These include changes in COD that impact the COD Web Quick Credit Checks for PLUS Loans, enhancements to loan counseling modules, a new deadline of October 24, 2013 for submitting Annual Campus Safety and Security reports this year, and finally, a re-scheduling of the second round of meetings for the Gainful Employment Negotiated Rulemaking (Neg Reg) committee.

ED has announced that effective next week the online credit check process for PLUS Loans in COD is being enhanced.  As of October 27, 2013, when a credit check is requested, there will now be the requirement to include both the borrower’s and the student’s identifier information, as well as the school information related to the loan request.  Previously, the student’s information was not a requirement if the credit check was for a parent PLUS Loan.  The form on the Web is being modified to include the selection of whether the credit check is for a parent PLUS Loan borrower or a graduate student PLUS Loan borrower.  The student identifier information in both cases, whether for the parent PLUS borrower or the graduate PLUS borrower, will be compared against CPS data (ISIR) to verify a student match exists.  If the match is not successful, the borrower will not be allowed to proceed with the credit check.

Additional changes being made in this same COD update include the addition of information related to the 150% Direct Loan Subsidized Limit in all loan counseling modules online at StudentLoans.gov.  Furthermore, all counseling modules (Entrance, Exit, and Financial Awareness) will now also be available in Spanish effective next week.

Last week in an October 16, 2013 announcement ED had stated that the deadline for submitting the Annual Campus Safety and Security (and, if applicable, the Fire Safety Statistics) Reports would be modified due to the government shutdown.  ED has now stated that the deadline has been extended slightly to Thursday, October 24, 2013 for the submission of these reports required under the Clery Act.  As a reminder, in spite of the government shutdown, schools were still required to distribute their Annual Campus Safety and Security (and, if applicable, the Fire Safety Statistics) Report to students and employees by October 1, 2013.  [For those institutions that may also offer athletically related student aid and that are required to report statistics under the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA), such schools are still required to submit their data by the originally scheduled date of October 30, 2013.]

Finally, due to the government shutdown, the second round of Neg Reg meetings on Gainful Employment was postponed.  The announcement has now been made that the Neg Reg committee will meet on November 18-20, 2013 instead of the previously scheduled dates of October 21-23, 2013.  Schools are encouraged to stay abreast of the dialog in these meetings and provide input to representatives on the committee regarding items of concern or approval as it relates to your institution.  And, once the committee’s work is completed and further comments are solicited, be sure to provide input to ED on the topics of interest to you after the Neg Reg committee’s work is done.

Continue to watch for more information in FAME’s regular “Did You Know?” articles and editions of FAME’s Inside Report.

(EA101813; EA102113; IHE102213)