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.
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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.
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The Office of Management and Budget updated the Private Educational Loan Applicant Self Certification form. Institutions are required to provide this form to every student borrowing a private educational loan as well as students on certain payment plans, particularly those exceeding twelve payments or those charging interest, under the Truth In Lending Act Regulation Z. The updated form replaces the one that expired on July 31, 2019 and is good until August 31, 2022.
In a recent electronic announcement, FSA says that institutions can begin using the new form immediately however, institutions can continue to use the expired form until February 29,2020 and may even continue to accept the form after that date. This seems like a sign that the Department isn’t too concerned about the expiration date on the Applicant Self Certification form given that the only difference between the old one and the new one is the expiration date.You can grab a copy of the form here.
The 2020-2021 Federal Pell Grant Payment and Disbursement Schedules are here. This year the Federal Pell Grant has increased to $6345.00 for students with a zero EFC, up $150.00 from 2019-2020. The minimum Pell Grant award also increased to $639.00 for students with an expected family contribution (EFC) of 5711.
Although $6345.00 is the maximum Pell Grant scheduled award for the 2020-2021 award year, beginning with the 2017-2018 award year, a student may be eligible to receive Pell Grant funds for up to 150 percent of the student’s Pell Grant scheduled award for an award year under the rules for year round Pell grants. To be eligible for the additional Pell Grant funds, the student must be otherwise eligible to receive Pell Grant funds for the payment period and must be enrolled at least as a half-time student, as defined in 34 CFR 668.2(b), in the payment period(s) for which the student receives the additional Pell Grant funds in excess of 100 percent of the student’s Pell Grant scheduled award. For additional information see Dear Colleague Letter GEN-20-01.
Beginning with the 2020-2021 award year, federal student loan borrowers will have to complete an extra step before their loans disbursements will be released by the Common Origination and Disbursement System. The “Informed Borrower Confirmation” requires borrowers to review and acknowledge their loan indebtedness each year before the school can disburse and draw down those funds.
The changes will take effect in the COD system and are expected to be operational by April 2020. FSA is instructing schools to modify their student and parent facing 2020-2021 award year websites and materials to ensure students are aware of the new requirement. Institutions should also plan to modify their internal document tracking, disbursement approval procedures and system software to account for the changes. Although schools will be able to send origination and disbursement records to COD before a borrower has confirmed their loan indebtedness, COD will not allow the loan to disburse if the confirmation process hasn’t been completed. Once the Informed Borrower Confirmation goes live, schools will receive a new COD Reject Edit 225 on submitted Direct Loan disbursements if the Informed Borrowing Confirmation process has not yet completed by the borrower.
Some people still don’t seem to understand the 2018 guidance for submitting Single Audit to ED. Simply stated, if you are a submitting an audit for a public or private non-profit institution, you must submit a single audit each year. This is true whether your school’s Student Financial Aid Cluster was audited as a major program or not. If you submit a single audit that includes the SFA Cluster as a major program, you must notify the ED School Participation Division in your region of any low-risk designation beginning with fiscal year 2019.