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Important Dates: (Reminder: Deadlines are always subject to change as determined by the Department of Education.)
- Two TEACH Grant award and disbursement records deadlines on Friday, September 29, 2017.
- The final deadline for electronically transmitting Pell Grant and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant records for the 2016-2017 Award Year to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System is Friday, September 29, 2017.
- Negotiator Nominations and Schedule of Committee Meetings – Borrower Defenses, Financial Responsibility, and Gainful Employment: The deadline to submit nominations is on or before September 29, 2017.
- (Reminder) Deadline for Submitting the FISAP is September 29 2017.
See the August 29, 2017, issue of the Fed-Updates Newsletter for the update on the FISAP deadline. View full details regarding the other program deadlines above by clicking on the links in the updates below.
Reminder from FA Solutions: Because our newsletter updates are excerpts from the original electronic announcements obtained through the the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website, please review the original update in its entirety by clicking links to the original posting included with each update. As a reminder, we are unable to post all Federal updates and deadlines in this newsletter. Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to review additional information on the IFAP website to stay current on various financial aid topics — especially deadlines.
Guidance for helping Title IV participants affected by a major disaster: The Secretary of Education has issued a Dear Colleague Letter to provide general guidance for regulatory relief to institutions, lenders, guaranty agencies, and their servicers on how they can assist Title IV student financial aid participants that have been impacted by a federally declared major disaster (disaster). Please review the August 29, 2017 Dear Colleague Letter (GEN-17-08) for additional information.
Guidance related to Title IV participants affected by Hurricane Harvey: The Department of Education is taking numerous steps in response to the devastating impacts of Hurricane Harvey, which is a federally declared major disaster (disaster). Please review the August 29, 2017, electronic announcement for additional information.
(G5 and COD System) End of Federal Fiscal Year 2017 – Impact on Funds Availability for Pell Grant, Campus-Based, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, TEACH Grant, and Direct Loan Programs: Friday, September 29, 2017 marks the end of the Federal fiscal year for the Department of Education (the Department). Some of the Department’s core financial systems, including G5, will be on a modified processing schedule while the Department finalizes its processing and accounting for Fiscal Year 2017. These interruptions will impact how the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System will process financial data and when schools can obtain funds for the Federal student aid programs. Please review the September 8, 2017, electronic announcement for additional information.
Reminder – Privacy and security of data from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): Federal Student Aid has issued a reminder to institutions of higher education and state agencies about their long-standing guidance and expectation that the security and confidentiality of data used in all aspects of the administration of the Title IV Federal student financial aid programs must continue to be protected. This includes having policies and practices in place that provide for adequate authentication of an applicant’s identity before disclosing any confidential information.
In keeping with these expectations, institutions of higher education and state agencies must not disclose income and tax information from the FAFSA with the applicant (and, if applicable, his or her spouse or parents) unless the FAFSA applicant (and, if applicable, his or her spouse or parents) can authenticate their identity. Please review the September 5, 2017, electronic announcement for additional information.
eCampus-Based Transition #1 – Preliminary Information: eCampus-Based Functions to Move to COD System in 2018: In a continued effort to improve efficiency and simplify for Title IV systems and processes, Federal Student Aid will be retiring the stand-alone eCampus-Based (eCB) System and implementing a new solution within the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System. The transition of the processing functions for the Campus-Based programs to the COD System will begin in spring 2018 with full functionality expected for the Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) cycle in September 2018. Please review the August 29, 2017, electronic announcement for additional information.
Additional TEACH Grant Closeout Information for 2016-2017 Award Year: In a June 6, 2017 electronic announcement, Federal Student Aid (FSA) provided information about the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Closeout for the 2016-2017 Award Year. An additional announcement was issued by FSA on September 8, 2017, that includes supplemental information to the previous guidance. Below are a few highlights from the September 8th announcement related to the TEACH Grant Closeout:
- There are two separate deadlines for a school to consider as it completes TEACH Grant processing for the 2016-2017 Award Year. The processing deadline to submit TEACH Grant award and disbursement records is 9:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, September 29, 2017. However, for actual disbursements to generate the appropriate funding level increase in G5 prior to the scheduled G5 shutdown, they must be received by the COD System no later than 8:00 A.M. (ET) on Friday, September 29, 2017, and subsequently accepted.
- Although the final processing deadline for the 2016-2017 TEACH Grant awards is September 29, 2017, existing regulations for drawing/returning funds and reporting disbursements supersede this deadline date.
- Note: In other Electronic Announcements also posted on September 8, 2017, the Department provides comprehensive information related to activities and deadlines that coincide with the September 29, 2017 processing deadline for the 2016-2017 TEACH Grant Award Year. These other announcements are about the end of the Federal fiscal year and the Pell Grant and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant 2016-2017 Award Year processing deadline. Schools should also refer to these announcements to ensure that all applicable 2016-2017 origination, disbursement, and change records are submitted and accepted prior to the processing deadlines to allow funding increases to process and the school to drawdown any additional funds as appropriate.
Schools need to review the entire September 8, 2017, electronic announcement regarding the TEACH Grant Closeout for additional, critical details about the closeout process and deadlines and to access other related electronic announcements.
Pell Grant and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant 2016-2017 Award Year Processing Deadline: Federal Student Aid issued an electronic announcement on September 8, 2017, which indicates that the final deadline for electronically transmitting Pell Grant and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant records for the 2016-2017 Award Year to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System is Friday, September 29, 2017. The notice was originally published in the Federal Register on April 4, 2016. Below are some highlights from the September 8th announcement:
- Although the final processing deadline for the 2016-2017 Pell Grant and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant awards is September 29, 2017, existing regulations for drawing/returning funds and reporting disbursements supersede this deadline.
- As noted in the other announcements, all actual disbursements with a disbursement date from September 29, 2017 through October 1, 2017 must be received by the COD System no later than 8:00 A.M. (ET) on Friday, September 29, 2017, and subsequently accepted by the COD System, in order to generate the appropriate funding level increase prior to the G5 shutdown.
- In a six-page FSA attachment to the September 8th announcement pertinent to the processing deadline for the Pell Grant and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant 2016-2017 Award Year, FSA provides comprehensive information related to the Pell Grant and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant 2016-2017 Award Year processing deadline. The attachment covers the following information: 1) Tools to Assist Schools with Reconciliation Prior to September 29, 2017 (three subsections), 2) Closeout Confirmation and Reopen Process, 3) Acceptance and Rejection of 2016-2017 Award Year Data After September 29, 2017, and 4) Requesting Administrative Relief or Extended Processing for 2016-2017 Award Year.
Schools need to review the entire September 8, 2017, electronic announcement regarding the September 29, 2017, processing deadline for the Pell Grant and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant 2016-2017 Award Year for additional, critical details about that and other deadlines and to access the FSA attachment.
FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICE (FRN):
August 30, 2017 FRN: Negotiator Nominations and Schedule of Committee Meetings – Borrower Defenses, Financial Responsibility, and Gainful Employment: The Department of Education (the Department) recently announced its intention to establish two negotiated rulemaking committees to prepare proposed regulations for the Federal Student Aid programs. The committees will include representatives of organizations or groups with interests that are significantly affected by the subject matter of the proposed regulations. The Department requests nominations for individual negotiators who represent key stakeholder constituencies for the issues to be negotiated to serve on the committees. The Department also announces the creation of a subcommittee, and requests nominations for individuals with pertinent expertise to participate on the subcommittee. The deadline to submit nominations for negotiators to serve on the committee is on or before September 29, 2017. The Federal Register Notice regarding the negotiated rulemaking committees can be accessed in the August 30, 2017 electronic announcement.
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
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