FinAid – EVER changing, and ALWAYS challenging. Feel free to reach out for a chat!
Rob Wrightemail:, (P) (813) 435-6227

Reminder from FA Solutions: At the end of each issue of the Fed-Updates Newsletter links are available to a few informational pages on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website. The pages provide access to the latest and older updates on the following: COD Processing, Gainful Employment, Early FAFSA, Cash Management, Loan Servicing & Collection and Perkins Loan Program FAQs. Please view these web pages weekly to stay informed on these topics — especially deadlines.

Important Dates:

  • October 24 – December 7, 2016 –  Draft GE Debt-to-Earnings (D/E) Rates Challenge Period: As of Monday, October 24, 2016, institutions will have 45 days to submit challenges to certain underlying loan data used to calculate the draft GE D/E rates. Please see the brief update below.
  • November 11th – Veterans Holiday: The Department of Education’s federal offices as well as some of our Title IV processors and contact centers will be closed on Friday, November 11, 2016, to observe the Veterans Day holiday.
  • Active confirmation of TG Numbers (SAIG Mailboxes) and Electronic Services User Accounts is required by December 9, 2016. Please see the update below for additional information.
  • November 29-December 2, 2016,  FSA Conference at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.

VETERANS DAY HOLIDAY PROCESSING AND CUSTOMER SERVICE HOURS FOR DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OFFICES AND TITLE IV PROCESSORS AND CONTACT CENTERS: ED’s federal offices as well as some of our Title IV processors and contact centers will be closed on Friday, November 11, 2016, to observe the Veterans Day federal holiday. Please see the October 26, 2016 electronic announcement for additional information.
FA SOLUTIONS TEAM IS ATTENDING THE 2016 FEDERAL STUDENT AID TRAINING CONFERENCE – Nov. 29th thru Dec. 2nd: FA Solutions is sending a team to the 2016 Federal Student Aid Training Conference for financial aid professionals. The Conference will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.  There is no registration fee for the conference. For details on how to register, please go to the FSA 2016 conferences web page. The FA Solutions team hopes to see you there!
ACTIVE CONFIRMATION OF TG NUMBERS (SAIG Mailboxes) AND ELECTRONIC SERVICES USER ACCOUNTS REQUIRED BY DECEMBER 9, 2016 TO MAINTAIN ACCESS TO FEDERAL STUDENT AID SYSTEMS: In ED’s ongoing effort to ensure the security of Federal Student Aid’s data  systems, every organization enrolled for a Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) account is required to review and validate its assigned TG numbers and Electronic Services user accounts by December 9, 2016. Failure to accurately complete this process by December 9, 2016 will result in loss of access to Federal Student Aid data systems, including services such as Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) deliveries, ISIR requests, FAFSA corrections, and NSLDS enrollment reporting and updates. Please review the October 24, 2016, electronic announcement for additional information.
AS OF OCTOBER 24TH SCHOOLS HAVE 45 DAYS TO SUBMIT CHALLENGES TO UNDERLYING LOAN DATA USED TO CALCULATE THE DRAFT GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT DEBT TO EARNING RATES: As of October 24, 2016, institutions have 45 days to submit challenges to certain underlying loan data used to calculate the draft Gainful Employment (GE) Debt to Earning rates, using new functionality on the NSLDS Professional Access website. December 7, 2016, is the last day to submit challenges. Please review the October 21, 2016, Dear Colleague Letter for additional information. Schools are also encouraged to view other GE related updates on the GE information page found on the IFAP website.
INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO RESOLVE 2017-2018 COMMENT CODE 399 CONFLICTING INFORMATION ISSUES: In an October 13, 2016, electronic announcement FSA informed institutions that on October 17, 2016, the Central Processing System (CPS) would reprocess a number of 2017-2018 FAFSAs to remove incorrectly assigned ISIR Comment Code 399s. That reprocessing resulted in just over 7,500 revised ISIRs being produced nationwide out of more than 1.5 million 2017-2018 FAFSAs received to date. If the ISIR transaction resulting from the October 17 reprocessing no longer includes Comment Code 399 the institution is not required to take any action to resolve the Comment Code 399 that was included in the earlier ISIR transaction. However, any subsequent ISIR that includes Comment Code 399 must be resolved using the guidance provided in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-16-14. Please see the October 21, 2016, electronic announcement for additional information.
ACCEPTABLE DOCUMENTATION UPDATE FOR 2016-2017 AWARD YEAR VERIFICATION: FSA has provided an update on acceptable documentation for individuals selected for verification who filed a 2015 tax return with the IRS, but who are unable to obtain a tax transcript from the IRS. This applies only to the 2016-2017 award year and to individuals who attempted to use one of the official IRS processes to request a tax transcript of the information that was included on their 2015 tax return that was filed with the IRS. Please see the October 18, 2016 electronic announcement for additional information.

  • 2017-2018 FEDERAL PELL GRANT PAYMENT AND DISBURSEMENT SCHEDULES: The 2017-2018 Award Year Federal Pell Grant Program Payment and Disbursement Schedules for determining Federal Pell Grant awards for the 2017-2018 award year are now available for full for full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, and less-than-half-time enrollment.  Please see the October 18, 2016, electronic announcement for additional information.
  • NSLDS GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT USER GUIDE (OCTOBER 2016): The NSLDS Gainful Employment User Guide, published October 2016, is now available. Please see the October 20, 2016, electronic announcement to access the link to the Guide.


  • MPN, MPN Manifest, and Disclosure Statement Print Functionality in EDExpress Discontinued with Implementation of New Forms: Users of the EDExpress for Windows Direct Loan module need to be aware of an upcoming change to the software’s print functionality. When a school begins using the newly approved Master Promissory Notes (MPNs), it will no longer be able to print MPNs, MPN Manifests, and Disclosure Statements using EDExpress. Please see the October 27, 2016, electronic announcement for additional information. The date on which the old forms will no longer be accepted will be provided in a forthcoming Electronic Announcement.
  • Availability of Service Release Update for EDExpress for Windows 2016-2017, Release 2.0: A service release update for EDExpress for 2016-2017, Release 2.0. is now available on the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Download website. This service release implements an enhancement to the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) module that enables users to import a new Default Overpay Code value in PLUS Application Acknowledgement files (message class CRSP17OP). Please see the October 28, 2016 electronic announcement for additional information.

INFORMATION PAGES FOR SCHOOLS TO MONITOR  WEEKLY ON THE IFAP WEBSITE: The list below represents just a few of the information pages available to schools on the IFAP website. To view all the information and resources that the organization has to offer, please visit the IFAP website.

  • “What’s New”: The IFAP website has a “What’s New” area that lists all of the latest postings to the IFAP Web site within the past 14 days.
  • COD System Processing System: Operational communications and guidance, technical documents, and related information specific to the COD System are provided on the COD System web page — including a COD Processing Update.
  • Gainful Employment (GE): The 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.
  • CASH MANAGEMENT: The Cash Management Information Page on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website. The page provides easy-to-access information and resources relating to the cash management regulations published on October 30, 2015. The page includes links to relevant Dear Colleague Letters, Electronic Announcements, webinars, and other cash management resources.
  • Loan Servicing and Collection:  Federal Student Aid has consolidated its servicing and collection information and resources on a Loan Servicing and Collection Information page on the IFAP website. The information and resources are organized into the following key topical areas in the main body of the page: Servicing Overview, Communications, Frequently Asked Questions, Borrower Resources, and National Student Loan Data System, and Forms.
  • Perkins Loan FAQs: FSA has made available a FAQs Information page on the IFAP website to provide information and operational guidance on the Perkins Loan Program.

Thank you for taking the time to review our newsletter!
Rob Wright
(P) (813) 435-6227 —–> We can instant chat here
LinkedIn <———– Let’s connect!


Disclaimer of Liability: Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in FA Solutions’ newsletters. However, FA Solutions makes not claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or inadequacy of the contents of the newsletters and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of its newsletters. Although FA Solutions may include links providing direct access to other Internet resources, including Websites, FA Solutions is not responsible for the accuracy or content of information in these sites.