Do Your Policies and Procedures Need an Update?
By Mandy Sponholtz, USA Funds Senior Policy Specialist
The U.S. Department of Education recently issued a clarification that may mean you’ll need to update your school’s aid packaging policies and procedures.
The Department’s announcement corrects information the Department provided in November. That announcement had offered examples regarding the packaging and repackaging of aid when a student regains eligibility due to satisfactory academic progress.
In an April announcement,  the Department notes a clarification to one of those previous examples and provides corrected information.
Here’s “Example B,” with the recently noted clarification shown in italics:
1. Student Enrollment: Student was enrolled in both the fall and spring terms.
2. FAFSA Application Status: Student did not complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid until after the end of the fall term.
3. Student Eligibility: Student did not meet all eligibility requirements until the spring term.
4. Aid Eligibility: Because, while the student was enrolled in the fall term, he or she did not meet all of the eligibility requirements in the fall term, even though the student applied while enrolled (here, during the spring term), the student can only receive Pell Grant funding (and campus-based funding) for the spring term — the term when eligibility was met. However, unless the student was ineligible due to not making SAP, the student can receive Direct Loan funding for all periods of the loan period, including the fall term. A student who is not making SAP regains eligibility only when the student is in compliance with the school’s SAP standards, and does not regain eligibility for a prior period of ineligibility.
The original instruction for this example had indicated that “the student can receive Direct Loan funding for all periods of the loan period.” The update notes an exception to this statement.
USA Funds Compliance AdviserSM can assist if you need help reviewing your school’s SAP and packaging policies and procedures. Contact USA Funds® to learn more.
And if you have questions about SAP and Title IV aid eligibility, send it to us in USA Funds Ask PolicySM, using our online form. USA Funds University also is offering a summer webcast on SAP; register for the Aug. 7 event here.