Fed-Updates Financial Aid Newsletter – July 25, 2019

Newsletter topics: 2016 State Authorization Regulations Q&A (distance education), Technology Security Alert – Ellucian Banner, COD System, Access to FSA Systems and Websites. Validity of a Student’s High School Completion, Reallocation Process, FSA Training Workshop, and various resources

Note: Fed-Updates newsletter updates are excerpts from original announcements posted on the IFAP website. 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’ll find additional information on the IFAP website. Reminder: Deadlines and event dates are noted in our newsletters are subject to change as determined by the Department of Education.

Compliance with the 2016 State Authorization Regulations Questions and Answers (distance education): The Department of Education announced on July 21, 2019 that the previously delayed 2016 distance education regulations are retroactively effective as of May 26, 2019. As part of these rules, institutions providing distance education must document a description of the process for submitting consumer complaints in each State in which the program’s enrolled students reside and whether the institution is authorized through a State authorization reciprocity agreement. Please review the July 22, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.

TECHNOLOGY SECURITY ALERT – Exploitation of Ellucian Banner System Vulnerability: The U.S. Department of Education (Department) has obtained information regarding the active and ongoing exploitation of a previously identified vulnerability in the Ellucian Banner system. The Department has identified 62 colleges or universities that have been affected by exploitation of this vulnerability and has recently received information that indicates criminal elements have been actively scanning the internet looking for institutions to victimize through this vulnerability. Please review the July 17, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.

Additional COD System Implementation for 2019–2020 Award Year (Updated July 24, 2019): During the period July 26-28, 2019, Federal Student Aid plans to implement additional Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System functionality that supports the Campus-Based programs and the processing of Federal Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan awards for the 2019–2020 Award Year. Please review the July 19, 2019 electronic announcement for information on the 2019-2020 COD System implementation and the COD system outage information that will occur Friday, July 26, 2019 through July 28, 2019.

Information Request to Ensure Access to FSA Systems and Websites: Federal Student Aid (FSA) recently implemented new cybersecurity measures to further protect critical student data and ensure the security of FSA systems and websites. As a result of these changes, authorized users at some Title IV institutions were temporarily blocked from accessing FSA systems and websites. FSA has taken steps to resolve the situation, but if you are still experiencing challenges, please notify them. FSA would also like to expand its whitelist of institutional IP addresses to ensure all authorized users are able to access FSA systems and websites and are not inadvertently blocked in the future. To accomplish this, they are requesting specific information from institutions by August 1, 2019. Please review the July 17, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.

Checking the Validity of a Student’s High School Completion: This electronic announcement provides clarification regarding the role that institutions have in checking the validity of a student’s high school completion. Please review the July 23, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.

Information about the Reallocation Process, the 2018–2019 Campus-Based Reallocation Form, and the Process to Request Supplemental Federal Work-Study Funds for 2019–2020: These topics are covered in the July 23, 2019 electronic announcement along with information about the action schools need to take to request supplemental funds for 2019–2020. Schools use the reallocation process to release unexpended portions of their 2018–2019 allocations in the Federal Work-Study (FWS) and/or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs or to request supplemental 2019–2020 FWS funds that will be used to employ students in community service jobs. Schools that will have unspent funds should complete the Campus-Based Reallocation Form as described below. Unexpended 2018–2019 funds will be used to provide supplemental FWS and/or FSEOG funds in 2019–2020 to other eligible schools, but only if unexpended funds are reported by the deadline of August 12, 2019. Please review the July 23, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.

Training Workshops – Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration: Federal Student Aid will be offering Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration training workshops from November 2019 through September 2020. Please note that all participants wishing to register for a workshop must first successfully complete an online, prerequisite course titled FSA Coach Fundamentals 2019–2020. Together, the online course and in-person workshop comprise the Fundamentals Training Series. Please review the July 18, 2019 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL ID: ANN-19-04) for additional information.


2019-07-18 Revision of Loan Reaffirmation Agreement

2019-07-18 Subject: HEAL Interest Rates

2019-07-15 Subject: 2020–2021 EDE Technical Reference (Final)

2019-07-18 (Application Processing) Subject: 2020–2021 CPS Test System User Guide


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.