FAQ’S2020-09-02T19:49:06+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why should I use a third-party financial aid servicer to assist my institution?2020-08-31T16:53:48+00:00
  • If your institution is recently accredited, FA Solutions can assist with navigating rules and regulations involved in the eligibility process.
  • If your institution has recently been approved for participation in the Title IV Programs, we can assist with the process of setting up the operational procedures involved the service and with developing and writing policies and procedures.
  • If your institution has experienced growth, added new locations and new programs, partnering with an experienced financial aid servicer can help you ensure that you are compliant with ever changing federal regulations.
What is a third-party servicer?2020-08-31T16:53:04+00:00

The U.S. Department of Education’s formal definition of a third-party servicer is an individual, or a state, or a private, profit or non-profit organization that enters into a contract with an eligible institution to administer, through manual or automated processing, any aspect of the institution’s participation in any Title IV, HEA program.

FA Solutions provides third-party servicing and more. We are a service-driven financial aid resource organization with a mission of providing higher education institutions of all sizes with a comprehensive portfolio of financial aid processing, compliance, remote staffing, and leadership needs at a cost-effective price point. One of our offerings includes third-party servicing which involves assisting independent and private post-secondary schools that do not have their own robust financial aid department to process federal funding applications and order fund disbursements for their students.

Can you write policies and procedures?2020-08-31T16:52:15+00:00

Yes. Federal regulations require schools to have written policies and procedures. FA Solutions will review and assess your policies and procedures to determine if all compliance areas are adequately addressed and whether your documentation meets minimum federal requirements. We can assist school with updating and creating policies and provide strategies for updating information annually.

My Financial Aid Director left, now what?2020-08-31T16:51:32+00:00

Under our Leadership staffing service, we will assign an experienced financial aid professional/consultant to serve as an interim director or fill another supervisory position with a redundant staffing plan to ensure uninterrupted financial aid services for your students and continued day-to-day leadership and guidance for your staff until a permanent replacement is in place. Once you hire your director, consider whether they could use temporary guidance and mentorship through our Mentorship service.

We are in the middle of an audit, can you help?2020-08-31T16:50:46+00:00

Yes, we can. During the site visit FA Solutions’ Compliance Team will provide support with answering questions from the auditor or federal officials. After the site visit has been completed, our team will assist with:

  • Analyzing the audit review findings or program review determination
  • Researching regulatory issues,
  • Required file reconstructions
  • Documenting policies on an institution’s behalf
  • Preparing the school’s response to the U.S. Department of Education, including appeals
Can you provide services on-site or remote?2020-09-08T15:49:27+00:00

Yes. We are available for both on-site and remote assistance on a short or long-term basis. When FA Solutions was first established one of our goals was to offer complete redundancy of coverage in the event of a natural disaster. To do this, we invested heavily in cloud based technology to allow for remote staffing, while also allowing our employees to travel to unaffected areas so that work could be performed and service to students could continue with limited, or no interruption. Over the years this set-up has been heavily tested and fully operational, and we continue to provide uninterrupted service through the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Is FA Solutions competitive with pricing compared to competitors?2020-09-08T15:50:07+00:00

Absolutely. Everyone deserves the right to be cost-sensitive and receive good value for resources spent, and we keep this in mind as we customize our servicing solutions to fit the needs of each school that we work with. FA Solutions’ goal is to provide high level, quality services that add value to your institution. Our entire team is fully committed to delivering excellent service with superior results.

Our service costs are assessed monthly and are based upon the number of students served. We can provide a detailed and customized proposal based upon the projected programs in which your institution participates and the number of projected students to be processed can be supplied.

What are your onboarding timelines?2020-09-08T15:50:44+00:00

Most services can be on boarded within 15 to 30 business days and some as little as 10 depending upon the services needed.

What levels of financial aid staffing do you provide?2020-09-08T15:51:26+00:00

FA Solutions’ provides interim staffing from counselor to director level during busy processing and enrollment periods, for replacement staffing, and to fill vacancies resulting from staff turnover or medical or maternity leaves. Our experienced financial aid professionals provide support remotely for certain functions, processes, or full positions. Remote staffing saves institutions a significant amount of financial resources by not having to charge for travel, lodging, meals, and other miscellaneous expenses normally incurred when interim staffing is required to be done on site at the institution itself. However, on-site interim staffing solutions are also available.

Our staffing solutions are offered at a cost that is typically more favorable than hiring equally qualified and talented employees in-house or outsourcing to other third-party consulting firms.

Do you provide a verification service?2020-09-08T15:52:02+00:00

Yes. FA Solutions offers a customizable remote verification service that follows all Department of Education policies and procedures and ensures that the school’s methods, policies and procedures align with federal regulations. Our Verification Specialists can handle part or all of the verification process and will make updates in your school-based system. They review documents for completion and 100% accuracy, and our internal audit team assists by conducting secondary reviews of a percentage of verifications. Our Verification Specialists also provide real time support by phone and live chat for any questions that your staff may have.

Our Student Experience Center (SEC) team of professional Financial Aid Advisers and Enrollment Specialists can advise your students on how to complete the verification process. They can also provide extra support by reaching out to students to remind them to submit missing documents. The SEC is available as an added service.

Can you do a compliance audit?2020-09-08T15:52:43+00:00

Yes. FA Solutions offers a comprehensive Financial Aid Department Regulatory and Operational Assessment; this proactive evaluation identifies potential regulatory liabilities and the cause(s) of processing inefficiencies. Our team of compliance professionals will conduct an in-depth review of financial aid files, policies and procedures, reports and records, identifying possible issues of noncompliance in all areas, such as budgets, file verification, awards, return of Title IV funds, disbursements, consumer information requirements, dependency overrides and other professional judgment decisions.

Following this review, we will provide a written improvement plan that includes recommendations for specific corrective actions based on best practices to reduce compliance risks, improve file processing and workflow, as well as streamline operational efficiencies. We can also be engaged to assist with implementing the plan.

We recommend that institutions request the assessment well in advance of any serious concerns to allow ample time to make any adjustments or corrections needed prior to a request from the Department of Education for an official audit.

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