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today’s news for Monday, October 4, 2021

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

The Department of Education (ED) is set to undertake an overhaul of the much-maligned Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, according to NPR. Citing a source familiar with ED’s plan who was not permitted to speak publicly on the matter, NPR reports ED will unveil its revamp of the PSLF program this week.

Congress averted a government shutdown to kick off the start of the new fiscal year by clearing a continuing resolution that will keep the government funded through December 3. As legislators now approach the year-end crunch of activity there are a number of spending priorities that will need to be addressed before the close of 2021. With 2022 being an election year, policies left up in the air by year’s end could easily slip to the agenda of a new Congress that might have less of an appetite for certain programs.

FAFSA filers who use the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Non-Filer Portal (NFP), then subsequently file a 2020 tax return, then use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer their tax information into the 2022–23 FAFSA form will incorrectly and unknowingly report an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $1, according to a notice posted Friday. This error could result in a lower Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and a higher Pell Grant award for students who would not otherwise be eligible. The notice recommends aid administrators identify all instances of $1 AGIs for filers in 2022–23 FAFSA cycle, and follow-up with applicants to resolve the issue as needed. The new tool causing these errors was launched after the filing season and has several warnings on the landing page and inside the tool to educate taxpayers prior to using it, the notice added. 

The deadline for schools to add the Coronavirus Indicator for disbursements of Title IV funds for the 2020–21 award year has been extended to Sept. 30, 2022. Schools will now have an additional year to add the Coronavirus Indicator to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) system. The extension was issued due to the ongoing impacts institutions and their students are facing resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a notice. The system was updated recently to expand the valid date range for the payment period start date. Submissions of the Coronavirus Indicator will now be accepted when the payment period start date is a date inclusive of or between Jan. 1, 2018 and July 1, 2022. 

NASFAA UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

We’re gearing up for another season of NASFAA’s “Off The Cuff” (OTC) Podcast. Now exceeding 250,000 downloads, OTC is revamping parts of its format to highlight some of the exciting initiatives, programs, and struggles aid administrators are experiencing on-the-ground at campuses across the country. If you are interested in being on the podcast and have a topic, new program, question or struggle to share with thousands of your colleagues, let us know.   

No. The satisfactory academic progress (SAP) rules published in the September 2, 2020 Federal Register, clarify that a quantitative (pace) evaluation is not required for nonterm credit-hour programs or clock-hour programs. A student enrolled in a clock-hour or nonterm credit-hour program may not receive subsequent disbursements of Title IV aid until he or she has successfully completed one-half the credit or clock-hours and one-half the weeks of instructional time in the program’s academic year. In other words, a student cannot continue to receive Title IV aid if he or she is not progressing in the program. View the full answer to this question to learn more.

Starting this afternoon through the long-weekend, all online services will be down.

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