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Latest from FSA: Ask a FED

November 26, 2014

bartnickiFederal Training Officer David Bartnicki recently shared these updates:


In lieu of a paper W-2, a school may accept a wage and income transcript from the IRS which contains all of the W-2 information as long as it is received in a timely manner to complete the verification process. We hope to include this information in a future notice.

Courses Outside a Program of Study

Based upon recent questions and compliance concerns I wanted to remind schools that Title IV aid cannot be used to pay for courses that fall outside of a student’s program of study, with the exception of remedial coursework or preparatory coursework. In the FSA HDBK Vol. 1 page 14 we state – “If a student is enrolled in courses that do not count toward his degree, certificate, or other recognized credential, and they cannot be used to determine enrollment status unless they are eligible remedial courses. This means you cannot award the student aid for classes that do not count toward his degree, certificate, or other recognized credential.”

This approach stems from our definition of a regular student in 34 CFR 600.2 which states that a regular student is one that – “ is enrolled or accepted for enrollment at an institution for the purpose of obtaining a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential offered by that institution.” In other words, Title IV funds are generally intended to pay for courses that go towards a student’s program of study to assist them in obtaining an academic credential.

As mentioned, two exceptions to this general understanding is remedial and preparatory coursework. If a student is accepted into a program of study and needs to take remedial coursework as part of their program, they can be paid Title IV funds for up to one academic year’s worth of remedial coursework (30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, and 900 clock hours).

In addition, a student not enrolled in a degree or certificate program is eligible for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans (and a parent may receive Direct PLUS Loans on behalf of a dependent student) for up to one year (one consecutive 12-month period) if he/she is taking coursework necessary for enrollment in an eligible program and is enrolled in those courses at least halftime. This coursework is often referred to as preparatory or prerequisite coursework since in order to receive any Title IV aid for these types of courses the coursework must be required to be admitted into a program of study. Please note that if a student is already admitted into a program, Title IV aid cannot be used to pay for preparatory or prerequisite coursework. For more information about preparatory and prerequisite coursework, please see the FSA HDBK Vol. 1, chapters 1 and 6.

Perkins Liquidation and Assignment

ED posted an electronic announcement on November 13, 2014 announcing that complete information about Federal Perkins Loan Portfolio liquidation and assignment is now available in a permanent, centralized location on the Campus-Based Processing Information Page on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site. From the IFAP Web site’s home page, click on the Processing Resources box then click on the Campus-Based Processing Information link. Perkins Liquidation and Assignment information is highlighted in an orange box on the right side of the page. Changes or updates to Perkins liquidation or assignment documents will be brought to the community’s attention through future electronic announcements.

FSEOG and FWS waivers

I have been getting a lot of questions lately on whether or not schools have to annually apply for a FSEOG and FWS waiver of matching funds. The timeframe really depends on whether you currently have a TITLE III/V grant or not. In order to obtain a waiver for matching funds for FSEOG or FWS, a school must be eligible to apply for a TITLE III/V grant. In order to see if a school would be eligible to apply for a TITLE III/V grant, a school must apply electronically with OPE. If approved, a school will obtain a waiver for matching funds for FSEOG and FWS for one year. However, if the school actually applies for and receives a TITLE III/V grant, the school can receive a waiver for FWS/FSEOG matching funds for the duration of their TITLE III/V grant.

For specifics about the electronic application process to apply for a new grant under the Title III or Title V programs or in requesting a waiver of the non-Federal cost share for FWS and/or FSEOG, please see the federal register dated 11/3/14 – Please note that all applications must be received by December 18, 2014. If you have questions about your current waiver duration or any concerns about the FSEOG/FWS waiver of matching funds process, please feel free to contact the Campus-Based Call Center at 877-801-7168.

FSA Training Conference

I cannot believe that the FSA Training Conference is just around the corner. For those schools planning on attending, here are just a few reminders:

1) Registration

  • Registration will close on Friday, November 21. If you are registered, but no longer plan to attend, you can cancel your registration by clicking on the cancellation link in your confirmation e-mail, or by contacting If you would like to register, please go to the FSA conference website ( and click on registration.

2) Lodging

3) Ask-a-Fed Appointments

  • Do you have questions that may require more time than a quick visit to the Ask-a-Fed area? If so, you can schedule a 30-minute one-on-one appointment (on the hour or half hour) with an Ask-a-Fed representative. Appointment times are available Tuesday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and Friday from 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
  • To request an appointment, please send an e-mail with three date and time preferences to no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 26. We will schedule your appointment and send you an e-mail confirmation. Appointments are available on a first- come, first-served basis. If you are unable to schedule an appointment, there will be plenty of FSA staff available to assist you throughout the day at our Ask-a-Fed area in the Resource Center.

4) Session Presentations, Program and Agenda

  • Beginning on November 19, we will post session presentations as they become available. Please go to the FSA Conference website ( and click on the sessions and agenda link to view posted presentations.
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