18 Jan What Will Be New in Financial Aid for 2017?

by Stacey Musulin, CT State Colleges and Universities

At the 2016 Federal Student Aid (FSA) conference in Atlanta, GA held November 29th – December 2nd, representatives from the Department of Education communicated some changes.  Note that in some cases, implementation is contingent on the priorities of the new administration, which as of this writing are not fully known. Powerpoint presentations of all the sessions are currently available on http://fsaconferences.ed.gov/2016sessions.html, with video recordings to follow in the near future.

Below are summaries of just some of the changes that will/may be coming our way in the New Year:


  • Soon there will be an online process (including an online G-845 form) developed by the Department of Homeland Security to confirm aid eligibility for students who are not US Citizens.


  • A new schema for COD records is coming in March. This will facilitate sending program information on Pell and Direct Loan disbursement records (related to GE) for the 2017-2018 aid year.


  • The 2018 – 2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will:
    • Eliminate the Amended Return question and allow use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) for applicants who have filed an amended return. However, a new “amended” code that is returned on the ISIR will let financial aid administrators know that the imported information is not valid for verification purposes, since it only reflects data as of the original filing.
    • Have a link so all non-filers are prompted right away to get verification of non-filing documentation from the IRS! (the crowd cheered at that announcement)
    • Allow more questions to be answered by homeless youth aged 22 and 23, thus giving schools more information about this population.
    • Hopefully be formatted for mobile device use/ access.


  • The FSA ID site will be upgraded for 2018-2019 to include:
    • More instructions and videos
    • The ability to send username and password reminders in real time via text!


  • COD trainers announced that new monthly Pell Account Statements (similar to those for Direct Loans) are coming to a SAIG mailbox near you!


  • A new system is coming in mid-2017 to replace the eApp and eZ-Audit systems. Called Integrated Partner Management (IPM), this system will:
    • Allow users to upload docs electronically
    • Store Program Review information and reviewers requests for information
    • Process and store all reimbursement requests for schools having Heightened Cash Monitoring
    • Not have all historical documentation for Program Reviews. Only if reviews are currently in-process will the information be carried over.
  • Note that FAAs will need to log into IPM see notifications and requests for additional information during Programs Reviews (no automatic emails at this time). As of the conference, FSA trainers were unsure if State audit results will also be housed in IPM.


  • Gainful Employment (GE) Disclosure Information:
    • The GE Disclosure Template release was delayed. It was released Thursday, January 19, 2017. The deadline to use the new disclosure template is April 3, 2017.
    • The new template format has changes to align better with the College Scorecard.
    • Disclosures will be printable.
    • State licensure requirements will also be included.
    • Don’t forget that ED has a one-stop online shop for all things Gainful Employment, including information about recently-released GE Debt-to-Earnings Ratios on IFAP.


  • Finally, we can expect in the near future (1-2 months), very specific guidance about privacy of student records and overall data security. This will include clarifications on how to remain compliant with the many current laws and regulations around this topic. The following current guidance was referenced:


Stay tuned to IFAP, NASFAA, and CAPFAA for more information as we progress into the new year.