Fed-Updates Financial Aid Newsletter, May 23, 2019

Note:  FA Solutions‘ Fed-Updates Newsletter updates are excerpts from original announcements posted on the IFAP website so please review the entire update by clicking the link included with each posting. We’re not able to include all Federal updates and deadlines, but you will find additional information on the IFAP website. Deadlines and event dates noted in our newsletters are subject to change as determined by the Department of Education. FA Solutions will be closed for the Memorial Day Holiday on Monday, May 27, 2019.

Memorial Day Federal Processing and Customer Service Hours: Department of Education Federal offices as well as most its Title IV processors and contact centers will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2019 to observe the Memorial Day federal holiday. In addition, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) will be unavailable from 8 p.m. Eastern time (ET) on Saturday, May 25, 2019 through 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Please review the May 16, 2019 electronic announcement, which includes an attachment, for additional information.

Upcoming Federal Student Aid System Access Changes for Professional Users: On June 16, 2019, Federal Student Aid (FSA) will implement several changes that will impact financial aid professional users of systems and websites behind FSA’s Access and Identity Management System (AIMS). These changes include updates to the process by which system access is disabled or deactivated after a period of inactivity, as well as a new monthly report to assist institutions with monitoring user activity status.

The systems and websites that are behind AIMS are the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Web Site, Electronic Cohort Default Rate Appeals (eCDR Appeals), FAA Access to CPS Online, National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Professional Access, Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) Enrollment, and the EDconnect software. Please review the May 17, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.

Live Internet Webinar – How to Correct Historical Enrollment Reporting in NSLDS:  On June 11, 2019, Federal Student Aid will present a webinar on new functionality that assists institutions with ensuring the completeness and integrity of their enrollment reporting data. This webinar will review how institutions can update and correct enrollment data previously reported to the U.S. Department of Education using the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®). Please review the June 11, 2019, Dear Colleague Letter (DCL ID: ANN-19-02) for additional information.

Correcting Historical Program-Level Enrollment Data for College Scorecard Metrics: As described in the March 2019 Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities, the U.S. Department of Education will calculate and disseminate data metrics by field of study through the College Scorecard. In order to accurately calculate the data metrics referenced in the Executive Order, Federal Student Aid (FSA) has enabled functionality for institutions to update their historical program-level enrollment data reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®), from which College Scorecard data metrics will be derived.

In mid-July 2019, FSA will calculate the data metrics for earnings and debt by field of study using data reported/updated by institutions as of July 10, 2019. Institutions are strongly encouraged to ensure the accuracy of previously reported program-level enrollment data that was reported to NSLDS on or after July 1, 2014. Please review the May 20, 2019, electronic announcement for additional information

Additional Enhancements to the FSA ID: Last month, Federal Student Aid implemented several enhancements to improve the FSA ID experience and several additional enhancements were implemented on May 19, 2019. The FSA ID—a user-created username and password—is required for students, parents, and borrowers to authenticate their identity and access their federal student aid information online. The websites and applications that use an FSA ID to log in are fafsa.gov, the myStudentAid mobile app, StudentLoans.gov, NSLDS Student Access, StudentAid.gov, the Application for Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment, and the Federal Student Aid Feedback System. Please review the May 16, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.

Questions Regarding the Financial Responsibility Provisions of the 2016 Borrower Defense Regulations: On March 15, 2019, the Department of Education issued an electronic announcement, with the subject “Guidance Concerning Some Provisions of the 2016 Borrower Defense to Repayment Regulations.” Recently the Department has received a number of inquiries as to the implementation of the guidance as outlined in that electronic announcement relating to the reporting requirements in the financial responsibility regulations. Please review the Department’s response in the May 20, 2019 electronic announcement.

Federal Work-Study Participating Postsecondary Educational Institutions invited to Participate in the Federal Work-Study Experiment Under the Experimental Sites Initiative: On May 20, 2019 Federal Student Aid released a pre-publication copy of the Federal Register notice that invites postsecondary educational institutions participating in the Federal Work Study program to apply to participate in the Federal Work Study experiment under the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI). The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. This document has been sent to the Office of the Federal Register but has not yet been scheduled for publication.

The experiment will provide participating postsecondary institutions with waivers of statutory and regulatory provisions to test how changes to the Federal Work Study program will increase partnerships between institutions and industry, improve student retention and completion, reduce student debt levels, and yield strong post-graduation employment outcomes. For additional information, please review the May 20, 2019 electronic announcement, as well as a press release issued by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on May 20, 2019.

Invitation to Participate in the Second Chance Pell Experiment Under the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI): The Department of Education will consider letters of interest submitted on or after the date of this Electronic Announcement from title IV-eligible postsecondary institutions to participate, beginning with the 2019-2020 award year, in the Second Chance Pell experiment under the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI) authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).

In order to ensure continued diversity of institutions in the experiment and to allow participation by institutions that have recently developed capacity to serve eligible students who are incarcerated in Federal or State penal institutions, the Secretary continues to accept letters of interest from institutions to participate in the Second Chance Pell experiment. Increased participation will benefit students and allow both the Department and the public to learn more about the impact of providing incarcerated individuals the opportunity to use Pell Grants to pursue postsecondary education. Please review the May 20, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.


2019-05-15 2020-2021 EDE Technical Reference (Spring Draft)

2019-05-23: Interest Rates for Direct Loans First Disbursed Between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 

2019-05-22 NSLDS ER Program Level Certification Report Extract File Layout for Schools (SCHER8)

2019-05-22 Newsletter 64: New Enrollment History Update Page and Enrollment Reporting Compliance Notifications

Helpful information pages: The following are a few helpful links to information pages available on the IFAP website: COD System, Gainful Employment, Cash Management, Processing Resources, FAFSA and the IRS DRT and iLibrary, which includes many resources, such as a consolidated list of Electronic AnnouncementsDear Colleague Letters, and Federal Registers. Please review the IFAP website for additional guidance, resources, deadlines, and information related to the administration and processing of Title IV federal student aid.

Thank you for taking the time to review our newsletter!

Rob Wright

Disclaimer of Liability: Every effort is made to provide accurate and complete information in FA Solutions’ newsletters. However, FA Solutions makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy 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 contained in these sites.