Fed-Updates Financial Aid Newsletter – September 24, 2019

Newsletter topics: IRS Outage Alert, Federal Student Aid Conference, FA Administrator’s Toolkit, Perkins Loan, Gainful Employment, various resources, and Federal Register notices (HEAL, Cohort Default Rates, Borrower Defense to Repayment)

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.

OUTAGE ALERT – IRS DRT Outage on October 6, 2019: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) will be unavailable on Sunday, October 6, 2019, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time (ET) as the IRS completes critical system upgrades. During this outage period, users may access fafsa.gov, the myStudentAid mobile app, and StudentLoans.gov. However, if an action requires entry of federal tax information, the tax information will need to be provided manually. Applicants may wish to complete the application after the outage is over. Please review the September 26, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.

Reminder – Upcoming 2019 Federal Student Aid (FSA) Training Conference for Financial Aid Professionals:  You can still register for the upcoming FSA training conference that will take place from December 3 – 6, 2019 in Reno, Nevada at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Online Training Resource – Financial Aid Administrator’s Tool Kit: The new FAA Tool Kit, is available on the Federal Student Aid E-Training website and offers quick access to Federal Student Aid resources, reference guides, and training material and is designed to assist financial aid professionals in administering the federal student aid programs in compliance with federal regulations. In addition to providing links to key Federal Student Aid resources, the Tool Kit also includes short videos to assist with navigating several Federal Student Aid products. Please review the September 10, 2019 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL ID: ANN-19-06) for additional information.

Federal Perkins Loan Program – Assignment of Federal Perkins Loans in Default for Two or More Years: Section 463(a)(4)(A) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, states that if an institution knowingly failed to maintain an acceptable collection record for a defaulted Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins loan), the Secretary may require the institution to assign the loan to the Department of Education (the Department) without recompense.

With the wind-down of the Perkins Loan Program, the Secretary will require assignment to the Department of all Perkins loans that have been in default for two or more years. The fact that a loan has been in default for more than two years suggests a lack of compliance with the collection procedure criteria established by regulation. Therefore, unless the institution provides documentation of an acceptable collection record for loans that have been in default for two or more years, the institution will be required to assign such loans to the Department.

Institutions will be notified individually of their obligation to provide documentation of their collection efforts on these loans and the deadline by which loans without documentation must be assigned after the next Fiscal Operations and Application to Participate (FISAP) is filed in October 2019. Please review the September 16, 2019 electronic announcement for additional

Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #123 – Gainful Employment Reporting for 2018–19: On July 1, 2019, the Department of Education published a final rule rescinding the Department’s gainful employment (GE) regulations (2014 Rule) in the Federal Register. Institutions were given the option to early implement the rescission of the GE rule. As detailed in Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #122, institutions that choose to early implement the rescission of the GE rule will not be required to report GE data for the 2018–19 Award Year to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®), which is otherwise due on October 1, 2019.

Institutions that do not early implement the rule are still expected to comply with the 2014 rule until the rescission becomes effective on July 1, 2020 and are expected to report GE data for the 2018–19 Award Year to NSLDS by October 1, 2019. Institutions may continue to submit the information using the GE online reporting option under the Enrollment tab of the NSLDS Professional Access website, the GE batch file submission option through the Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG), or by using the NSLDS Gainful Employment Spreadsheet Submittal Format online upload option. Please review the September 13, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.

Distribution of Assets from the Perkins Loan Revolving Fund and Reimbursement for Perkins Service Cancellations: The absence of a Federal appropriation has prevented the Department of Education (the Department) from reimbursing institutions for their share of Perkins Loan Service Cancellations.  Recently, however, the Department determined that it has the authority to reimburse institutions the institutional share of Perkins Loan Service Cancellations from the Perkins Fund.  As a result, later this year, the Department will be sending institutions participating in the Perkins Loan program a letter regarding the amount and deadlines by which the institution must return to the Department the Federal Share and remove and return to the institution the Institutional share of the Perkins Loan Revolving Fund (the Distribution of Assets).  Institutions must return to the Department only the Federal share that has been requested. The letter will also specify the amount of the institution’s reimbursement for Perkins Loan Service Cancellations. Institutions should not remove and return any funds to the Department or the institution until the institution has been notified to do so. Please review the September 10, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.


2019-09-16 – 2020-2021 Application Processing System Specifications for Software Developers (September 2019 Draft)

2019-09-23 (NSLDS Guaranty Agency (GA) Technical Updates) – GA-2019-01: Cohort Default Rate (CDR) Notification Letter


2019-09-13 – List of Borrowers Who Have Defaulted on their Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL)

2019-09-23 – FY 2016 Official Cohort Default Rates Distributed September 23, 2019

2019-09-23 – Final Regulation – Borrower Defense to Repayment

Other 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

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