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ED Drafting Guidance on Implementation of FAFSA Simplification Items for 2023-24

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter

The Department of Education (ED) on Friday formally gave notice that it will be implementing several provisions of the FAFSA Simplification Act that were authorized for implementation for the 2023-24 award year.

Congress required ED in technical revisions to the FAFSA Simplification Act to provide 60 days’ notice of 2023-24 implementation items. The notice only specifies which provisions will be implemented for 2023-24; ED indicated that detailed guidance will be provided in an upcoming Dear Colleague Letter.

While no additional guidance is provided in Friday’s announcement, ED detailed as a part of its phased implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act that for the 2023-24 award year the following items would be implemented: provisions related to cost of attendance, professional judgment, special rules for independent students, and period of eligibility for Pell Grants.

In the announcement, ED also noted that certain provisions will require additional compliance from institutions.

“Certain provisions, including [cost of attendance, professional judgment, and determinations of independence for unaccompanied homeless youth and foster care youth] sections of the FAFSA Simplification Act, require institutions to develop policies and procedures that address the updated requirements for students who apply for title IV, HEA student assistance prior to the beginning of that award year,” the announcement says. “Institutions must comply with the new statutory requirements when calculating awards of title IV, HEA programs for the 2023-2024 award year.”

Further, ED also announced that it is implementing new rules establishing Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated students in federal and state penal institutions, as well as new rules governing the prison education programs in which these students will be enrolled. ED indicated in the announcement that further guidance is also forthcoming on prison education programs due to the complex nature of the topics.

 

Publication Date: 11/4/2022


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