NASFAA Outlines Year-Round Pell Considerations to ED for a Successful Implementation
In anticipation of the reinstatement of year-round Pell, NASFAA and its members “stand ready to be of assistance” as the Department of Education (ED) begins the implementation process, NASFAA President Justin Draeger said in a letter submitted to the Department
The letter was sent May 5 to ED Secretary Betsy DeVos, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary and Acting Under Secretary James Manning, and Delegated Duties of Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Lynn Mahaffie. In it, Draeger expressed “excitement” about the reinstatement of year-round Pell, noting that the “ability to use life-time eligibility for Pell on a condensed schedule – that is, one year-round basis – will have many positive benefits for students.”
However, the rollout “will largely be dependent … on the partnership between the Department of Education and the financial aid community,” and NASFAA and its members “look forward” to working with ED during the eventual negotiated rulemaking process, Draeger said in the letter.
Meanwhile, there are several questions regarding the legislative language that ED should consider as it begins to disseminate guidance to institutions by July 1, which Draeger outlined in the letter. For example, the provision is effective starting in the 2017-18 award year, but there are questions about how Pell funds will be disbursed for periods of enrollment that cross over July 1, 2017. There are also questions about whether institutions can “top off” to the full eligibility in the event of a student having leftover eligibility from one year to the next, and if a student must be at least half-time only for the extra term being paid from a second award.
In the letter, NASFAA seeks to confirm that ED will not be making changes to 690.64, or to current policies regarding assignment of cross-over periods, and asks whether ED anticipates any changes to the way usage is monitored within an award year. Additionally, NASFAA requests that ED “issue guidance that provides safe harbor for institutions until final regulations are effective,” Draeger said in the letter. “We also suggest that institutions be consulted about, and involved in rigorous testing of, any additional data collection related to year-round Pell.”
Publication Date: 5/8/2017