Fed-Updates Financial Aid Newsletter – December 3, 2019

Newsletter topics: Active Confirmation of SAIG Mailboxes, Disbursement Reporting, Excess Cash, and Reconciliation Requirements, IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix, 2016 Borrower Defense Regulations, Master Promissory Note Confirmation Processes, College Scorecard Metrics by Field of Study, Federal Register Notices and various resources. (Some new updates were added to this website version of the newsletter on December 16, 2019 that were not available on December 3rd.)

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.

Reminder: Active Confirmation of TG Numbers (SAIG Mailboxes) and Electronic Services User Accounts Required by December 13, 2019:  As a reminder, 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 13, 2019 to Maintain Access to Federal Student Aid Systems. Failure to accurately complete this process by December 13, 2019 will result in loss of access to Federal Student Aid data systems, including services such as Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) deliveries, ISIR requests, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) corrections, and National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) enrollment reporting and updates. Please review the November 19, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.

Title IV Aid Disbursement Reporting, Excess Cash, and Reconciliation Requirements:  Federal Student Aid has issued this announcement to remind schools of the general disbursement reporting, excess cash, and reconciliation requirements for all Title IV programs. Because these requirements apply to disbursement and financial data, both the Financial Aid Office and Business Office should review the information provided in the November 19, 2019 electronic announcement.

2020-2021 FAFSA Verification-IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix: Attached to this Electronic Announcement is the 2020-2021 FAFSA Verification-IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix that institutions can use for 2020-2021 verification of tax return information. There have been significant changes to IRS tax form line items which are included in this tax matrix. Since the IRS Tax Return Transcript does not have line or item numbers and uses wording that may be different from what is used on the FAFSA, this matrix may help financial aid administrators map 2018 IRS Tax Return Transcript information to FAFSA/ISIR data. Please review the November 26, 2019 electronic announcement.

Implementation of School Notice Requirements Under the 2016 Borrower Defense Regulations: On November 1, 2016, the Department of Education published final regulations (the 2016 final regulations) governing the standard and process for evaluating borrower defense to repayment discharge claims. 81 FR 75926. Those regulations, among other things, established processes for the consideration of borrower defense discharge applications. In particular, 34 CFR 685.222(e)(3)(i) and (f)(2)(iv), provide that the Department will notify the school associated with the borrower defense application of the claim filing, and give the school the opportunity to submit records or a response to the allegations contained within the application. These regulations govern borrower defense applications associated with loans that are first disbursed before July 1, 2020. Please review the November 25, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.

Liabilities Associated with Closed School Discharges: As explained in an Electronic Announcement posted on December 13, 2018, the Department of Education has implemented certain provisions of the 2016 borrower defense regulations related to automatic closed school discharge. Specifically, new regulations at 34 CFR 685.214(c) (Direct Loan Program), 34 CFR 682.402(d)(8)(ii) (FFEL Program), and 34 CFR 674.33(g)(ii) (Perkins Loan Program) provide for an automatic discharge of some or all of the Direct Loan, FFEL, or Perkins Loan program loans an eligible borrower (or, if applicable, the dependent child on whose behalf a parent took out a PLUS loan) obtained to attend a school that closed on or after November 1, 2013. Please review the November 25, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.

Informed Borrowing Confirmation: Modification of Approved Master Promissory Note Confirmation Processes – Operational Impacts to Schools and Preliminary COD System Information: In this announcement, Federal Student Aid (FSA) informs schools of a change to the approved Master Promissory Note (MPN) confirmation processes. This is the first in a series of announcements that will provide operational information about the changes to Direct Loan processing to incorporate the new Informed Borrowing Confirmation process. In this first announcement, FSA explains early operational impacts to schools and provides preliminary information about the changes planned for the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System implementation in April 2020. Please review the November 21, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.

College Scorecard Metrics by Field of Study: College Scorecard has published new data metrics including 1) earnings of students one-year after graduation by field of study and 2) cumulative loan debt of borrowers by field of study. These new data metrics begin to address the March 2019 Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities.

In 2020, College Scorecard will continue to expand and address the remaining data metrics described in the Executive Order. In addition, College Scorecard will continue to update earnings information to include post-completion earnings measured further out from graduation as more data become available over time. Please review the November 20, 2019 electronic announcement for additional information.


  • 2019-11-26 Interim Final Regulation – Total and Permanent Disability Discharge of Title IV Loans
  • 2019-11-20 Matching Agreement with Department of Defense for No-Interest Accrual Benefit


Federal Student Aid Handbook

  • 2019-11-21 2019-2020 Errata and Updates for 2019-2020 FSA Handbook
  • 2019-11-20 Volume 4 – Processing Aid and Managing FSA Funds

150 Percent Direct Subsidized Loan Limit Info

  • 2019-11-25 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit Information – Resources
  • 2019-11-25 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit Information – Dear Colleague Letters and Electronic Announcements

NSLDS Reference Materials as archived on the IFAP website for 2018 and 2019

COD Technical Reference

Application Processing

  • 2019-11-15 2020-2021 Application Processing System Specifications for Software Developers (November 2019 Final)

EDE Suite

  • 2019-11-14 ISSUE ALERT: Microsoft Update Causing EDExpress Login Error

Other helpful information pages: Grant and Direct Loan (COD) Processing Information, Gainful Employment, Cash Management, Processing Resources, FAFSA and the IRS DRT, Training Resources, 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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