EA – Posted October 23, 2013 – 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook with Index Linked to Entries
ED has posted a complete version of the 2013-2014 FSA Handbook with live links. This is the fourth year that this feature has been available for the Handbook. Once more this year ED has superseded its prior publication records in that this edition is yet again the earliest that an index with live links has been provided for a processing year. The link capability allows you to look up a topic in the index and click on the page number to be taken directly to the subject of interest. It can be used to expedite your search in the Handbook. The link to this edition is accessible from IFAP’s iLibrary page for the Federal Student Aid Handbook, or directly at 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook with Active Index Linked to Entries
EA – Posted October 24, 2013 – Errata and Updates – Volume 1 – Student Eligibility and Volume 3 – Calculating Awards & Packaging [2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook]
In this update to Volume 1 of the 2013-2014 FSA Handbook, ED clarifies that one of the three approved means by which a student may regain Title IV eligibility had been inadvertently omitted on page 1-15 in the original publication of this year’s edition of the Handbook. The method that was previously omitted—and that is reinstated with this update—is that a student may complete two unannounced drug tests that are part of an approved rehabilitation program, without completing the rest of that rehab program. The other two approved methods for regaining eligibility in such situations are to either have the conviction reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or fewer than three convictions for possession remain on the record, or by successfully completing an approved rehabilitation program (which must include passing two unannounced drug tests from the program).
Volume 3 of the 2013-2014 FSA Handbook also had several items necessary for ED to point out corrections. Schools are instructed to disregard the third sentence of the 5th paragraph on page 3-91 which begins with “A student enrolled in preparatory coursework….” That sentence contains incorrect guidance. Additionally, on page 3-95 in the last paragraph of the left-hand column the word “defined” should be corrected to read “denied”. Further, ED updates its guidance on page 3-109 regarding loan eligibility in scenarios that involve overlapping loan periods. Specifically, ED instructs schools to disregard the prior guidance on that page that allowed schools to assume the beginning date of an academic year at a prior school if the information was unavailable. The new guidance stipulates that since academic year dates are now available from COD, it is no longer permissible to use the assumption method. Schools are now required to use the data available on the “award detail information page” in the COD Web interface to obtain the necessary academic year dates in such cases of overlapping loan periods.
EA – Posted November 6, 2013 – Errata and Updates – Volume 3 – Calculating Awards & Packaging [2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook
This update to the 2013-2014 FSA Handbook corrects guidance previously stated that is not applicable. ED gives clarification regarding a statement on page 3-7. Specifically, schools are informed that they are to disregard the second sentence (“For Direct Loans, these terms…”) of the paragraph on that page that has the sub-heading “Programs using standard terms or substantially equal nonstandard terms (term-based)”. ED states that guidance originally presented in that sentence does not apply.
NOTE: It is important to be cognizant of the fact that the changes and clarifications announced in the October 24, 2013 and November 6, 2013 postings of the Errata and Updates to the 2013-2014 FSA Handbook are, as of this writing, only made in the individual chapters of the applicable volumes (i.e., in the “PDF” version) online. These changes are not made in the 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook with Active Index Linked to Entries version of the Handbook released and posted on IFAP on October 23, 2014. Therefore, readers of the 2013-2014 FSA Handbook must be cautious when using the Active Index version of the Handbook to ensure the most current guidance is followed by referring to these and any other subsequent updates to the 2013-2014 FSA Handbook after the posting of the Active Index version of the Handbook.