News from SLGFA
SLGFA to Begin Using New Encryption Product
SLGFA's E-Reports, a secure method for transferring private information electronically to schools, lenders, and servicers, was phased out in March of this year. As a result, other options for transferring information securely in an electronic format were explored. We are pleased to announce that beginning August 1, 2011, SLGFA will be using Proofpoint Encryption. If your organization is interested in testing Proofpoint Encryption prior to the August 1 implementation or has any questions regarding this new method, please submit an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring Training Provides Comprehensive Financial Aid Information to Rookies
Last week, "Spring Training for Rookies" was held at SLGFA's corporate office where 48 relatively new financial aid officers were in attendance. The two-day workshop was a collaborative training effort presented by AASFAA and SLGFA. See the
Spring Training for Rookies page for more details about this successful event.
News from the Financial Aid Community
Gainful Employment Final Regulations Posted
On June 13, 2011, final regulations were published in the Federal Register on the metrics for determining the eligibility of an educational program that leads to gainful employment in a recognized occupation. This follows a press release issued by the U. S. Department of Education (Department) on June 2, 2011, that details the purpose of the regulations. The integrated regulations located on SLGFA's Program Integrity page have been updated to include the Gainful Employment final regulations.
Webinar Announced - Reporting Gainful Employment Data to NSLDS
Federal Student Aid will provide technical information on the NSLDS gainful employment reporting process, including choosing a reporting format, school setup, and how to submit, review, and correct gainful employment data. This 90-minute session will be offered on June 28 and again on June 29, 2011. For more information, including registration details, see Dear Colleague Letter ANN-11-14 dated June 13, 2011.
Federal Student Aid Webinar Announcement Posted
Dear Colleague Letter ANN-11-13 dated June 3, 2011, announces Federal Student Aid's instructor-led online training sessions regarding 2011-2012 Direct Loan processing. The training will describe enhancements to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System for the 2011-2012 Award Year, including information on changes to the COD and the StudentLoans.gov Web sites. The training will be conducted in a 90-minute webinar and will be offered multiple times between June 14 and June 23. For dates and times, please refer to the announcement.
Updated NSLDS Gainful Employment User Guide Information Posted
On June 3, 2011, the Department announced the posting of an updated National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Gainful Employment User Guide. This guide is located on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) NSLDS User Documentation page. It is available in Microsoft Word Format and in Portable Document Format (PDF). Updates to the guide include the removal of the XML record layout as well as the replacement of the "Reserved for Future Use" field with a new field for "Tuition and Fees." See the announcement for more detailed information.
Gainful Employment Webinar Presentation Available
Federal Student Aid posted the presentation from Gainful Employment Webinar #1- "Implementation of Disclosures and Reporting Requirements" that was conducted on May 25 and May 26. The presentation is available here.
Guidance Issued Regarding Procedures for Reporting New Educational Programs Leading to Gainful Employment
On June 1, 2011, the Department issued an Electronic Announcement that provides operational guidance on the implementation of the new regulatory requirements related to an institution's addition of educational programs that "lead to gainful employment in a recognized occupation" (GE Programs). See the announcement for specific timelines for reporting new GE Programs.
Updated Information Posted Regarding Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
In an Electronic Announcement dated June 21, 2010, the Department provided guidance regarding Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary (CTP) Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities. On June 6, 2011, an Electronic Announcement was posted that included updated information about these programs. The announcement includes an attachment that outlines the steps an institution must take to apply to have a CTP Program determined to be eligible to participate in the Title IV Federal aid programs.
Nelnet Total and Permanent Disability Servicer Transition Completed
The Nelnet Total and Permanent Disability Servicer began
processing veterans total and permanent discharge assignments and
referrals on June 1, 2011. The successful completion of this transition means that Nelnet Total and Permanent Disability Servicer is now the only entity that processes and services all total and permanent disability discharge assignments and referrals (general and veterans) for the Department. See the Electronic Announcement dated June 6, 2011, for more detailed information.
Guidance Posted Related to SAP Reviews for Students in Clock Hour Programs
The Department issued an Electronic Announcement on June 6, 2011, that provides guidance related to satisfactory academic progress (SAP) reviews for students in clock hour programs. For details, see the announcement.
Eligibility for Trial Periods of Enrollment Described
Dear Colleague Letter GEN-11-12, issued on June 7, 2011,describes federal student aid eligibility for students enrolled for a trial period that leads to enrollment as a regular student. This guidance includes a description of such programs and standards for participation. See the announcement for complete details.
Transition to New Direct Loan Servicer System and Web Sites Planned
The Department recently announced that the Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) plans to transition to a new loan servicing system in fall 2011. The Direct Loan Servicing Center will also launch new Web sites for schools, Direct Loan borrowers, and TEACH Grant recipients. The NSLDS ED Servicer code, 583, will continue to be used to indentify this servicer. For more detailed information about this transition, see the Electronic Announcement that was posted on June 10, 2011.
No 2011-12 Origination Fee Changes for Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans
As part of the changes to the student loan programs made by the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (HERA), the origination fee for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans has been reduced incrementally each July 1 for the past few years. However, the last reduction was for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2010, meaning that there will be no origination fee changes this year. Therefore, the origination fee for all Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2011, will remain at 1.0 percent and the up-front interest rebate will remain at .5 percent. Also, the Direct PLUS origination fee will remain at 4.0 percent for Direct PLUS Loans made to parents and borrowers. See this attachment for a summary of the origination fee and up-front interest rebate reductions for Direct Loans.