Click here to download an easily printable Word doc of all sessions or the 2014 Agenda spreadsheet
GS1. Welcome & Federal Update
Session Description: Senior Department of Education officials will present information on current issues for Title IV student aid programs. The session will include updates on the Department's Title IV activities and initiatives, including the Department's on-going and upcoming regulatory efforts.
Day 1, 8:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m., Exhibit Hall A3 & A103
GS4. Overview of 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limits Session Description: This session will provide an overview of the requirements for limiting the timeframe for Direct Subsidized Loan eligibility to 150% of a student's academic program length. It will outline Department of Education and institutional requirements for tracking, monitoring, awarding/originating, and reporting Direct Loans. Presenters will suggest ways for schools to warn students who are approaching the 150% borrowing limit and will discuss the expected timeframes for implementation of the requirements for award years 2013-14 and 2014-15.
1. Welcome to Your First FSA Training Conference
Are you new to the FSA Training Conference? This session will help you navigate the four-day program and determine which sessions will best meet your needs. We will provide an overview of the different categories of conference attendees and services offered at the conference, and we will answer any conference-related questions you may have. Offered once.
2. Basics of Student Eligibility
The administration of the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Programs is an institutional responsibility. One key area where offices outside of financial aid are involved is in the accurate determination of student eligibility. This session will discuss requirements determined by the school and determined by federal systems and database matches. Offered twice.
3. Basics of Satisfactory Academic Progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a school-determined criterion for student eligibility for Title IV aid. At least once per year, institutions must assess whether students are making Satisfactory Academic Progress. This session offers instruction on how to evaluate SAP in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. It will also include an explanation of key concepts such as qualitative and quantitative assessments, pace of completion, and maximum time frame, as well as warning and probation periods, appeals and academic plans. In addition, it will cover the elements that a school is required to include in its SAP policy. Offered twice.
4. Basics of Direct Loans - Credit Hours and Standard Terms
Federal Direct Loans are the most commonly-awarded type of Title IV federal student aid. The rules for awarding Direct Loans are different from other FSA programs and are impacted by the academic calendar at a school. In this session we will discuss the requirements for awarding Direct Loans for programs offered in credit-hours. Offered twice.
5. Basics of Direct Loans – Clock Hours
Federal Direct Loans are the most commonly-awarded type of Title IV federal student aid. The rules for awarding Direct Loans are different from other FSA programs and are impacted by the academic calendar at a school. In this session we will discuss the requirements for awarding Direct Loans for programs offered in clock-hours.
6. Basics of Campus-Based Programs
This session will provide an overview of the three Campus-Based FSA programs: the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and Federal Work-Study (FWS), and the Perkins Loan. The application process for Campus-Based funding, the transfer of funds between programs, and the required institutional match will be covered. Information regarding the rules for awarding and disbursing these funds, which are unique among the Title IV programs, will be discussed. Offered twice.
7. Basics of R2T4 Using Credit-Hour Calendar
Return of Title IV (R2T4) funds can be a complex process. This session will focus on the R2T4 funds provisions for students enrolled in credit-hour programs. Offered twice.
8. Basics of R2T4 Using Clock-Hour Calendar
Return of Title IV (R2T4) funds can be a complex process. This session will focus on the R2T4 funds provisions for students enrolled in clock-hour programs. Offered twice.
9. Basics of Determining Academic Calendars (Standard, Non-Standard, and Non-Term)
This session will explain how different types of academic calendars affect the administration of Title IV aid. Guidance will be provided on how to determine whether a program is structured as standard term, non-standard term, or non-term and how each calendar structure determines what Pell formula is required and how academic years are defined for Direct Loans. Offered twice.
10. Calculating Pell Grants – Credit-Hour Programs
Learn to calculate Pell Grants for programs offered in credit hours. We will discuss Pell payment schedules, Pell formulas one and three, crossover payment periods, and the effect of the Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) calculation on awards. Offered twice.
11. Calculating Pell Grants – Clock-Hour and Non-Term Programs
Learn to calculate Pell Grants for programs offered in clock hour and non- term programs. We will discuss Pell payment schedules, Pell formula four, crossover payment periods, and the effect of the Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) calculation on awards. Offered twice.
12. FSA Information Systems – The Big Picture
Federal Student Aid hosts a number of information systems, software products, and websites to deliver student aid and manage the delivery process. This session presents a high-level interconnected view of the FSA information technology applications used by schools, students, parents, and servicers throughout the student aid life cycle. Topics include a functional overview of each major FSA system, linkages between FSA systems, self-service features of major systems, and user access requirements. Sources of system documentation and call center support for each major system will also be discussed. Offered twice.
13. Return of Title IV Funds – Programs of Study Taught in Modules
This session will focus on the Return of Title IV (R2T4) funds when a student withdraws from a program that is either taught within modules or has modules in the program. Examples will be discussed for both clock-hour and credit-hour scenarios. Offered twice.
14. Managing Title IV Funds: Follow the Money
This session will provide an overview of the updated funding process in the Common Origination and Disbursement System (COD) for Direct Loans, TEACH Grants, Pell Grants, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants (IASG), and for Campus-Based programs in the eCampus-Based system. It will also touch on some of the operational cash management requirements, including the move to all electronic refunds and the updates to the revised Blue Book. Offered four times.
15. Loan Counseling Tools
A one-stop shop for all loan counseling needs is available on StudentLoans.gov! Entrance, exit, and financial awareness counseling all have web-based interactive modules that offer tips and tools to help students understand their financial aid obligations, manage their finances, and choose the best repayment plan for their circumstances. This session will provide an overview of the counseling tools and of the Loan Estimator tool available on StudentLoans.gov. Offered three times.
16. Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System Update
This session will provide current information about the COD system for the 2014-15 processing cycle, including information about system enhancements that have been implemented as a result of recent legislation and overview of enhancements upcoming changes. Offered four times.
17. Federal Loan Servicing Update
Hear how FSA manages change and measures performance in a multi-servicer environment. We will provide updates to many of the servicing issues and challenges that schools and borrowers have faced in the past, and discuss key servicing improvements and decisions regarding process standardization. Offered three times.
18. Title IV Reconciliation: Agreement, Accountability, and Action
This session will focus on the three A's of reconciliation: Agreement, Accountability, and Action. You will learn the action needed so that your school's internal records (both Financial Aid and Business Office) are consistent with FSA systems, as required by regulation. The session is intended for both business and financial aid office personnel and will cover end of year processing and closeout for all Title IV aid programs. Offered four times.
19. Direct Loan Processing: Making COD Work for You
This session will focus on fully using COD to help manage, monitor, and enhance your Direct Loan operations. Strategies and processing considerations are presented to help you get the most out of the COD system. A wide range of practical tips will be presented, including approaches to managing loan origination edits, using COD reports, setting school specific processing options, and how to get the most value out of COD funding and disbursement information. Offered four times.
20. PLUS Processing A to Z
: Do you have questions about Direct PLUS Loan processing? The purpose of this session is to help you originate and disburse PLUS Loans for your borrowers successfully and efficiently. Learn who can obtain a PLUS Loan, how the Direct PLUS Loan process differs from the subsidized or unsubsidized process, what happens in COD when you originate a Direct PLUS Loan, and how the credit check and/or appeals process can affect you, your borrower, and the borrower's endorser. We will also explain how to find PLUS Loan information related to your borrower in COD. Offered four times.
21. All About Modules
Any course in a program that does not span the entire length of a payment period or period of enrollment is considered to be a module. This session will explain how to administer Title IV aid when your standard term academic calendar contains modules. Modules may be included exclusively or in conjunction with full-term courses, year-round, or only during a summer term. We will discuss all of these scenarios.Note: This session does NOT include a discussion of R2T4 with modules, which is covered in session 13, Return of Title IV Funds – Programs of Study Taught in Modules. Offered three times.
In this session, we will recap the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) changes made in 2014 to its websites, reports for schools, and enrollment reporting changes. NSLDS will also inform schools of changes planned for 2015. Offered four times.
23. NSLDS® 2014 Enrollment Reporting
In 2014, many changes were made to enrollment reporting for all schools. This session will review the campus and program-level reporting now required by NSLDS, including situational examples, and guidance on how to prevent common errors. NSLDS will review the 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit impacts now tied to enrollment reporting, and the impacts to students. NSLDS will highlight 2015 enhancements that will focus on improving completion data for schools in NSLDS. Offered four times.
24. School Tools for Aversion and Default Management
The prevention and management of student loan default is a school-wide effort. In this session, we will explain why schools need a comprehensive default prevention plan. Staff will suggest strategies and describe tools that schools can use to identify defaulters and work collaboratively with the federal loan servicers to reduce institutional cohort default rates. Offered four times.
25. Understanding and Managing the CDR Challenge and Appeal Process
This session explores the Cohort Default Rate (CDR) challenge, adjustment, and appeal process. Presenters will also discuss and provide specific examples of special circumstances that may impact the CDR calculation. Participants will learn how to interpret and leverage the Loan Record Detail Report (LRDR) and critical aspects of NSLDS reporting during the challenge and appeal process. They will also receive important tips on how to successfully submit a challenge or appeal and have an opportunity to ask questions regarding CDR management. Offered four times.
26. FSA Assessments: A Tool to Enhance Compliance
This session will show schools how to use the web-based FSA Assessment tool to identify a compliance issue, develop a plan to fix the issue, monitor implementation of the plan, and ultimately be better prepared for audits and program reviews. We will walk through the process using the assessments and identified compliance issues related to verification, conflicting data, Return of Title IV funds, and institutional eligibility. Offered twice.
27. 150% – A Life Cycle View
This session presents an integrated systems life cycle overview of 150% processing. Three major FSA systems are used to implement Subsidized Usage Limit Applies (SULA) requirements – COD, NSLDS, and CPS. While each system has a unique role in receiving, evaluating, monitoring, storing, and reporting SULA data, all of the systems are linked and are mutually dependent. The session will focus on the beginning-to-end flow and use of SULA-related data, between schools, FSA systems, and FSA loan servicers. Offered three times.
28. Income-Driven Repayment Plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Income-driven repayment plans can provide critical relief for federal student loan borrowers who owe more in federal student loans than they earn in a year and for those who work in public service. This session will provide an overview of FSA's income-driven repayment plans, including borrower eligibility criteria and loan forgiveness provisions. We will also explain the relationship between income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Offered four times.
30. Gainful Employment Disclosures
This session will provide information on the Gainful Employment disclosure requirements currently in effect, and an overview of what will be required in the future based on new regulations published before November 1, 2014. Offered four times.
31. Consumer Disclosure Requirements and Tools
This session will focus on the consumer disclosure requirements that have generated the most attention and questions over the last several years, such as the net price calculator and textbook disclosures, as well as a subset of disclosures that are commonly cited in program reviews. In addition to reviewing the requirements, Department officials will discuss the tools and resources that are available to help institutions comply with consumer information provisions. Offered three times.
32. Complying with the Clery Act: Practical Advice for Financial Aid Professionals
Is your school ready for the new campus safety and crime prevention rules? This session will provide a clear explanation of the crime awareness and drug and alcohol abuse prevention requirements that apply to all schools that participate in FSA programs, including new provisions added under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. Learn how to avoid common mistakes and steps you can take to improve compliance at your school. Offered four times.
33. Program Review Essentials & Top 10 Compliance Findings
Would you like to learn about the program review process and the most common compliance findings? We will conduct a walk-through of the program review process, highlighting the areas with the current "Top 10 Program Review and Audit Findings". Learn what you can do to improve your school's program administration and to remain in compliance with Title IV regulations and statutes. Offered four times.
34. How FAAs Report Changes Impacting Institutional Eligibility
The Eligibility and Certification Report (ECAR) displays institutional information upon which Title IV eligibility is based. This session will cover changes that would impact an institution's eligibility for Title IV, particularly the addition of new locations and educational programs. Presenters will explain when and how schools should report such changes to maintain their eligibility. Offered three times.
35. Plug & Play: FSA's Easy-to-Use Resources to Effectively Engage Students & Families
This session will showcase the customizable plug-and-play resources available on StudentAid.gov, FSA's Financial Aid Toolkit, and social media that help simplify the financial aid process and engage students in a meaningful way. We'll show you examples of how schools are easily and effectively leveraging FSA print and online content to reach students, parents, and borrowers. Offered three times.
36. Creating a Successful Student Loan Experience
What can colleges do to improve the chances that student borrowers will have a successful student loan experience? We will discuss how to make successful student loan repayment everybody's business by identifying and monitoring early indicators of repayment issues, addressing potentially risky school business practices, and understanding the characteristics of borrowers who have defaulted on student loans and those who are successfully managing their loans. We will also feedback FSA has received from its borrower outreach campaigns. Offered three times.
37. Financial Literary Resources and Updates: What Student Borrowers Need to Know
College is a period of time when many critical financial decisions are made. Because these decisions can have lifelong impact, students need help making the best choice. During this session, we will share ideas on how to promote financial literacy awareness at your school and suggest new resources and ideas to support such efforts. Data from borrower surveys will illustrate what information students want to know. Offered three times.
38. Understanding Federal Aid Policy and Practice for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
Unaccompanied homeless youth face the challenges of higher education on their own, without basic needs such as food and housing. Many also struggle with histories of abuse or neglect, and deep poverty. This session will explore the unique needs of this population and how to implement financial aid policies and practices on their behalf. It also will provide information about the education and human service professionals with whom financial aid administrators can collaborate to help these students navigate the postsecondary education system. Offered three times.
39. Demonstrating Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Hand-Calculations
Have you ever wondered how the data elements reported on the FAFSA are used to calculate the EFC? Bring paper, pencil, and a calculator to this session to calculate a sample EFC. Information about eligibility for the simplified needs test and automatic zero EFC, and the impact to the EFC calculation will also be discussed. Offered three times.
40. Computers, Privacy, and Data Protection
Over seven months this year, Russian hackers stole more than 1.2 billion username and password combinations in a series of internet heists affecting more than 420,000 websites. In the first six months of this year, eight major data loss incidents occurred at postsecondary educational institutions, potentially compromising the personal data of parents, students, faculty, and alumni. We all have data that could be the target of the next data breach - Are you protected? This session will define a data breach involving Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and the sensitivities a breach presents, identify possible mitigation strategies to avoid a data breach, and discuss the steps schools should take if a data breach occurs. Offered three times.
41. Experimental Sites – INVITE ONLY
This session will provide information about the four new experiments announced in the Federal Register on July 31, 2014. We will provide an update on implementation, review the requirements for each experiment, share information on reporting and evaluation, and discuss schools' implementation plans. Limited to schools that have been notified of their selection as participants in at least one of the new experiments.Offered once.
42. State Authorization
This session will cover the state authorization requirements with which an institution must comply to be eligible for Title IV funding. Both policy and operational considerations will be addressed. Offered three times.
43. What You Need to Know About Education Tax Benefits
Learn how tax credits and deductions can help students and parents save money on the cost of higher education. Specific topics will include the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the tax treatment of Pell grants and scholarships, and Form 1098-T. Offered twice.
44. Direct Loan Consolidation Update
Direct Consolidation Loans allow borrowers to combine two or more of their federal education loans into a new loan, which offers several advantages. But are consolidations right for all borrowers? What criteria should a borrower consider before applying for a consolidation loan? This session is an overview of the Direct Consolidation Loan process and will include a detailed walkthrough of the enhanced application process on StudentLoans.gov. We will also discuss borrower eligibility criteria and what a borrower should consider before applying for a consolidation loan. Offered four times.
45. FISAP/Campus-Based Update
This session will focus on common misconceptions, errors in completing the FISAP, and frequently-asked questions about Campus-Based Programs, Tentative and Final Awards, Supplemental Funding, the Underuse Waiver process, the Community Service Waiver process, and the Title III/V Waiver process. Offered four times.
46. Hands-On FSA Assessments on the Web
In this hands-on session, participants will complete guided activities that will teach them how to use the FSA Assessments tool to enhance program compliance. Offered three times.
47. Hands-On NSLDS®
This session is an introduction to the basic functionality of the NSLDS Professional Access website and will provide an overview of the website's features, including loan and grant history, enrollment reporting, transfer monitoring, and reports. Offered four times.
48. Hands-On COD
This session will offer hands-on experience resolving some of the top school processing issues and introduce you to several new COD enhancements for the 2014-15 award year. So bring your FSA user ID, password, and token and we will practice together using your school information. Note: To maintain privacy of student information, if you share a computer with a colleague that is not from your school you will be using the COD CBT to practice instead of working with your school data. Offered four times.
49. What You Need to Know About the IRS Tax Return Transcript Process
The IRS is continuing to enhance the process for requesting a tax return transcript, which can be used in the federal student aid verification process. Learn more about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, "Get Transcript Online," the IRS2GO mobile app, the use of third parties to obtain tax transcripts, and the transcript request process for victim of IRS identity left. Offered twice.
50. Orientation to the FSA Training Conference and Foreign Schools Staff
Members of the Department of Education will open the 2014 FSA Training Conference Foreign Schools track by offering session recommendations and will introduce the Resource Room representatives with whom Foreign Schools' attendees will interact throughout the conference. Also, Foreign Schools Program Compliance Office representatives will introduce their office's functions. Offered once.
51. Foreign Schools – Awarding Loans
This session will cover the key concepts involved in determining Cost of Attendance (COA), Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA), and awarding Direct Loans. Information on determining loan amounts for student and parent borrowers will be covered. Offered once.
52. Foreign Schools – Program Integrity
This session will cover various topics to assist international schools in successfully understanding and meeting compliance requirements. Topics will include compliance audit procedures, types of letters of credit, circumstances under which a school would need to post a letter of credit with the U.S. Department of Education, how to resolve Institutional Student Information Records (ISIR), and returning funds through G5 for International schools that do not have a U.S. bank account (beginning January 1, 2015, funds may not be returned via paper checks). Offered once.
53. Foreign Schools – Reconciliation
This session will cover the key concepts involved in determining Cost of Attendance (COA), Estimated Financial Assistance (EFA), and awarding Direct Loans. Information on determining loan amounts for student and parent borrowers will be covered. Offered once.
54. Foreign Schools - Direct Loans and the COD System for Foreign Schools
The Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System is integral to processing Direct Loan awards for U.S. students. This session will highlight originating Direct Loan awards with the Direct Loan Origination Tool and online via the COD Reporting website, tracking accepted and rejected data via the COD batch screens, and reconciliation tips using COD Reporting Website financial screens and COD-generated reports. Offered once.
55. Foreign Schools – Medical, Veterinary, Nursing Programs Update
This session will offer a review of various topics pertinent to the administration of foreign medical, veterinary, and nursing programs, to include guidance for obtaining U.S. Medical Licensing Examination data from the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, submitting student level participation data and consumer information, constructing proper clinical agreements, new veterinary eligibility requirements/deadlines. Offered once.
57. Introducing the FSA ID -- the FSA PIN Replacement
Protecting personal information for students, parents, and borrowers begins when they first log into [website name]. Learn about the new FSA ID that will replace the current FSA PIN in Spring 2015 for logging into FSA customer-facing systems. This session will include a demonstration of the new functionality for creating and managing an FSA ID, and demonstrations of how to log into FAFSA, Studentloans.gov, and NSLDS. Offered three times.
58. Gainful Employment Reporting to NSLDS®
The 2014 Gainful Employment regulations included new reporting requirements for schools. This session will review the new requirements regarding NSLDS reporting. Time will also be set aside for attendees to ask questions regarding this recently-published regulation. Offered three times.
BOF1. Minority Serving Institutions (MSI)
In this session, financial aid stakeholders at Historically Black colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally-Controlled Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions will meet with FSA's Minority-Serving and Under-Resourced Schools Division (MSURSDs) staff. Participants will discuss best practices, current challenges and opportunities, and provide feedback on and suggestions for future MSURSD initiatives.
BOF3. Graduate and Professional Schools
In this session, financial aid professionals from graduate institutions will meet with FSA staff to discuss best practices, current challenges, and opportunities.
BOF4. Bursars and Business Officers
In this session, bursars and other school staff will meet to discuss issues important to their business offices, including the cash management rules and Title IV Financial Responsibility Standards.
BOF5. Experimental Sites – Pell Grant Experiments 1 & 2
This session will provide updates on the implementation of the two current Pell Grant experiments. Participating schools will share their experiences and feedback about what worked, what didn't work, and how FSA can assist them going forward. Limited to schools participating in the Pell Grant experiments.
BOF6. Experimental Sites – Ongoing Direct Loan Experiments Session
This session will provide updates on the implementation of current Direct Loan experiments and also the results of 2012-13 reporting. In addition, we will discuss the reporting templates for 2013-14. Schools will share their experiences and feedback about what worked, what didn't work, and how FSA can assist them going forward. Limited to schools participating in the Direct Loan experiments.
BOF7. For-Profit Institutions
This session will provide for-profit financial aid professionals an opportunity to meet collectively to discuss best practices, current challenges, and opportunities.