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Federal Update

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  1. Federal Update Anthony Jones Office of Postsecondary Education Dan Klock Federal Student Aid

  2. Secretary’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education

  3. Agenda Secretary’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education FY 2007 Budget Request and Appropriations Update on Recent and Pending Legislation Recent Title IV Program Regulations Selected ACG/National SMART Grant Issues General Provisions, Loans, and Need Analysis Hot Topics Operational Update Issues on the Horizon

  4. Final Report — “A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of Higher Education” “U.S. higher education needs to improve in dramatic ways,” changing from “a system primarily based on reputation to one based on performance.” http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/hiedfuture/index.html Secretary’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education

  5. Secretary’s Action Plan Accessibility “There are far too many Americans who want to go to college but cannot—because they're either not prepared or cannot afford it.” Affordability “There is little to no information on why costs are so high and what we're getting in return.” Accountability “No current ranking system of colleges and universities directly measures the most critical point—student performance and learning.”

  6. Secretary’s Action Plan: Accessibility • Strengthen K-12 preparation and align high school standards with college expectations. • Work with Congress to expand the successful principles of the No Child Left Behind Act to high schools. • Redesign the 12th-grade NAEP test to provide state-level estimates of college and workforce readiness. • Raise awareness and mobilize leadership to address the issue of adult literacy as a barrier to national competitiveness and individual opportunity. • Develop a federal research agenda for adult literacy to identify strategies, models and programs that work.

  7. Secretary’s Action Plan: Affordability • Simplify the aid process by using existing income and tax data to help students complete the FAFSA in half the time. • Notify students of their estimated aid eligibility before spring of their senior year in high school. • Work with Congress to provide new funds for need-based aid through the federal financial aid system. • Commission an independent management consultant review of the federal financial aid system. • Revitalize FIPSE to promote innovation and productivity. • Encourage organizations that report annual college data to develop consistent affordability measures.

  8. Secretary’s Action Plan: Accountability • Work with states to build on and link together the 40 existing, privacy-protected higher education information systems. • Explore incentives for states and institutions that collect and report student learning outcome data. • Convene members of the accreditation community to recommend changes to the standards for recognition that will place a greater emphasis on results. • Redesign the Department of Education's college search website to allow consumers to weigh and compare institutions based on their individual interests and needs.

  9. Status of Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Request and Appropriations

  10. Title IV Program BudgetsAppropriations * President's FY 2007 Budget Submission

  11. Title IV Program BudgetsAid Available * President's FY 2007 Budget Submission

  12. Title IV Program BudgetsStatus of Appropriations * Committee-passed Bills

  13. Update on Higher Education Legislation(Recent and Pending)

  14. Legislation • Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 • Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006 • Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2007 (Included in Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2007) • Through November 17, 2006 • Third Higher Education Extension Act of 2006 • Through June 30, 2007

  15. Third Higher Education Extension Act • New Restrictions on Eligible Lender Trustee Arrangements with Postsecondary Institutions • Definition of Hispanic-Serving Institution • Clarification of GA Account Maintenance Fees • New Loan Discharge for Survivors of 9/11 Victims

  16. Title IV Program Regulations

  17. Title IV Program Regulations Interim Final Regulations with Comments Invited • ACG/National SMART Grants – July 3, 2006 • Other HERA Issues – August 9, 2006 Final Regulations • ACG/National SMART Grants – November 1, 2006 • Other HERA Issues – November 1, 2006 Final Regulations • Title IV Programs – anticipate by November 1, 2007

  18. Title IV Program Regulations • Major policies and changes in Nov. 1 Final Regulations from Interim Final Regulations: • Duration of student eligibility under ACG/SMART • Receipt of Pell Grant during award year not same payment period for ACG/SMART • Clarification of what ‘previously enrolled’ means • Early implementation • 9.5% Special Allowance Payment clarification • Timing of Disaster Withdrawal & Overpayment Waiver

  19. Negotiated Rulemaking • Federal Register Notice, August 18, 2006 • Regulatory Issues • ACG and National SMART Grants • Recent Legislation, including HERA • Secretary’s Higher Education Commission • Up to Four Negotiating Committees • Committed to discussing ACG and National SMART Grants • Could Include other HERA changes • Title IV Programs including student loans • Institutional Eligibility • General Provisions

  20. Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005:ACG/National SMART Grant (Academic Year Progression and Determining Financial Need)

  21. Academic Year Student’s progress and duration of eligibility in an eligible program is measured in Title IV academic years. A Title IV academic year is defined in the HEA to be – A minimum of either: • Twenty-four semester credit hours, or • Thirty-six quarter credit hours, or • 900 clock hours. --AND— • A minimum of 30 weeks of instruction (26 for clock hours)

  22. Academic Year - Credit Hours Regardless of how many credit hours an institution uses to define a program’s academic year, full-time for an undergraduate is a minimum of: • 12 semester hour credits for a semester or trimester; or • 12 quarter hour credits for a quarter. Title IV Academic Year is often not the same as grade level progression for institutional purposes and loan limits (i.e., 30 credit hours to progress from grade level 1 to grade level 2)

  23. Determine the actual number of weeks of instruction that were included for the student to complete the number of credit hours in the institution’s Title IV academic year definition. Assume that there were 30 weeks of instructional time for each increment of credit hours that comprises the institution’s Title IV academic year definition. Academic Year - Weeks of InstructionFor the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 award years, an institution with a 30 week academic year and standard terms ( Formula 1) may – - OR -

  24. Academic Year – Weeks of Instruction May exercise option – • On a student by student basis; • For same student for different terms; • For transfer credits differently than for home earned credits

  25. Academic Year - Weeks of InstructionNOTE: An institution must determine the actual number of weeks of instruction for a student that requests that such a determination be made or questions whether they have completed an academic year.See DCL GEN-06-18

  26. ACG and National SMART Grant Examples for determining academic year progression and financial need

  27. Example 1: What courses/credits that do not count in weeks of instructional time? • When tracking actual weeks of instructional time, courses that are not part of an eligible program of postsecondary education or courses not at the postsecondary level such as: • Remedial Coursework; • Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses/exams; • College Level Examination Program (CLEP); • Credit for life experience; • Courses taken when not enrolled as a regular student; and • Courses that are not part of an eligible program.

  28. Example 2: Advanced Placement courses • Student graduated high school May 2006. Enrolls at School A for Fall 2006. Student has 45 AP credits, all with a score of 3 or higher. • School A’s definition of academic year is 24 credit hours and 30 weeks of instructional time. • If School A assumes weeks of instructional time, this student would be in his/her second academic year. • 45/24 = 1.875

  29. Example 2: AP courses (cont’d) • However, student has no GPA from “first academic year” and would therefore not be eligible to receive ACG funds for his/her “second academic year. • If School A chose to track actual weeks, then the student would still be in his/her first academic year as AP credits carry no weeks of instructional time. This student would be eligible for first year ACG award assuming all other eligibility criteria are met.

  30. Example 3: Academic Year • Student completes 36 credit hours at School X and has 3.50 GPA. School Y accepts only 24 hours upon transfer. • School Y is only required to use credit hours that transfer in determining academic year (hours and weeks), but the school may look at transcript (i.e., all 36) to determine weeks of instructional time completed. • School Y chooses to use only the hours accepted to determine weeks. Therefore, School Y must use GPA for 24 hours transferred in to determine if student eligible for 2nd year ACG award.

  31. Example 4: Academic Year • Student enrolls at School A for 2006-07 award year. Student completes 24 semester hours over three terms (part-time enrollment) and receives no ACG.. • Student transfers to School B for 2007-08 award year. School B only accepts 18 semester hours of the courses taken at School A. School B defines its academic year as 24 semester hours and 30 weeks of instructional time. • School B chooses to assume weeks of instructional time instead of tracking actual weeks of enrollment.

  32. Example 4: Academic Year (cont’d) • School B determines student has completed 18 credit hours and instead of tracking actual weeks of instructional time assumes 75% of academic year’s weeks (18/24) completed. Student is still in first academic year at School B. • Year 1 is 0-24 hours and 30 weeks, Year 2 is 25-48 hours and weeks 31-60 … • School B awards half of ACG award ($375) for Fall 2007

  33. Example 4: Academic Year (cont’d) • Student completes 15 hours in Fall 2007 and now has completed 33 semester hours. Student has cumulative GPA of 3.25. • School B assumes weeks, which means student has completed 1.375 academic years (33/24). Student has completed year 1 and is in academic year 2. • For Spring 2008, school may award half of second year ACG ($650). • Student received total of $1,025 in ACG funds for 2007-2008.

  34. Example 5: Academic Year • Same student as in ‘Academic Year: Example 4’. • Student enrolls at School A for 2006-07 award year. Student completes 24 semester hours over three terms (part-time enrollment) and receives no ACG. • Student transfers to School B for 2007-08 award year. School B only accepts 18 semester hours of the courses taken at School A. School B defines its academic year as 24 semester hours and 30 weeks of instructional time.

  35. Example 5: Academic Year (cont’d) • School B determines student has completed 18 credit hours and has policy to track actual weeks of instructional time • School B may look at transcript and determine that student has completed the weeks in a full academic year, because student completed two semesters at School A, but will only have 18 hours “completed” at School B.

  36. Example 5: Academic Year (cont’d) • Note that the regulations and guidance will allow School B to assume weeks of instructional time for hours transferred in and then track actual weeks of instructional time from that point on. • Nothing prevents a school from using the assumption method for transfer hours then tracking actual weeks of instructional time at the school, unless the student requests that all weeks of instructional time be tracked rather than assumed.

  37. Example 5: Academic Year (cont’d) • For the first semester (Fall 2007) at School B, the student can be awarded $375 in ACG funds. • Student completes 15 hours in Fall 2007 and has a cumulative GPA of 3.25. This GPA represents only the 15 hours taken in Fall 2007. • If school policy is to include GPA for courses transferred in, then the cumulative GPA at the end of Fall 2007 would also include the GPA for those courses. • At the end of Fall 2007, the student will have completed the weeks for 1 ½ academic years and have 33 hours. The school may award $650 in ACG funds for Spring 2008.

  38. Example 6: Academic Year • At School C, student completes 12 credit hours. Student was only enrolled full-time one semester and received only one disbursement ($375) of ACG funds. • Student transfers to School D and none of the 12 credits transfer. School D assumes weeks of instructional time. With zero hours, School D reviews NSLDS and notes the student has already been awarded ACG funds (which serves as documentation of completion of rigorous secondary school program of study). • School D awards this student $375 ACG award.

  39. Example 6: Academic Year (cont’d) • Student completes 14 credit hours in Fall. Although student is still in first academic year at School D, there are no remaining ACG funds for Spring. • With no transfer hours, no weeks of instructional time were assumed. • Even if School D chose to track actual weeks, this student would have completed the weeks of instructional time for an academic year but still not have the credit hours. • Student must meet both measures before funds can be awarded for next academic year.

  40. Example 7: Academic Year Progression Student graduates high school and enrolls at school that tracks actual weeks of instructional time. • Fall 2006: 15 hours, 15 weeks • Awarded ½ of 1st academic year ACG • Ends term with 15 hours and 3.66 GPA • Spring 2007: 18 hours, 15 weeks • Awarded ½ of 1st academic year ACG • Ends term with 33 hours and 3.58 GPA • Summer 2007: 9 hours, 15 weeks* • Receives no ACG (less than full-time) • Ends term with 42 hours and 3.63 GPA *Certain programs allowed to treat summer term as 15 weeks

  41. Example 7: Academic Year Progression (cont’d) • Fall 2007: 18 hours, 15 weeks • Awarded ½ of 2nd academic year ACG • Ends term with 60 hours and 3.67 GPA • Spring 2008: 18 hours, 15 weeks • Awarded ½ of 3rd academic year Nat’l SMART Grant (beyond 2nd yr in wks & hrs; SMART-eligible major declared) • Ends term with 78 hours and 3.72 GPA • Summer 2008: 9 hours, 15 weeks* • Receives no ACG (less than full-time) • Ends term with 87 hours and 3.69 GPA *Certain programs allowed to treat summer term as 15 weeks

  42. Example 7: Academic Year Progression (cont’d) • Fall 2008: 15 hours, 15 weeks • Awarded ½ of 4th academic year Nat’l SMART Grant • Ends term with 102 hours and 3.67 GPA • Spring 2009: 18 hours, 15 weeks • Awarded ½ of 4th academic year Nat’l SMART Grant • Ends term with 120 hours and 3.64 GPA • Total ACG received: $1,400 • Total National SMART Grant received: $6,000

  43. Example 8: Academic Year Progression Student graduates high school and enrolls at school that assumes weeks of instructional time based on credits. • Fall 2006: 15 hours, 15 actual weeks • Awarded ½ of 1st academic year ACG • Ends term with 15 hours and 3.66 GPA (assumes 0.625 ac.yrs.) • Spring 2007: 18 hours, 15 actual weeks • Awarded ½ of 1st academic year ACG • Ends term with 33 hours and 3.58 GPA (assumes 1.375 ac.yrs.) • Summer 2007: 9 hours, 15 weeks* • Receives no ACG (less than full-time) • Ends term with 42 hours and 3.63 GPA (assumes 1.75 ac.yrs.) *Certain programs allowed to treat summer term as 15 weeks

  44. Example 8: Academic Year Progression (cont’d) • Fall 2007: 18 hours, 15 weeks • Awarded ½ of 2nd academic year ACG • Ends term with 60 hours and 3.67 GPA (assumes 2.5 ac.yrs.) • Spring 2008: 18 hours, 15 weeks • Awarded ½ of 3rd academic year Nat’l SMART Grant because eligible major declared • Ends term with 78 hours and 3.72 GPA (assumes 3.25 ac.yrs.) • Summer 2008: 9 hours, 15 weeks* • Receives no ACG (less than full-time) • Ends term with 87 hours and 3.69 GPA (assumes 3.625 ac.yrs.)

  45. Example 8: Academic Year Progression (cont’d) • Fall 2008: 15 hours, 15 weeks • Awarded ½ of 4th academic year Nat’l SMART Grant • Ends term with 102 hours and 3.67 GPA (assumes 4.25 ac.yrs.) • Spring 2009: 18 hours, 15 weeks • Awarded ½ of 4th academic year Nat’l SMART Grant • Ends term with 120 hours and 3.64 GPA (graduates) • Total ACG received: $1,400 • Total National SMART Grant received: $6,000

  46. Example 9: Change in Academic Year • Student completes 49 semester hours at School A over three award years then transfers to School B. School B reviews NSLDS and see that the student received a full scheduled award for ACG for the 2008-09 award year for academic year 2. • School B only accepts 22 semester hours as applicable toward a degree at its institution. • Student is not eligible for academic year 1 ACG because history shows year 2 already received.

  47. Associate’s Degree Second Academic Year For the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 Award Years – • For a student enrolled in an associate’s degree program the second academic year ends when the student has completed the credits required for completion of that academic program, as published in the institution’s official academic publications. See DCL GEN-06-18

  48. Bachelor’s Degree Fourth Academic Year For the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 award years, for a student enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program the fourth academic year ends when the student has completed the credits required for completion of that academic program, as published in the institution’s official academic publications. See DCL GEN-06-18

  49. Student Profile COA: $19,500 EFC: 0 Need: $19,500 Original Determinations Merit Scholarship $15,000 Federal Pell Grant $ 4,050 ACG: $ 750 Packaging Options Merit Scholarship: $14,700 Federal Pell Grant: $ 4,050 ACG: $ 750 --OR-- Merit Scholarship: $15,000 Federal Pell Grant: $ 4,050 ACG: $ 450 Example 10: Financial Need

  50. Student Profile COA: $25,500 EFC: 0 Need: $25,500 Original Determinations Veterans Benefits $21,970 Federal Pell Grant $ 4,050 ACG: $ 750 Packaging Options Veterans Benefits $21,970 Federal Pell Grant: $ 4,050 ACG: $ 0 Student cannot receive any ACG funds because need has already been met. No overaward for Pell and VA only. Example 11: Financial Need