TASFAA Community Blog

  • 11 Mar 2014 9:42 AM | Anonymous

    Managing Your Cohort Default Rate:
    Contacting Student Borrowers

    By Dave Macoubrie, Vice President of Repayment Solutions

    Each February the U.S. Department of Education issues draft cohort default rates. For some this is good news as their hard work has been validated by a lower cohort default rate. However, for others this is the first time they may be concerned about the trajectory of their cohort default rate. 

    For those concerned, the following questions may come to mind:

    • ·         What am I going to do about it?
    • ·         Should I increase and/or enhance entrance and exit counseling? 
    • ·         Would it be beneficial to offer financial education to my students, increasing their possibility of successful repayment? 
    • ·         For both withdrawn and graduated borrowers, would calling them during their grace period reduce their delinquency and prevent default?
    • ·         For those that are already delinquent or at risk of becoming delinquent, what type of default prevention program should I put in place?

    Budgets, campus-wide participation, staffing or other concerns may make it easier or more difficult to address some, all or none of these. However, if you’re considering default prevention, what are your options?

    1.    Do it yourself;

    2.    Hire an expert vendor;

    3.    Use a combination of efforts.

    If you’ve decided to perform default prevention, it’s important to know what the road ahead looks like. Working with delinquent borrowers has its own unique set of challenges. When they first came to the school they were excited and eager to attend. Now they have left school through withdrawal or graduation. They may have forgotten about their student loans or may not even know they are delinquent; but if they do, they may be apprehensive to communicate out of fear, embarrassment, or other emotions. Each borrower’s response is based on his or her unique individual experiences. 

    The first step is to locate the borrower. One of the first things many students do after leaving school is change addresses. Your ability to locate the student and speak with them has a direct impact on your ability to counsel students. As such, skip tracing is an important function of any default prevention effort. This can be done by calling references, online web searches, social media, or hiring a service. Each of these has pros and cons from cost to staff commitment. However, they are all necessary if you want to connect with students. 

    Determine your contact strategy and formulate a plan. Will you be mailing letters, sending emails or making phone calls? Once you decide on a contact strategy, make sure your letters, emails and scripts for phone calls are legally sound by consulting your legal counsel.

    Before getting started, here are a few questions you might want to consider:

    Who will perform this service on you campus? If you are planning on having staff do this, there are secondary questions which should be answered:

    • ·         How many staff do I need to execute my strategy? If you have a small portfolio, one person may be enough, but what do you do when that person is sick, on vacation or moves to a different department? 
    • ·         The best hours to contact students may not be between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. What hours will this person or staff work, and will it include weekends?
    • ·         How will I train the staff which will be calling? To be effective, each counselor will need to be equipped to answer all repayment plan, deferment, forbearance, discharge, and forgiveness options.
    • ·         Does my staff have the proper skills? Your staff must have good phone skills, be organized and be highly structured to ensure all letters, emails and calls are done according to your established contact strategy. Even if they have been working on the telephone regularly, these will be different types of calls. The counselor will have to convince the borrower to talk with them and be able to motivate them to do something, all while abiding by all rules and regulations related to privacy.

    Counselors can only provide information, but they can’t solve the issue. As such, many vendors use a “warm transfer” process where you, the borrower and the servicer are on the line at the same time, and the servicer helps with the resolution before anyone hangs up. While this is more expensive and takes more time on the call, this effort creates a significant increase in the number of borrowers who complete the resolution agreement.

    Quality control and continuous evaluation will help to prevent future liability. By recording all calls and randomly reviewing a percentage of selected calls, you can evaluate compliance. Many vendors use a form of batch tracking to track when accounts become delinquent and how many were resolved.

    In addition, this system also tracks the history of conversations, letters sent and calls made. This can be done using a spreadsheet if you have a low number of borrowers. However, a more sophisticated system is needed if you have many borrowers.

    As one might imagine, counseling borrowers who are delinquent on their student loans can be a challenge. There are many things that need to be considered to properly tackle default prevention. These are just a few of the questions that should be considered:

    • ·         Are their goals aligned with yours? In other words, are they incented to resolve delinquencies for the long term, and keep them current?
    • ·         Do they have experience working with delinquent borrowers?
    • ·         Do they have a reporting package that clearly and easily presents results?
    • ·         Do they have the ability to record calls and provide those recordings to you?
    • ·         What type of data security technology do they use? Are they FISMA compliant?
    • ·         Can you see what efforts are being done on a specific borrower?
    • ·         Is there a limit to the number of attempts they make to resolve a borrower?
    • ·         Do they warm transfer calls to the servicer when they get the borrower on the line?

    Performing successful outreach not only requires the right strategies and processes, but it may also require working with a partner to help you achieve your goals and objectives. For a comprehensive checklist to contacting borrowers, click here. More information can be found at Inceptia.org.

  • 11 Mar 2014 9:25 AM | Anonymous

    Submitted by Dave Bowman, Regional Marketing Director
    Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.

    For some students, April 15 seems like just another day. For others, the thought of filing their income taxes can be as intimidating as a final exam. Fortunately, there are some helpful answers you can share with your students to make tax season less stressful, keep them in good standing with the IRS, and maybe even help them earn a refund in the process.

    Answers to Common Student Tax Questions

    Do students need to file a tax return?

    Whether or not students need to file a tax return depends on their gross income, filing status, and age. If they're single, under 65, and claiming themselves as an exemption for the 2013 tax filing year, they must file if their gross income was at least $10,000. If they can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return, single, and under 65, they must file if they meet one of the following criteria:

    • ·         Their unearned income was more than $1,000.
    • ·         Their earned income was more than $6,100.
    • ·         Their gross income was more than the larger of:
    • ·         $1,000


    • ·         Their earned income (up to $750) + $350.

    And, just because a student isn't required to complete a tax return doesn't mean they shouldn't. If money was withheld from their paychecks, they should file. It's possible they'll get back most or all of what was withheld.

    What counts as income?

    The following forms of income count for students filling out a tax return.

    • ·         Any interest from financial institutions
    • ·         Income reported by employers on W2 forms
    • ·         Business income earned through freelance or entrepreneurial work (e.g., selling t-shirts, designing a website for a fee, etc.)
    • ·         Some education grants, especially those used for other purposes, such as room and board
    • ·         Income from work study programs

    What forms should students use when filing their taxes?

    W2: A W2 is the United States federal tax form issued by employers that states how much an employee was paid and the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks in the previous year. The amount of taxes withheld is based on the withholding status determined by the W-4 form that's filled out when an employee begins a new job. An employee's withholding status takes into account marital status, dependents, and whether or not the employee wishes to have more than the standard amount withheld from each paycheck.

    1098-E: The 1098-E is a form filed with the IRS that details the amount of interest paid on qualified student loans during the previous year. Students may be able to deduct all or part of the interest paid on qualified student loans, which could reduce the amount they pay in income tax.

    1040: The 1040 form is the standard IRS form individuals use to file their annual income tax returns. Taxpayers use this form to disclose their financial income status for the previous year in order to determine whether additional taxes are owed, or whether the taxpayer is due for a tax refund.

    1040EZ: The 1040EZ form is an alternative to the 1040 income tax form and offers a faster, easier way to file taxes. It's most often used by taxpayers with simple tax situations.

    How should students file their tax return?

    Students have a variety of options available to them when filing their tax return.

    In Person: In addition to local accounting firms, there are numerous tax preparation companies that advertise during tax season. For a small fee, students have the opportunity to work with a tax professional who will complete their income tax returns and walk through the process with them. This may be beneficial for first-time filers, or students with complicated financial situations.

    Online: Many tax preparation companies also offer their services online. Some of these companies even allow for simple forms, such as the 1040EZ, to be filed without charge. This option is great for students who want to file their own taxes quickly and cheaply.

    VITA: For students who want to tackle their income tax returns on their own, there are still some safety nets available to them. Many schools work with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), a national organization that offers free tax assistance for simple tax questions and has many branches available on college campuses. If your students have questions about their tax returns, find out if VITA is available near you.

    For additional information, check out Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax available from http://www.irs.gov.


    Dave Bowman is Regional Marketing Director, East Region, with Great Lakes, serving schools in Kentucky and Tennessee. You can reach Dave at (888) 685-1604, or by email at dbowman@glhec.org. Additional information about Great Lakes can be found online at https://schools.mygreatlakes.org
  • 17 Feb 2014 1:22 PM | Anonymous

    A TASFAA Legacy

    By Cherry Johnson

    Close your eyes and remember your first TASFAA conference, your second and maybe even your third.  Are you remembering being overwhelmed with rules and regulations, acronyms, and people you didn’t know so well?  I do.

    I remember my first TASFAA Conference in 1987.  Saying I was nervous would be stating my feelings mildly.  When I said I would move from recruiting to administering financial aid, I meant to try very hard.  But there was so much hidden fear in that determination … no one else doing financial aid at my small school,  no one to ride with to the annual TASFAA Conference,  share a room, eat meals alongside or calm my jitters.  That is until I met Ann Tinnon. 

    Ann seemed to look across the crowded room and see me!  A novice, an unknown attendee, a shaking in her shoes hiding behind a slight smile first time conference goer.  She approached, smiling, looking me in the eye, extending her hand and saying quite sweetly, “Hello, I am Ann Tinnon.”  My feelings of being a frightened financial aid professional speck were immediately relieved.  Ann walked me around introducing me here and there, assuring and encouraging me, and becoming my friend.  I learned through the next few years this was just Ann’s operating mode.  She cared about our Association and her TASFAA friends and peers as well as many, many students. 

    I am thrilled the Ann Tinnon Scholarship is being revitalized and newer TASFAA members are being introduced to Ann.  We should be spotlighting her legacy of caring for TASFAA, the Association, its members, and the students we serve.  Ann and so many other wonderful financial aid professionals may have departed from us too quickly, but they did bestow their legacy of caring.  Let’s remember and keep carrying that gift as a light into the future.

    Please Support the Ann Tinnon Scholarship Fund and Share A TASFAA Legacy

  • 07 Feb 2014 3:49 PM | Anonymous
    Due to overwhelming demand, TSAC’s Default Aversion Field Reps will repeat this free one-hour webinar on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 2:00 CT/3:00 ET for those unable to be included in the 1st session. To register for the 2nd session, please contact Jill Vickers jill.vickers@tn.gov no later than Tuesday, February 11th. Space is again limited so register today!
  • 07 Feb 2014 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    March 2014 SmartSessions

    Loan Repayment Strategies Part 1: Help your Students Choose the Right Plan for Success

    There are many repayment options available to help students plan for and successfully repay their student loans. Do you know which plans are right for your students? Research indicates that borrowers are more likely to successfully repay loans when they have selected a plan that fits their needs. This webinar will illustrate for you which of the seven repayment plans, including consolidation, will help them enter and successfully complete the repayment process.

    Specific topics covered include:

              The 8 available repayment plans – who qualifies and how?

              Pros and cons of each plan

              Borrower scenarios to help you with your loan counseling

              Techniques for helping your students develop a repayment strategy

    March 4th @ 3:00 PM, Eastern time
    Loan Repayment Strategies Part 1: Help your Students Choose the Right Plan for Success

    Loan Repayment Strategies Part 2:  Understanding Forgiveness, Forbearance, and Deferment

    During the loan lifecycle, students may need to use the available Forgiveness, Forbearance, and Deferment Options as part of a successful repayment strategy.  Do you know how to counsel students about when and how they can and should use these options? This webinar will help you understand how students qualify for these borrower options and when they provide the most benefit to their successful repayment strategy.

    Specific topics covered include:

              Understanding deferment, forbearance, and forgiveness options

              Pros and cons of each option

              Borrower scenarios to help you with your loan counseling

              Techniques for helping your students develop a repayment strategy

    March 5th @ 3:00 PM, Eastern time
    Loan Repayment Strategies Part 2:  Understanding Forgiveness, Forbearance, and Deferment

    Professional Judgment Perplexities

    Professional Judgment helps you target funds to students with exceptional need. But Professional Judgment principles must be applied wisely and responsibly in order to be effective and compliant. 

    This participatory session reviews complex case studies to show how you can help students get the aid they need by making adjustments to either the expected family contribution (EFC) or the student’s cost of attendance.

    Specific topics covered include:

    • Why and when to use professional judgment
    • Permissible actions and required documentation
    • Common scenarios – loss of income, changes in assets, extraordinary expenses
    • Dependency override
    • Maintaining a professional judgment policy

    March 6th @ 12:00 PM, Eastern time

    Professional Judgment Perplexities

    March 25th @ 3:00 PM, Eastern time

    Professional Judgment Perplexities

    Crafting an Effective Default Prevention Plan

    Cohort Default Rates are expected to rise at many schools. A comprehensive default prevention plan is an essential starting point for improving student loan outcomes. This session will cover the basics, including why your school needs a plan and the resources available to help you develop one.

    Specific topics covered include:

    • Key elements of a default prevention plan
    • Assembling a team
    • Tools for success
    • Putting the plan into action

    March 6th @ 3:00 PM, Eastern time

    Crafting an Effective Default Prevention Plan

    Financial Aid for Beginners

    Learn the basics of financial aid and gain an understanding of how different programs work and how financial need is determined. This session will review how students apply for financial aid and how the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) fits into the application process to help you better respond to the needs of your students and help them see that a college education is possible.

    Specific topics covered include:

    • ·         Deciphering the language of Financial Aid
    • ·         Student eligibility requirements
    • ·         Types of financial aid programs
    • ·         Importance of FERPA privacy provisions

    March 11th @ 12:00 PM, Eastern time

    Financial Aid for Beginners

    March 18th @ 3:00 PM, Eastern time

    Financial Aid for Beginners

    Understanding the FAFSA: It All Starts Here

    Get a comprehensive overview of the FAFSA. This session steps you through the FAFSA line by line. We’ll help you feel comfortable assisting your students so they can correctly complete this crucial first step to receiving federal financial aid.

    Specific topics covered include:

    • Applying for financial aid
    • Answering dependency questions
    • Processing the FAFSA

    March 11th @ 3:00 PM, Eastern time

    Understanding the FAFSA: It All Starts Here

    March 18th @ 12:00 PM, Eastern time

    Understanding the FAFSA: It All Starts Here

    Applying Federal Methodology

    How is a student’s financial need determined? Learn how Federal Methodology is used to calculate a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC)undefinedand be able to calculate an EFC. You’ll be better prepared when making financial aid awards.

    Specific topics covered include:

    • ·         Purpose of Federal Methodology
    • ·         Guiding principles of Need Analysis
    • ·         Components
    • ·         Manual EFC calculations
    • ·         Special circumstances

    March 12th @ 12:00 PM, Eastern time

    Applying Federal Methodology

    March 19th @ 3:00 PM, Eastern time

    Applying Federal Methodology

    Understanding the Verification Process

    Baffled by the complexities of verification? This session will give you the information you need to simplify the verification process into three easy steps. We’ll also define some common issues found during the review process and how you can resolve them.

    Specific topics covered include:

    • Understanding verification requirements
    • Step-by-step instructions for reviewing documentation and completing the verification process
    • How to resolve verification findings

    March 12th @ 3:00 PM, Eastern time

    Understanding the Verification Process

    March 19th @ 12:00 PM, Eastern time

    Understanding the Verification Process

    Database Matches: Resolving Common Comment Codes

    This session reviews how the database matches following FAFSA completion impact student aid eligibility and what you can do to help resolve any issues that arise. Leave feeling confident about resolving C-codes and conflicting information.

    Specific topics covered include:

    • ·         Review of the Central Processing System database matches
    • ·         Guidance on resolving database mismatches
    • ·         Types of conflicting information and how to resolve them

    March 13th @ 12:00 PM, Eastern time

    Database Matches: Resolving Common Comment Codes

    March 20th @ 3:00 PM, Eastern time

    Database Matches: Resolving Common Comment Codes

    Loans I: Understanding the Basics

    Learn the basic details of the different federal loan programs so you can better understand, process, and encourage your students to make good borrowing decisions.

    Specific topics covered include:

    • ·         Guidelines for educating students on the impact of borrowing loans
    • ·         Types of federal loans and how they compare
    • ·         Using NSLDS
    • ·         The consequences of delinquency and default and what you can do to help borrowers avoid them

    March 13th @ 3:00 PM, Eastern time

    Loans I: Understanding the Basics

    March 20th @ 12:00 PM, Eastern time

    Loans I: Understanding the Basics

    Loans II: Helping Students Succeed in Repayment

    Gain a deeper understanding of preparing students for repayment. This session will cover borrower options for repayment and the consequences of default. You’ll come away with a thorough knowledge of loan basics that will help you educate your students on the impact of borrowing student loans.

    Specific topics covered include:

    • ·         Repayment options available to students
    • ·         How to prepare your students for repayment
    • ·         The consequences of delinquency and default and what you can do to help borrowers avoid them

    March 14th @ 12:00 PM, Eastern time

    Loans II: Helping Students Succeed in Repayment

    March 21st @ 3:00 PM, Eastern time

    Loans II: Helping Students Succeed in Repayment

  • 07 Feb 2014 10:11 AM | Anonymous

    Six Tips for Connecting with Millennials

    By Miran Saric
    Inceptia Marketing Intern and Graduate Student

    When it comes to communicating with the millennial generation, you may be flooded with an abundance of communication channels that could simultaneously set you up for misunderstanding.

    Because many millennials are at a key point in their lives -college and post-college years - it is critical to reach out to them in order to assist them in a period where many important financial decisions need to be made. Millennials themselves are often misunderstood and viewed as an age group that’s difficult to connect and communicate with, but by taking the right steps to contact them you can develop a healthy and successful relationship.

    Here are some suggestions to effectively reach millennials and start discussions on their finances and student loans.

    Don’t water down your message. Due to the instant messaging and 140-character-limit age we live in, one might be tempted to scale down their message to the bare minimum in order to grab millennials’ attention. However, this is an ambitious and intelligent generation that appreciates intelligent discourse. As the Pew Research millennial study states, “Millennials are on course to become the most educated generation in American history, a trend driven largely by the demands of a modern knowledge-based economy, but most likely accelerated in recent years by the millions of 20-somethings enrolling in graduate schools, colleges or community colleges in part because they can’t find a job.” This is why

    discussions with them must be of intelligent nature.

    Embrace social media. Reports vary in stats, but the majority state that at least 90 percent of millennials use social media and well over 50 percent use smartphones. This is a rich environment for fostering dialog that allows for two-way conversation and an opportunity to engage with your organization. Not only can you start a conversation, but by posting links and flexible content you give millennials the opportunity to further share your posts and increase your following and exposure.

    Reach out at all hours of the day. Millennials are plugged-in 24/7 thanks to mobile technology and social media. If you have any updates, reminders and information to share, then schedule them on social media at all hours without any hesitation. However, be prepared to respond in a reasonable amount of time to keep the conversation going.

    Don’t overload this age group with information. You’re not the only one who has social media available to them 24/7, so be aware that millennials’ attention spans will be put to the test. If you feel that you’re posting too much information, target individuals who need the most attention and instant message them. Nearly every social media platform allows for individual, private messages, so use them to your advantage

    Interactive media is a must. Rather than telling millennials about the grace period process, for example, show them what to do through a short video. Include infographics as often as possible and photo sharing sites such as Instagram are booming in popularity. The best thing about interactive and rich content is that it’s usually inexpensive to create and is easily shareable.

    Remember millennials are career and future-oriented. When reaching out to them, seek to aid them, show them how your program or services cannot only help them in the immediate sense but also how it can set them up for future successes. Focus on the gratification aspect of your relationship and what you can do for them.

    When reaching out to millennials to discuss finances and financial educations, do not be afraid to use all methods available. Millennials are receptive to communication as long as you employ their preferred methods and in a manner in which they’ll appreciate. For more research on this generation, visit the Pew Research Millennial Generation research center. It’s slightly dated but still provides excellent data on this generation.


  • 05 Feb 2014 11:04 AM | Anonymous
    FSA guidance:

    Pell Grants

    As noted in our recently posted Dear Colleague Letter GEN-14-01, the maximum Pell Grant amount for 2014-2015 is $5,730 with a maximum Pell eligible EFC being 5157. For a listing of all of our Pell payment and disbursement schedules for 2014-2015, please see GEN-14-01 - http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN1401.html.


    As mentioned in the November 8, 2013 electronic announcement that discussed ED’s suggested text for the verification process in 2014-2015, beginning with the 2013 tax year, a tax filer who is not able to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript because of identity theft, will be able to call a special IRS toll-free number (1-800-908-4490) for assistance. Upon verification of identity, the tax filer can request the IRS provide a paper copy of an alternative document unique to identity theft issues (a Tax Return Data Base View form - TRDBV).

    Another change beginning with tax year 2013 is with regards to requesting tax return transcripts online. Once an online transcript request is validated, the IRS will return in real-time, a transcript in a portable document format (pdf). Tax filers can then print, save and/or forward the pdf transcript as instructed by the school.

    One important point to keep in mind when discussing transcripts is that regardless of the request method, the IRS cannot produce a transcript if it has not yet processed the filed tax return.

    These updates and other guidance related to transcripts will be provided in an upcoming electronic announcement – stay tuned to IFAP.

    And finally, please remember that all schools are required to update the verification identity and high school completion status results for students selected in 2014-2015 under verification tracking groups V4 and V5 in FAA Access to CPS Online. The updates are required for students for whom the school received an ISIR with a Verification Tracking Group of V4 or V5 AND for whom the school requested verification documentation. Please do NOT include students the school selected for verification of identity or high school completion status. For more information, including potential time frames, instructional steps, and system guidance, please see the November 13, 2013 electronic announcement.

    150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limitations
    I continue to receive a high volume of calls and emails around the new 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limitations. I am glad to announce that ED recently created a webpage dedicated to the 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limitations which can be found on the right-hand side of the IFAP.ed.gov homepage (http://ifap.ed.gov/150PercentDirectSubsidizedLoanLimitInfo/index.html). This webpage contains federal registers, Dear Colleague Letters, Electronic Announcements, over 50 Q & As, and various training and reference materials. We are providing information on this topic on a regular basis and it is very important to monitor IFAP for any updates and new information.

    One of the newest pieces of information related to the 150% Direct Subsidized Loan limitations is the release of the final federal register dated January 17, 2014. The major changes to the regulations include –

    •- Usage period calculations will now be rounded to the nearest 10.0 percent and not to the lowest 25.0 percent.
    •- Both exceptions to the standard subsidized usage period calculations will now apply to borrowers who are enrolled part-time and receive the annual loan limit for a period of enrollment less than an academic year. First the annual loan limit exception will be applied and then the part-time exception will be applied.
    •- There are two new adjustments to the Maximum Eligibility Period (MEP) Calculations for 2-year bachelor’s degree completion programs and special admission associate degree programs.
    •o Two-year bachelor’s degree completion programs that require an associate degree or 2 years of postsecondary coursework for admission is considered to be 4 years long (MEP = 6 years).
    •o Special admission associate degree programs that require an associate degree or at least two years of coursework for admission is considered to be four years long (MEP = 6 years). In addition, to be considered a special admission associate degree program, the program must have a selective admissions process and the coursework must be necessary for licensure or certification by the State for the student’s profession.
    For more information on the recently published final federal register please see our electronic announcement dated January 17, 2014 - http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/011714RevisedFinalRegulationsPublished150PercentEANum8.html.

    High School Diplomas

    Policy recently created a new category under the program integrity Q & A website entitled “high school diploma.” This category covers common questions dealing with when to verify high school diplomas, high school diploma equivalents, foreign high school diplomas, certificates of completion and many other key questions. For more information, please review the new high school diploma category on the program integrity website which can be found on the right-hand side of the IFAP homepage or at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2009/integrity-qa.html.

    Gainful Employment Disclosures

    The long awaited ED disclosure template for GE programs was released back in November 2013. To access the disclosure template application, the institution must go to the following website: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2009/negreg-summerfall.html. All institutions must update their GE Program disclosures with the 2012-2013 award year information no later than January 31, 2014 using the released template process.

    In addition, institutions must prominently provide a direct link from the home page of the GE Program website to the program’s disclosure page that was generated by the disclosure template application. Any technical questions regarding the template can be directed to (855) 359-3697 or gedt@inovas.net.

    For more information regarding the GE disclosure template, please see our GE electronic announcement #46 dated November 22, 2013.

    Final Federal Register – 11/1/13 – Loans II

    One specific item I wanted to highlight from our final federal register dated November 1, 2013 that dealt with loans was our regulation regarding minimum loan periods for transfer students in non-term credit and clock hour programs. The new regulation under 34 CFR 685.301(a) (10) states –

    •- (ii) For a student who transfers into a school from another school and the prior school originated a loan for a period of enrollment that overlaps the period of enrollment at the new school, the new school may originate a loan for the remaining portion of the program or academic year. In this case the school may originate a loan for an amount that does not exceed the remaining balance of the student’s annual loan limit.

    Under this new regulation it does not matter if hours transfer in or not. This regulation can be implemented early as of November 1, 2013.

    In addition, below are some basic principles tied to the overlapping of Academic Years and loan periods in non-term settings –

    1. The abbreviated loan period starts when the student starts at school B.
    2. The abbreviated loan period ends when the AY would have ended at School A and it does not matter how many hours or weeks of instructional time the student has completed.
    3. The amount that can be borrowed in the abbreviated loan period is any remaining amount of the annual loan limit that was not disbursed at School A.
    4. The first disbursement of the remaining balance loan borrowed for attendance at School B would be disbursed at the beginning of the loan period. The loan must be multiply disbursed in at least two disbursements over the abbreviated loan period unless School B is subject to the low CDR rule, with the second disbursement of the loan disbursed at the calendar midpoint of the abbreviated loan period regardless of how many clock/credit hours or weeks of instructional time have been completed.
    5. The next loan period at School B would begin the day after the last day of the abbreviated loan period.
    6. The next loan period would be subject to the normal BBAY3 rules in that the student must complete hours and weeks of instructional time before qualifying for the second disbursement and to progress to the next academic year for annual loan limit purposes.

    Net Price Calculator

    In our electronic announcement dated January 27, 2014, we indicated that the latest version of the Department's Net Price Calculator template, which reflects data from the 2012-2013 award year, is now available at the Department's Net Price Calculator Information Center (http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/resource/net_price_calculator.asp). Please ensure your NPC has been properly updated with your 2012-2013 award year information.

    REACH FSA Phone Number

    And in case you sometimes forget the phone number of your favorite FSA Customer Service Center or System representative, don’t forget about Reach FSA. REACH FSA is a new phone line designed to provide the financial aid community with simplified access to FSA School Contact Centers. Schools now have the option of calling one number, 1-855-FSA-4-FAA (1-855-372-4322), to connect immediately to any of the following FSA School Contact Centers:

    •· Campus-Based Call Center

    •· Central Processing System (CPS)/ Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) Technical Support

    •· Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) School Relations Center

    •· eZ-Audit Help Desk

    •· FSA Research and Customer Care Center (RCCC)

    •· Foreign Schools Participation Division

    •· G5 Hotline

    •· National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Customer Support Center

    •· Nelnet Total and Permanent Disability Servicer

    •· School Eligibility Service Group

    For more information about REACH FSA, please see our electronic announcement dated November 15, 2013.

    Your neighborhood FED,


    David Bartnicki

    Federal Training Officer


  • 30 Jan 2014 5:44 PM | Anonymous

    ……….. Ann Tinnon.      

    As many of you are aware, the TASFAA President each year presents a scholarship award to a student at their institution.  I remember as TASFAA President in 1995-96 presenting that award to two Vanderbilt students who worked as work-study assistants in the Office of Student Assistance.  It was a small award at that time, but each received $250.00 and expressed such gratitude.

    For many years the award was simply the “TASFAA Presidential Scholarship”.  But, that changed in 1993 when TASFAA suddenly lost a dear friend and colleague, Ann Tinnon.  To honor her, the TASFAA Board changed the name to the “Ann Tinnon Memorial Scholarship”.  I remember when I told Peyshun and Kelly that they were receiving the “Ann Tinnon Memorial Scholarship”, I told them about Ann and what Ann had meant to me, to the financial aid profession and to TASFAA.

    So, over the next few weeks leading up to the Spring TASFAA Conference you as current TASFAA members will learn a great deal about the beautiful and talented Mrs. Tinnon.

    She most recently touched my life in January of 2013, when I lost my husband of 44 years.  Many of my family, friends and TAFAA colleagues were asking what they could do to honor him.  I pulled out a Memory Box that he had given me for our 25th Anniversary, and discovered there the answer to those questions.  He believed in my career choice, and always said my career was really and truly my calling.  He had placed in that box all of the Thank You notes that I had received from students and their parents over the years.  I pulled that box out often when I became discouraged with the hustle and bustle of financial aid. There I found a copy of an old TASFAA CROSSFEED newsletter containing a picture of Ann.

    I asked that anyone who wanted to give to make a contribution to the “Ann Tinnon Memorial Scholarship”.    And, many of you who will be reading this did just that.


    Jane Pennington



    A brief history of Ann”

    • ·         TASFAA President 1982-83
    • ·         TASFAA Executive Board member
    • ·         Active Committee member
    • ·         Publisher of TASFAA’s Admissions and Financial Aid Handbook for counselors and students
    • ·         1984 TASFAA Distinguished Service Award
  • 30 Jan 2014 5:28 PM | Anonymous

    DE is scheduled to release the Draft FY2011 3-Year Cohort Default Rate packages on February 18th. Schools have a 45 day window to challenge errors. Do you know how to review data in your LRDR, identify irregularities, research data and file a challenge? Help is on the way! 

    TSAC's Default Aversion Field Reps are presenting a free one-hour webinar, "Draft CDRs: Reviews and Challenges" on Wednesday, February 12th at 9:00 CT/10:00ET. To register, contact Jill Vickers jill.vickers@tn.gov no later than Friday February 7th. Space is limited -- register today!
  • 17 Jan 2014 4:44 PM | Anonymous

    Beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, the awarding process for the Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA), the state’s need-based grant program, will change.  Applications with a completion date (an application that is complete and error free) by March 1 will be considered.  The maximum Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will remain at 2100. 

    Below is a summary of the awarding process:

    • Renewals, TSAA recipients who received an award in the prior year (2013-14), will be given first priority if their applications are complete by March 1.  Renewal students must continue to have an EFC of 2100 or less to receive the award. 

    • All other eligible applicants who have a completion date on or before March 1will be ranked based on their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and completion date after the deadline.

    o   Applicants with a zero EFC will be given first priority.


    o  If funding remains after awarding zero EFC students then awards will be made to applicants with EFCs greater than zero. 

     Students should continue to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov as early as possible after January 1.  If you have questions about the new awarding methodology, please contact Naomi Derryberry at (615) 253-7478 or naomi.derryberry@tn.gov or Tim Phelps at (615) 253-7441 or tim.phelps@tn.gov

    Tim Phelps
    State Programs Chair




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