by January 23, 2017. This January 23, 2017 deadline is not affected by the provision of additional time for submission of final appeal documentation. Please review the March 6, 2017 announcement for additional information. (As a friendly reminder, this newsletter does not include all federal updates and deadlines relevant to Gainful Employment regulations, so please be sure to check the GE page on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website for additional information.)
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.
- The “What’s New” page lists all of the latest postings within the past 14 days
- Operational communications and guidance, technical documents, and related information specific to the COD System are provided on the COD System page — including a COD Processing Update and COD Peak Processing Reminders
- The Gainful Employment (GE) page is dedicated to deadlines and updates relevant to GE regulations — including the most updated information pertaining to requirements for Title IV eligible educational programs that are required to lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation (GE programs). The page also includes postings of recent and older Dear Colleague Letters and Electronic Announcements that include critical updates and guidance on GE requirements and reporting
- The Early FAFSA page includes updates, resources, regulatory information, and FAQs
- The Cash Management page provides links to relevant Dear Colleague Letters, Electronic Announcements, webinars, and other cash management resources relevant to the cash management regulations published on October 30, 2015
- The Loan Servicing and Collection page includes information on these topics: Servicing Overview, Communications, Frequently Asked Questions, Borrower Resources, and National Student Loan Data System, and Forms
- The Perkins Loan FAQs page provides information and operational guidance on the Perkins Loan Program
- ITT Students: Information and Resources for Colleges and Counselors Assisting ITT Students
- The iFAP iLibrary includes many resources — including a consolidated list of Electronic Announcements and Dear Colleague Letters for 2017, 2016, and 2015
Thank you for taking the time to review our newsletter!
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