EA – Posted July 12, 2013 – (General).  2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 2 – School Eligibility and Operations

With this announcement, ED posted Volume 2 of the 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook.  As can be seen, the volumes are not always released in numerical order, as this issuance is the fifth of the total of six volumes in this year’s FSA Handbook to be released (plus the Application and Verification Guide which is distributed as an unnumbered volume within the Handbook).  Some of the new items added or items that were updated in this year’s edition of Volume 2 are information about Executive Order 13607 which applies to schools that have students receiving federal military and veterans’ education benefits, clarified information about Net Price Calculators, a note about the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, and updated information related to the effect of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act on the Clery Act.  Finally, of particular interest is the clarification given about schools making available the results of their biennial review of the school’s drug and alcohol abuse prevention program.

EA – Posted July 31, 2013 – (General).  2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 3 – Calculating Awards & Packaging

Volume 3 provides excellent material on the overall principles of how to calculate awards and to package.  However, this edition of Volume 3 also addresses important new information such as the requirement to submit Pell and Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG) disbursements in a timely manner, which is now defined as not later than 15 days after the transaction (previously it was within 30 days); a new focus on the requirement to ensure the school has a means by which Pell Grant recipients can obtain or purchase their books and supplies within 7 days of the start of the payment period if it is anticipated the student will have a credit balance upon aid being credited to his/her account; specific clarification on how schools are to handle a disbursement to a student for a Direct Loan that was paid, but then the student did not actually begin attendance on at least a half-time basis; and, guidance is given that schools may not charge a variable tuition rate [i.e., students who pay cash for their direct school charges may not be charged a different rate (e.g., a discount for paying cash) than those who will receive Federal Student Aid].