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Columbus Day Federal Holiday Processing and Customer Service Hours: Federal offices will be closed on Monday, October 9, 2017 to observe the Columbus Day federal holiday. Please review the attachment in the September 28, 2017 electronic announcement for the various centers’ operation status on the holiday.
Reminder from FA Solutions: Because our newsletter updates are excerpts from the original electronic announcements obtained through the the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website, please review the original update in its entirety by clicking links to the original posting included with each update. As a reminder, we are unable to post all Federal updates and deadlines in this newsletter. Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to review additional information on the IFAP website to stay current on various financial aid topics — especially deadlines.
Webinar Slides – Disaster Relief – Guidance for Helping Title IV Participants affected by a Major Disaster: Federal Student Aid has made available presentation slides in a PDF format for a webinar that was conducted on September 13, 2017, regarding “Disaster Relief – Guidance for Helping Title IV Participants affected by a Major Disaster.” To access the PDF, please review the September 20, 2017 electronic announcement.
Non-Regulatory Guidance for Grantees and Program Participants Impacted by Federally Declared Disasters: A Dear Colleague Letter announcing availability of non-regulatory guidance on flexibility and waivers for grantees and program participants impacted by federally declared disasters is available is available with two attachments. One of the attachments generally discusses waivers and other forms of relief from Federal requirements in order to provide schools, postsecondary institutions and other agencies with the operational flexibility necessary to continue operations as they recover from extended school or program closures due to a disaster. The guidance addresses flexibility on reporting deadlines, timelines for grant-funded activities, and maintenance of fiscal effort or matching requirements, where applicable; proposes potential alternatives and strategies for providing program services after disruption; and suggests methods for ensuring continuity of services and communication with program participants. In addition, the document covers a variety of topics specific to various program areas. Please review the September 22, 2017 Dear Colleague Letter (GEN-17-09) for additional information.
Volume 3 – Calculating Awards & Packaging [2017-2018 Federal Student Aid Handbook]: This resources is now available. Please review the September 21, 2017 electronic announcement for additional information.
Federal Student Aid (FSA) Posts New Reports to FSA Data Center: FSA recently released seven new reports to highlight the characteristics of Federal Student Aid customers. The new reports were posted to the FSA Data Center, the centralized online source for Federal Student Aid data, along with a series of updates to the quarterly application, disbursement, and portfolio reports to include data through June 30, 2017. Updates were also made to the report that provides self-reported information from Title IV schools about their cash management contracts. Please see the September 21, 2017 electronic announcement for additional information.
Updated Information Related to the 2017-2018 Supplemental Campus-Based Funds Due to 2017 Hurricanes: In an August 1, 2017 electronic announcement, FSA informed schools about the distribution of 2017-2018 supplemental Campus-Based funds. In this announcement, updated information is provided related to the distribution of supplemental Campus-Based funds, specifically Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds, as a result of the 2017 hurricanes that have recently impacted schools. The Department of Education continues to work with Congress on additional flexibilities for hurricane-impacted students and schools. Please review the September 29, 2017 electronic announcement for additional information.
Updated waivers and modifications of statutory and regulatory provisions under the authority of the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (HEROES Act): On September 29, 2017, the Department published a notice in the Federal Register issuing updated waivers and modifications of statutory and regulatory provisions governing the Federal student financial aid programs under the authority of the HEROES Act. The waivers and modifications of statutory and regulatory provisions assist individuals who (1) are performing qualifying military service during a war or other military operation, or national emergency; (2) reside or are employed in an area that is declared a disaster area by any Federal State, or local official in connection with a national emergency; and 3) suffered direct economic hardship as a direct result of a war, or other military operation, or national emergency. Note: Since a national emergency has not been declared in relation to any of the recent hurricanes, the waivers and modifications in the HEROES notice do not apply to individuals affected by those hurricanes. Please review the September 29, 2017 electronic announcement for additional information.
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.
- The “What’s New” page lists all of the latest postings within the past 14 days.
- Operational communications and guidance, technical documents, and related information specific to the COD System are provided on the COD System page — including a COD Processing Update and COD Peak Processing Reminders. Schools are urged to monitor this page regularly and the related COD Processing News/Updates posted on that page as a PDF. A link to archived electronic announcements about the COD System is also available.
- The Gainful Employment (GE) page is dedicated to deadlines and updates relevant to GE regulations — including the most updated information pertaining to requirements for Title IV eligible educational programs that are required to lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation (GE programs). The page also includes postings of recent and older Dear Colleague Letters and Electronic Announcements that include critical updates and guidance on GE requirements and reporting.
- The Early FAFSA page includes updates, resources, regulatory information, and FAQs.
- The Cash Management page provides links to relevant Dear Colleague Letters, Electronic Announcements, webinars, and other cash management resources relevant to the cash management regulations published on October 30, 2015.
- The Loan Servicing and Collection page includes information on these topics: Servicing Overview, Communications, Frequently Asked Questions, Borrower Resources, and National Student Loan Data System, and Forms.
- The Perkins Loan FAQs page provides information and operational guidance on the Perkins Loan Program.
- ITT Students: Information and Resources for Colleges and Counselors Assisting ITT Students.
- The iFAP iLibrary includes many resources — including a consolidated list of Electronic Announcements and Dear Colleague Letters for 2017, 2016, and 2015.
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