EA – Posted April 4, 2013 – (General). 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 4 – Processing Aid and Managing FSA Funds
With this announcement, ED has posted the second of the numerous volumes to be released for the 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook. Some of the new items contained in this year’s edition of Volume 4 are a reminder that schools may not use Title IV funds to pay “overtime charges” for a student who fails to complete his or her academic program within the normal time frame, as well as an additional reminder that although schools do not have to return Direct Loan proceeds if a student who received a Direct Loan disbursement begins attendance for the loan period, but does so on a less than half-time basis, the school must not make any subsequent disbursements of the loan, unless the student resumes enrollment on at least a half-time basis. Finally, a whole new chapter on “Reconciliation” is provided in this year’s edition (which also happens to be included in the recently released new Blue Book).
EA – Posted April 17, 2013 – (General). 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 1 – Student Eligibility
In this volume of the Handbook, ED provides increased guidance regarding checking foreign high school diplomas along with providing a definition of diploma mills. Additionally, the volume expands upon the impact on eligibility and enrollment status when retaking coursework, while giving further guidance on Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) for clarification regarding which students may be “grandfathered in” under the prior ATB provisions. Chapter 3 of this volume highlights the new Pell Grant Unusual Enrollment History flag that is being implemented. Later in the volume we find that the discussion on parent borrower eligibility for PLUS Loans has been expanded, and the 150% duration of eligibility limit on Subsidized Direct Loan eligibility is described. The entire volume is one of significance in that it deals with overall student eligibility factors with which financial aid administrators should be very familiar.
EA – Posted May 3, 2013 – (General). 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 6 – The Campus-Based Programs
This latest edition for 2013-2014 includes new information related to the Federal Perkins Loan assignment process and steps related to an institution that chooses to end its Perkins Loan program participation. Also of interest is the expanded sidebar information about FWS students being prohibited from working during the time they are scheduled to be in class, as well as clarification about paying overtime to FWS students.
EA – Posted June 4, 2013 – (General). 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 5 – Withdrawals and the Return of Title IV Funds
As was recently highlighted in an edition of FAME’s “Did You Know?” series, in this latest section of the 2013-2014 FSA Handbook released to date, text is included that addresses what a school must do if a student remains only enrolled in non-Title IV eligible courses. Also, guidance is provided that a student’s SAR/ISIR with a comment code that needs resolution at the time of withdrawal must be resolved before being able to include any funds as “Aid that Could Have Been Disbursed” in R2T4 calculations. This is a critical clarification to ensuring that a school’s R2T4s are accurately performed. This volume also gives excellent direction on topics such as leaves of absence (LOAs) and clarification of how R2T4s are handled when funds are retained for books and supplies.