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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Last month the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System was updated to support reporting requirements for withdrawn students who qualify for a Title IV waiver under the Cares Act.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.

FEDERAL PERKINS LOAN REVOLVING FUND DISTRIBUTION OF ASSETS TIMELINE FOR 2020–21 AND REIMBURSEMENT FOR PERKINS LOAN SERVICE CANCELLATIONS

FEDERAL PERKINS LOAN REVOLVING FUND DISTRIBUTION OF ASSETS AND TIMELINES FOR 2018–19

If your school participated in the Federal Perkins Loan Program and continues to service their loans either in house or through a third-party servicer, keep an eye open in December for a notification from ED. The Department will be notifying schools that have cash in their Perkins Fund subject how much to of their federal and institutional shares need to be returned to the Department and how much gets distributed to the institution.  The Department will send a notification to institutions that have cash in their Perkins Fund as reported on the most recent FISAP. Institutions should NOT remove and return any funds to the Department or the institution until the institution has been notified to do so.

The Department will also notify institutions of the amount of partial reimbursement for Perkins Loan service cancellations the institution must remove from the Perkins Fund and return to the institution prior to the deadline. Click here to read the entire Electronic Announcement.

ED also released updated Federal Perkins Loan Data Provider Instructions. Schools participating in the Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program are required to report detailed loan information to NSLDS. This manual explains Perkins Loan reporting requirements and the processes used to add or update Perkins Loans on NSLDS, including how to use the Perkins DataPrep software. The updated manual, dated October 2020, replaces the June 2018 version.