The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, which was signed into law last spring included a new federal grant program called the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship, or CFH for short. Although its name would lead you to believe otherwise, it’s not really a scholarship in the traditional sense and it’s not quite a grant either. The CFH Scholarship simply makes students eligible for full Pell grant awards, Direct Loans and Campus-Based funding by treating eligible students like zero EFC students.
Under CFH, a Pell-eligible student whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a “public safety officer” is eligible to receive a maximum Pell Grant, beginning with the 2018-2019 award year. Students who qualify for CFH will also be awarded Direct Loans and Campus-Based programs based on a zero EFC. To accomplish this, Financial Aid Administrators will be required to determine and document a student’s eligibility and report information about each eligible student to Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) and Central Processing System (CPS).
COD system changes are scheduled for December 9, 2018 and will include the implementation of a new CFH indicator as part of the Pell award record which institutions will use to report eligible students. Unfortunately, eligibility information entered into the COD system will not be carried on the ISIR, nor visible in NSLDS. As a result, CPS will not recalculate a student’s EFC when an institution makes the determination that a student qualifies for a Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship.
Additional system modification are reportedly in the works to add additional functionality to CPS which would allow schools to certify students’ eligibility on CPS. Look for more guidance from FSA next month about processing these awards.