FinAid – Ever changing and ALWAYS challenging.
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Please note that deadlines and event dates noted in all of our newsletters are always subject to change as determined by the Department of Education.
Important 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.
Active Phishing Campaign Targeting Student Email Accounts: Federal Student Aid (FSA) has identified a malicious phishing campaign that may lead to potential fraud associated with student refunds and aid distributions. Multiple institutions of higher education (IHEs) have reported that attackers are using a phishing email to obtain access to student accounts via the IHE student portal. The nature of the requests indicates the attackers have done some level of research and understand the schools’ use of student portals and methods. These attacks are successful due to student compliance in providing requested information and the use of just one factor for authentication. Please review the August 31, 2018 electronic announcement for information on the following:
- Further discussion on why IHEs are vulnerable to this attack
- How to protect IHE
- Suggested remediation steps if an institution has fallen victim to an attack
FSA also wants IHEs to be aware that any funds disbursed inappropriately may become the responsibility of the institution. FSA will continue to monitor this situation and will send out additional information as appropriate.
Reminder – FISAP due October 1, 2018: This is a reminder of the upcoming deadline for submitting the Fiscal Operations Report for 2017–18 and the Application to Participate for 2019–20 (FISAP) for the Campus-Based Programs. As announced in the 2018–19 Award Year Deadline Dates for 2018–19 Award Year Deadline Dates for the Campus-Based Programs, published in the Federal Register on January 3, 2018 (83 FR 356), the date by which a school must submit the FISAP and the required signature page is Monday, October 1, 2018.
All schools requesting Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and Federal Work-Study (FWS) program funds for the 2019–20 Award Year and/or that had either FSEOG and FWS expenditures or Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) activity for the 2017–18 Award Year are required to electronically submit a FISAP via the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Web Site. Schools that closed during the 2017–18 Award Year are required to complete and submit a final FISAP to report 2017–18 Campus-Based expenditures. Please review the August 31, 2018 electronic announcement for additional information.
Gainful Employment Reporting for 2017–18 due October 1, 2018: Institutions are reminded to submit gainful employment (GE) program data for the 2017–18 Award Year to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) by October 1, 2018. Institutions may 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 August 24, 2018 GE electronic announcement #117 for additional information.
Instructions for Not-for-Profit Institutions to Input Financial Statement Data into the eZ-Audit System Due to Changes Resulting from ASU 2016-14: In August 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-14, Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities, with the stated purpose of improving financial reporting by not-for-profit entities (NFP). Among other provisions, ASU 2016-14 reduces the number of classes of net assets from three to two, and requires the presentation of expenses in both natural and functional classifications. ASU 2016-14 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017, with early adoption permitted. Please review the August 29, 2018 electronic announcement for additional information.
No Records Found Issue Resolved in DHS-SAVE System: In the Electronic Announcement (EA) dated August 13, 2018, “DHS-SAVE System Available for Schools to Submit Third Step Verification Requests,” Federal Student Aid (FSA) explained that schools were receiving a “No records found” error message in the SAVE system after entering some student identifiers to submit a third step verification request. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reports that they have successfully addressed these known issues and all such records are now immediately accessible for Third Step verification in SAVE. Even with the correction, DHS acknowledges that there remain conditions that may still result in the “No records found” response to submissions to SAVE. For additional information, including how to proceed if a school continues to receive this message, please review the September 4, 2018 electronic announcement.
2019-2020 Application Processing System Specifications for Software Developers (August 2018 Draft): This resource is now available on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals website and will also soon be available on the FSAdownload website. Please review the August 31, 2018 electronic announcement for additional information.
Upcoming Quarterly SAIG Message Class File Update: On September 7, 2018, Federal Student Aid will send the message class “MESSAGTB” via the Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) to all user mailboxes. The EDconnect transmission software will automatically request, download, and import this new message class table with a user’s next connection to the SAIG network. Once the MESSAGTB file has been imported, the new message class table will be used from that point forward. Please see the August 31, 2018 electronic announcement.
INFORMATION PAGES FOR SCHOOLS TO MONITOR WEEKLY: The list below represents just a few of the information pages available on the IFAP website. Please review the organization’s website for additional guidance, resources, deadlines, and information related to the administration and processing of Title IV federal student aid.
- COD System – Schools are urged to regularly monitor this page, which includes COD Processing News/Updates.
- NSLDS newsletters, user guides and technical documents
- Gainful Employment
- Early FAFSA
- Cash Management
- Loan Servicing and Collection
- Perkins Loan FAQs
- 150 Percent Direct Subsidized Loan Limit Information
- Application Processing (Electronic Announcements)
- The iFAP iLibrary includes many resources — including a consolidated list of Electronic Announcements, Dear Colleague Letters, and Federal Registers.
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