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PLEASE NOTE:

As a result of changes on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website, some links and content on our blog may have changed. HEE’s technicians are working to update affected links for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 award years, and other key content. Links from older content will be removed. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on our blog which includes more than 500 articles on Title IV Federal Student Aid compliance, please visit the IFAP website.

We appreciate your patience.


 

MOST FREQUENTLY CITED PROGRAM REVIEW FINDINGS

A financial aid consultant can help your college identify risks and prevent program review findings

What are the most frequently reported program review findings according to ED?

ED recently released an updated program review guide packed with lot’s of great info to help schools and colleges understand the in’s and out’s of a program review. The new guide covers everything from general program review processes to procedures and guidelines for following up. According to the guide, these are the most frequently cited program review findings. 

These are the top ten most frequently cited program review findings at colleges and universities.

  • Crime Awareness Requirements Not Met
  • Verification Violations
  • Return to Title IV Calculation Errors
  • Student Credit Balance Deficiencies
  • Drug Abuse Prevention Requirements Not Met
  • Student Status – Inaccurate/Untimely Reporting
  • Entrance/Exit Counseling Deficiencies
  • Consumer Information Requirements Not Met
  • SAP Policy Not Adequately Developed and/or Monitored
  • Inaccurate Record keeping

How does your institution assess it’s risk and preparedness for audits and program reviews?

To learn more about how your institution can adjust its processes and reporting to minimize its risk of these federal student aid compliance issues, please contact us.


Get your 2018-2019 IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix for ISIR Verification here!

2020 1098-T TUITION STATEMENT FILING DEADLINES

The 1098-T, Tuition Statement form reports tuition expenses students paid for college tuition that might entitle them to an adjustment to income or a tax credit.

The deadline to provide students with 1098-T Forms is January 31, 2021

Schools and Colleges are required file Copy A with the IRS by March 1, 2021, (or March 31, 2021, if electronically filed).

ICYMI – The IRS announced that higher education institutions do not have to report emergency financial aid grants awarded to students under the CARES Act. College and university business officer’s have been spared and for good reason.

According to the IRS, it’s a matter of common sense because reporting these grants to the IRS on Forms 1098-T cause some students to get notices that they under reported their income. That would be bad and since the students wouldn’t have to pay taxes on this money as income any way you slice it, it would be downright confusing.

BEST PRACTICES FOR USING THE CORONAVIRUS INDICATOR

It seems the Coronavirus Indicator might have a bit of a “hair-trigger” because FSA recently put out a document of best practices for using the checkbox which opened with a word of caution.

It read, “ Because a number of events (e.g., loan discharges, usage and eligibility limits) are triggered once the Coronavirus Indicator is selected, and the Coronavirus Indicator cannot be reversed by a school, it is critical that schools only submit the Coronavirus Indicator when no other action is expected to be taken on the disbursement”.

It then went on to say, “To prevent unintended consequences…” Sheesh.

Read this. Print it out. Stick it on your wall. Refer to it as needed.

Whatever you do, don’t click the box unless you really mean it.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

GET YOUR 2021-2022 IRS TAX RETURN AND TRANSCRIPT MATRIX FOR FAFSA VERIFICATION

Be sure to grab a copy of the 2021-2022 IRS Tax Return and Transcript Matrix.

Although the U.S. Department of Education announced earlier this year that institutions may accept a signed copy of an individual’s tax return for verification the 2021-2022 award year, some students and families may still submit an official IRS Tax Return Transcript to your office for verification. It’s helpful to know which line items from the tax return, the tax transcript, and the FAFSA and ISIR correspond. Click the link below to download a copy.

2021-2022 IRS Tax Return And Transcript Matrix For FAFSA Verification

RECENT COD SYSTEM CHANGES FOR CARES ACT

Last month the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System was updated to support reporting requirements for withdrawn students who qualify for a Title IV waiver under the Cares Act. COD now allows schools to select the Coronavirus Indicator on eligible disbursements for any program with an award year beginning in 2017-2018 or later. The R2T4 calculator on the COD website has also been updated with the Coronavirus Indicator checkbox for the 2017-2018 award year. Valid Payment Period Start Dates for the Coronavirus Indicator can now go back as far as January 1, 2018. Good news for schools with unusually long academic years, or situations that would have extended the academic year like Leaves of Absence or Withdrawals and subsequent Re-entry into a program.

2021-2022 COLLEGE FINANCING PLANS – THERE ARE NOW TWO

You read that right. Last year NACUBO and the Department teamed up to separate the College Financing Plan (CFP) into two forms: one for undergraduate schools and another for graduate and professional schools. That’s a HUGE improvement. Additionally, the format of the College Financing Plan has also been updated for 2020-2021 to include additional data elements, a new responsive design, and the ability to customize the colors of the CFP to match those of your institution.

If you’re institution agreed to comply with the Principles of Excellence (POE) in Executive Order 13607, you must provide this form to prospective students who are eligible to receive federal military and veterans’ education benefits. Other institutions can use it too and must provide it to all graduate and undergraduate students. Each of the components institutions need to complete institutional College Financing Plans, including the HTML specifications file, technical guide, and a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) can be found here.