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SUMMARY-LEVEL RETURN OF TITLE IV (R2T4) REPORTING FUNCTIONALITY

Following a system update completed on April 25, 2021, FSA announced that the R2T4 Lump Sum Reporting page is now available on the COD website. Schools can now use this page to report summary-level totals of Title IV funds that were not returned due to the CARES Act.

The deadline for reporting funds not returned under R2T4 requirements due to CARES Act relief, is September 30, 2021. Schools can report these funds using the R2T4 calculator or now through the R2T4 Lump Sum Reporting page.

For more details about the functionality, refer to the March 10th announcement.

DUNS NUMBER REGISTRATION RENEWAL DUE

 

It’s time to update your DUNS Number in the SAM system.

All schools using G5 must complete the registration confirmation of their Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in the System for Awards Management (SAM) system annually. It’s a minor thing but don’t forget because if your DUNS expires, you’ll lose access to G5 for days, possibly weeks.

To prevent delays in the receipt of Title IV program funds, schools should be sure to complete their annual confirmation of their DUNS number with the SAM Web site as soon as possible. A 60-day and 30-day reminder e-mail will be sent to the Point of Contact (POC) and alternate POC for your school prior to your school’s renewal deadline, but if you don’t renew in time, you could get access to G5 shut down until you do. It can take as long as 14-30 days to have access restored.

To complete the annual confirmation, a school should go to the SAM Web site and search for each DUNS number associated with programs for which the school expects to receive funds from the Department of Education (the Department). The URL for the SAM Web site is https://www.sam.gov.

FCC TO LAUNCE NEW EMERGENCY BROADBAND INITIATIVE

The FCC’s new Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program is scheduled to go live this month. Under the program eligible low-income households will receive temporary assistance to help pay for internet service during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Those eligible can receive:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on broadband service and equipment rentals
  • Up to a $75/month discount for households on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)

According to the FCC, a household is considered eligible if a member meets one of the following criteria:

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

The FCC has announced that consumers can begin applying for and enrolling in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program on May 12, 2021.To apply visit: https://getemergencybroadband.org/

PRESIDENT BIDEN ANNOUNCES FREE COLLEGE PLAN

 

President Biden announced the American Families Plan which includes proposals for higher ed that will make Community College free and increase the maximum Pell Grant. The American Families Plans will invest in making college more affordable for low- and middle-income students, including students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and institutions such as Hispanic-serving institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions, and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs). Among the notable higher education elements the proposal includes funding to:

  • Offer two years of free community college to all Americans, including DREAMers.
  • Provide up to approximately $1,400 in additional assistance to low-income students by increasing the Pell Grant award.
  • Increase college retention and completion rates.
  • Provide two years of subsidized tuition and expand programs in high-demand fields at HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs.
  • Address teacher shortages, improve teacher preparation, and strengthen pipelines for teachers of color.

ICE CONTINUES MARCH 2020 GUIDANCE FOR 2021-2022 ACADEMIC YEAR

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has extended the March 2020 guidance which allowed Active and Continuing F and M students to temporarily count online classes toward a full course of study. If a student was actively enrolled at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and subsequently took courses online while outside of the country, they can re-enter the United States, even if their school is engaged solely in distance learning now. New and Initial F and M students will not be able to enter the country if their course of student is 100 percent online. According to a recent ICE bulletin, the March 2020 guidance will remain in effect during the 2021-22 academic year.