Though people were excited to hear that I was back, the number one question I got was…how are the boys. So, let’s talk about family (and maybe a little Title IV).
Luke is going to high school. Yeah!!! He made it. Though he did get his first C this year, he surprised us on his CRCT state tests and exceeded all categories but one. Amazing what he can do with a little preparation and focus. Luke is a junior swim coach on the neighborhood team and so far he has not injured any of our swimmers (including his brothers). He was excited to get his first paycheck, but sad when dad applied it towards college. I think it might pay for 1/10 of a credit or two days on a meal plan.
Adam was a little depressed with his report card because he did not get a 100 in every subject and missed a question or two on his CRCT state tests. Adam’s track season is coming to an end but he has done well this year setting personal records in the 1500 and 3000. I will say that he tends to get real lazy in the summer (I think because he has worked so hard during the school year) sleeping in, wearing his bathrobe as long as he can and when asked to do anything he complains about summer being his vacation time and that he should not have to work. At first his response made me angry but then I realized I liked his philosophy so I told my big boss (wife Christy) the same thing. She was not amused and for wasting her time I got extra chores (which I then made Adam do).
Ethan made it to 5th grade, and so far this summer has not injured himself (though he tries really hard). He is finishing track season as well and loves the summer swim team. Of course, I don’t know if he likes swim team for the competition or the concession food, friends, late nights, etc. He also turned 10 a few weeks ago and after much crying, Christy allowed him to be officially 10. Ethan also had a sleepover birthday party with six 10-year old boys. Everyone survived – barely. Between the complaints, crying, fighting, teasing, and I want to go home issues, I found myself wishing that I was doing a federal update anywhere. In fact, if any state is wondering when to set their spring conference dates for next year, I have the perfect dates that will guarantee I can be there.
And now some FSA guidance:
NSLDS Enrollment Reporting
GEN-14-07 (http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN1407.html) highlights new changes in the NSLDS enrollment reporting process, while also reminding schools of some key reporting requirements. It is important to remember that all schools must have implemented the new enrollment reporting processes and file layouts by October 1, 2014. This October date represents a three-month extension from our previously announced deadline of July 1, 2014. Schools that choose to wait to report using the new enrollment reporting file layouts until after July 1, 2014 must, when they do begin reporting using the new enrollment reporting file layouts, report program-level enrollment information retroactive to July 1, 2014.
It is also very important to note that beginning July 1, 2014, we will request enrollment information from schools every 60 days and schools will be required to respond to those requests within 15 days of the date that we send the electronic enrollment reporting roster to the school or to its designated third-party servicer.
NSLDS will also begin capturing program-level data in addition to campus-level data due to the new reporting requirements required for the 150% subsidized Direct Loan limitations. The program –level record includes the program’s CIP Code and Credential Level, the program’s published length and Title IV academic year, the student’s enrollment status in the program, and other information related to the academic program. Separate program-level records must be completed for each academic program the student is or was enrolled at the school.
There will be a new enrollment status code of “Q” for three-quarter-time enrollment.
In addition, we reminded schools that NSLDS requires enrollment to be reported for a specific location (campus) eight-digit OPEID. If the student changes his or her primary location to one of the institution’s other campuses, the school will use the NSLDS enrollment reporting process to provide the “move to” location of the campus to which the student transferred. Enrollment should not be certified at more than one campus location (multiple eight-digit OPEIDs), even if that student has no primary location and is attending multiple locations of the institution. In such instances, the school must choose a primary location (campus) and report one enrollment status that includes the student’s enrollment at all of the school’s campuses.
And finally, it is very important that enrollment information of Title IV aid recipients who transfer to another institution but who do not receive aid at the new institution be reported to NSLDS like any other aid Title IV aid recipient. Failure to report the enrollment of these students could, among other things, result in the student (1) entering repayment on their loans when they should not, (2) not being subject to loss of interest subsidy under the 150% limit when they should because of continued enrollment, and (3) losing interest subsidy under the 150% limit when they should not because the student completed the program. If you have a third-party servicer, you may have to notify your servicer which students need to be added to your roster.
Please note that we published a new NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide. For more information, please see the electronic announcement dated April 25, 2014.
Recognized Equivalent of a High School Diploma
The Department recently published Dear Colleague Letter GEN-14-06 which discusses important information about new alternative State-authorized examinations, separate from a GED test, that were released in January 2014.
A State certificate received by a student after the student has passed a State-authorized examination that the State recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma is included as one of the recognized equivalents of a high school diploma in 34 CFR 600.2. Two examples of State-authorized examinations, in addition to the GED test, are the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) and the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC). As of January 2014, some States have either replaced the GED test with a different State-authorized examination or offer students a choice of several State-authorized examinations (e.g., a choice between the HiSET, TASC, GED test, or other State-authorized examination). Like the GED test, a student who takes the HiSET, TASC, or other State-authorized examination will receive official notification of a passing or failing score that is used to determine if a State will issue a high school equivalency certificate to a student.
Students should contact the State education authority where they took or plan to take a State-authorized examination to determine which examinations are approved by the State and the eligibility requirements for each examination. For information on contacting State education authorities, see the following: http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/Programs/EROD/org_list.cfm?category_cd=DAE
For those students selected for V4 or V5 that are unable to appear in person and need to obtain a notarized Statement of Educational Purposes, please note that currently the Department does not authorize the use of online notary services as an alternative to traditional, in person notary services (14/15 FSA HDBK, AVG, Chapter 4, page 89, sidebar).
Pell Grant LEU Dispute Portal
Authorized COD Web site users are now able to create, view, and/or update a Pell Grant LEU dispute via the new Pell LEU Dispute Portal on the COD Web site. Schools will no longer contact the COD School Relations Center to initiate the dispute.
A “Create Pell LEU Dispute” button has been added to the Pell LEU History page.
In addition, schools will be able to upload dispute documents directly into COD, receive automated email communications from ED and more easily view and search dispute information.
For more information about the new COD Pell Grant LEU dispute portal, please see the electronic announcement dated April 18, 2014.
2014 FSA Training Conference for Financial Aid Professionals
I am pleased to announce that the 2014 FSA Training Conference will be held on December 2 –5 in SASFAA’s backyard at the Georgia World Congress Center located in Atlanta, Georgia.
Registration and lodging will be available within the coming weeks. For further information regarding the upcoming 2014 FSA Training Conference, please visit our website at http://fsaconferences.ed.gov.
It seems that every time I turn around someone is retiring (except me). I wanted to point out a few regional retirements of folks you may have worked with over the years: Lynette Davis (Institutional Review Specialist – Atlanta); Patricia Gilbert (Institutional Review Specialist – Atlanta); Chuck Engstrom (Director – Atlanta); and Tom Beckerle (Institutional Improvement Specialist – Kansas City). We wish them well.
Until the next new TIV rule, or one of my kids does something amazing (not necessarily in a good way), I am…
Your neighborhood FED,
Federal Training Officer