EA – Posted January 31, 2013 – (General). 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook, Application and Verification Guide
With this announcement, ED has posted the first portion of the 2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook. This Application and Verification Guide (AVG) section is the key document that assists financial aid administrators begin their processing for the upcoming award year. It is critical that all FAAs are familiar with the content of this new AVG. Some of the notable changes in the AVG for 2013-2014 are the elimination of the homebuyer tax credit information as that credit is no longer available to taxpayers; guidance that Social Security disability benefits are not to be counted as untaxed income which is in accord with how other disability benefits are treated; and, an update to the chart that indicates signature requirements for when a student or parent must document tax-related information on the FAFSA. Additionally, this AVG provides a thorough discussion of the new verification tracking groups and includes a description of acceptable documentation of high school completion status and the identity/statement of educational purpose, as well as guidance on when SNAP or child support paid was received but not reported on the FAFSA. Further, this new AVG contains sample verification text that schools may use to develop their own verification documents. This volume is well-worth a thorough read through to be cognizant of the information applicable to the upcoming award year.
EA – Posted February 28, 2013 – (General). Errata and Updates – Application and Verification Guide [2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook]
ED provides corrections and clarifications to the recently released AVG. Of particular note is that the section on “When a tax return is unavailable” was removed. ED will determine at a later date if such a provision will be necessary at the end of the 2012 tax return processing. Additional clarification is provided that specifies that if a school has already obtained during the admissions process one of the acceptable documents for verifying high school completion, then no further document is needed for that requirement. Further updates include clarification about verification status codes and correction of some typographical errors (be sure to use the corrected “Notary’s Certificate of Acknowledgement as indicated in this EA).