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U.S. Department of Education Federal Update

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  1. U.S. Department of Education Federal Update David Bergeron Office of Postsecondary Education Dan Madzelan Office of Postsecondary Education Jeff Baker Federal Student Aid

  2. Appropriations andBudget Submission

  3. FY 2006 Program Budgets(dollars in thousands)

  4. FY 2007 Budget RequestAppropriations * President's FY 2007 Budget Submission

  5. FY 2007 Budget RequestAid Available * President's FY 2007 Budget Submission

  6. FY 2007 Budget Request Federal Pell Grant Program • Maximum award for 2007-2008 remains at $4,050 • Year-round Pell Grants • Eligibility limited to equivalent of 16 semesters • Tuition sensitivity award rule eliminated

  7. FY 2007 Budget Request Campus-Based Programs • No changes for FSEOG and FWS programs • Perkins Loan Program • No funding for FCC or for loan cancellations. • Repayment to ED for collections by school from borrowers

  8. FY 2007 Budget Request FFEL and Direct Loans No changes proposed for Loan Programs • See Higher Education Reconciliation Act Other Programs No funding requested for— • LEAP, GEAR UP, Upward Bound, Talent Search, and Byrd Honors Scholarship

  9. Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (HERA)

  10. Institutional and Program Eligibility

  11. INSTITUTIONAL & PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY • Definition of academic year for clock hourprograms • 50% rule does not apply to telecommunications • Programs of distance education must be specifically accredited • Short-term telecommunications programs are eligible • Provision for programs using assessment to measure progress

  12. Loan Programs

  13. FFEL and Direct Loans • PLUS Eligibility to Graduate Students: Extends eligibility for PLUS Loans to graduate and professional students. • All eligibility criteria remain including credit checks and no in-school status. However, student would be eligible for an in-school deferment. • Student must file FAFSA • Effective for any loan certified or originated on or after July 1, 2006

  14. FFEL and Direct Loans • Effective for loans certified or originated on or after July 1, 2007: • Loan Limits in FFEL and Direct Loan: • Increases annual base loan limits for - • First year students from $2,625 to $3,500; • Second year students from $3,500 to $4,500 • Aggregate loan limits are not increased.

  15. FFEL and Direct Loans • Effective for loans certified or originated on or after July 1, 2007: • Increases annual additional unsubsidized for -- • Graduate students to $12,000 • Prep for Grad Program $7,000 • Teacher Certification to $7,000 • Aggregate loan limits are not increased.

  16. FFEL and Direct Loans • FFEL PLUS Loan Interest Rate: • Fixed interest rate for new loans made on or after July 1, 2006 from 7.9 to 8.5 percent. • Direct PLUS loans will remain at a fixed rate of 7.9 percent. • Effective date is for loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2006. NOTE: New Stafford Loan interest rates for new loans in both programs will be fixed at 6.8 percent.

  17. FFEL and Direct Loans CONSOLIDATION LOANS • Generally no re-consolidation • Applies within and across programs • Eliminates In-School consolidations in Direct Loans and “early conversion to repayment” consolidations in FFEL • Eliminates Joint Consolidations Effective July 1, 2006

  18. FFEL and Direct Loans (Perkins) • Active Duty Military Deferment: • Provides for a military deferment of up to three years for FFEL, Direct Loan, and Perkins Loans that were first disbursed on or after July 1, 2001. Includes definitions of “active duty” • Effective: July 1, 2006

  19. Cost of Attendance (COA)Need Analysis and Packaging

  20. COST OF ATTENDANCE • COA for less than half-time students may include room and board costs, at school’s option • COA may include, at school’s option, the one-time cost of obtaining the first professional license or certification

  21. CALCULATION OF EFC - 2006-2007 SIMPLIFIED NEEDS TEST AND AUTO ZERO EFC • Increases to $20,000 the threshold under which a family would automatically have an EFC of zero • Eliminates consideration of dependent student’s tax return for both SNT and Auto-Zero EFC • Tax return alternative if family received benefits from a Federal means-tested program

  22. CALCULATION OF EFC - 2006-2007 • Treats all 529 Pre-Paid and Tuition Savings Plans as assets of the owner, unless the owner is the dependent student • Excludes small-businesses from assets • Adds active duty military to the criteria that makes a student independent

  23. CALCULATION OF EFC – 2007-2008 • Income Protection Allowances Increases Income Protection Allowances. • Asset Assessment Rates Decreases Asset Assessment Rates

  24. Student Eligibility

  25. DRUG CONVICTION • Provides that an applicant loses eligibility for Title IV aid only if the drug related offense for which he or she was convicted occurred while the student was receiving Title IV aid.

  26. Return of Title IV Aid

  27. RETURN OF TITLE IV AID (R2T4) • Excludes LEAP/SLEAP • Specifies that scheduled clock hours are used to determine earned aid • Clarifies that multiple leaves of absence are permitted • Limits a grant overpayment due from a student to the amount by which the original overpayment amount exceeds half of the total grant funds received by the student

  28. RETURN OF TITLE IV AID (R2T4) • Requires institution to contact a student prior to making a late or post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds • Requires institution to return funds no later than 45 days after the date that it determines the student has withdrawn • Provides that a student does not have to repay grant overpayments of $50 or less

  29. ACG and National SMART Grants

  30. Rules and Regulations Interim Final Regulations published on July 3, 2006 Invitation to comment through August 17, 2006 for possible changes for 2007-2008 Negotiated Rulemaking to begin in fall for 2008-2009 and beyond. Watch for IFAP announcements Both Programs

  31. Both Programs Authorization and Funding • Funding for these programs is not subject to annual appropriations process: 2006-07 -- $790 million 2007-08 -- $850 million 2008-09 -- $920 million 2009-10 -- $960 million 2010-11 -- $1.01 billion If funding insufficient, ratable reduction. No reduction for 2006-07 Funds not spent in one year are carried over to subsequent years.

  32. Both Programs Award Amounts ACG – • First Academic Year of student’s program of study • $750 • Second Academic Year of student’s program of study • $1,300 National SMART Grant – • Third and fourth academic year of undergraduate study • $4,000 per year for each of 2 years Note: There will be second year ACG and both third and fourth year National SMART Grants in 2006-07.

  33. ACG Eligibility Requirements • U.S. Citizen • Federal Pell Grant recipient • First or second year student in a two or four year degree program • Full-time enrollment • No specific major required

  34. ACG Eligibility Requirements 1st year students • May not have been previously enrolled in a program of undergraduate education • Have completed secondary school program of study after January 1, 2006 2nd year students • Have completed secondary school program of study after January 1, 2005 • Have a 3.0 G.P.A. in an eligible program

  35. ACG Eligibility Requirements • Student must have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study • ED has outlined options to meet requirement in DCL GEN-06-08 and in the interim regulations

  36. ACG Options for Rigorous Program • State Designated Program • State Submitted Program • An advanced or honors secondary school program established by a state and in existence for the 04-05 or 05-06 school year • State Scholars Initiative

  37. ACG Options for Rigorous Program 2. A set of courses as outlined in the Secretary’s May 2 letter to states. 3. Completion of at least two Advanced Placement courses with passing test score of 3 or two International Baccalaureate courses with passing test score of 4

  38. ACG Options for Rigorous Program Courses Similar to State Scholars Initiative • 4 years of English • 3 years of math (Algebra I and above) • 3 years of science (Bio, Chem, Physics) • 3 years of social studies • 1 year of a foreign language

  39. ACG Applicant Self-Identification Process • Department notifies potentially eligible students of how to provide additional eligibility information. • Student provides additional information on website or calls toll-free number. • Department sends student responses to schools.

  40. ACG Documenting Rigorous Program • Institutions are responsible for determining the eligibility of students who ED reported as having self-identified eligibility. • On at least the standard(s) selected by the student. • Institutions are also able to identify eligible students based on records they have (e.g., high school transcripts, test scores).

  41. ACG Documenting Rigorous Program • Documentation from “cognizant authority” can be provided by – • The student • Directly from “cognizant authority” • Home schooled students, the parent or guardian is the cognizant authority • For transfer students, an institution may rely on another school’s determination that student completed a rigorous program. • NSLDS will store the data

  42. ACG Grade Point Average • For second academic year ACG, student must have a GPA of at least 3.0 from the first academic year. • Only determined one time, prior to first disbursement of second academic year award. • Special rule for transfer student – For student who transfers after completing first academic year, the new school must calculate GPA using the grades from all coursework accepted from prior schools.

  43. SMART Grant Eligibility Requirements • U.S. Citizen • Pell Grant recipient for same payment period • Third or fourth year student in a four year degree program • Full-time enrollment in an eligible major • Cumulative 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in student’s eligible program • No rigorous high school program required

  44. National SMART Major Fields of Study SMART Grant Major Fields of Study • Mathematics • Physical Sciences • Designated Foreign Languages • Computer Science • Engineering • Technology • Life Sciences Identified by CIP* code in DCL GEN-06-06 *Classification of Instructional Program

  45. SMART Grant Eligibility Determination • No student self-identification as in ACG • Institutions are responsible for reviewing records to identify all eligible students – • ISIR for Pell Eligibility, Citizenship, and other Title IV eligibility requirements • Academic Records for – • Eligible Major or, if available, intent • GPA • Fulltime Enrollment

  46. Both Programs Disbursements • Funds maintained and disbursed according to Title IV cash management rules. • Disbursements made on payment period basis. • If disbursement is for a cross-over payment period, Pell Grant and ACG/National SMART Grant must be assigned to same award year

  47. Both Programs Disbursements • Student may not receive ACG or National SMART concurrently from more than one school • ACG and National SMART must be received from same school from which Pell Grant is received

  48. Both Programs Need Based Grants • Total of EFC and all estimated financial aid cannot exceed cost of attendance • ACG and National SMART may not replace EFC in need equation • May reduce other aid, including FSEOG, to avoid an overaward. • May reduce ACG/National SMART award to avoid an overaward. • Special treatment of VA benefits • No overaward tolerance

  49. Both Programs Availability of Funds • Initial authorizations in GAPS and COD with Electronic Statements of Account (ESOA) on July 29, 2006. • Not like campus-based. • No institutional allocation, • Like Pell or Direct Loans • First draw downs from GAPS available first week of August 2006 • Schools will receive separate authorization for each program

  50. Both Programs Reporting of Awards and Payments COD XML Common Record -- • Student name • Student SSN • Student date of birth • Student citizenship • Student grade level • Award amount • Disbursement amount