News and Notes

  • News and Notes

    1. On Wednesday, May 27, 2015, the IRS announced its "Get Transcript" application had been compromised by cyber criminals. Over 100,000 taxpayers' accounts were illegally accessed. The "Get Transcript" application has been temporarily disabled. The IRS has taken several additional measures to protect taxpayers and their confidential information. 

      This impacts students and families who may be requesting tax transcripts to complete their financial aid process. At this time, tax transcripts are only available when requested by mail and take up to ten days for delivery. Students and parents are strongly encouraged to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) available within
    2. On June 26, 2013 the Supreme Court struck down a section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), legislating that now, for purposes of federal programs, a marriage is no longer exclusively between one man and one woman. In addition, for purposes of the Title IV HEA programs, a student or a parent is considered married if the student or parent was legally married in any domestic or foreign jurisdiction that recognizes the relationship as a valid marriage, regardless of where the couple resides. The Department of Education is applying a “place of celebration” rule. Accordingly, it has determined that any legal marriage that is recognized by the jurisdiction in which the marriage was celebrated will be recognized for Title IV HEA program purposes without regard to whether the marriage is between persons of the same sex or opposite sex, and without regard to where the couple resides.  This determination applies only to marriages. It does NOT apply to registered domestic partnerships, civil unions, or similar formal relationships recognized under state law. 

    3. Beginning with the 2014-2015 FAFSA
      • Dependent students must provide information for both of their legal parents (biological or adoptive) if the parents are living together, regardless of the parents’ marital status or gender. 
      • A new response of “Unmarried and both parents living together” has been added to the parents’ marital status question on the FAFSA.

        This change does not impact the longstanding provision that when the parents of a dependent student are divorced, the only parent that needs to provide information is the one that the student resided with for the greater portion of the 12 months preceding the completion the FAFSA.

    4. Statute:  On July 6, 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) was enacted (P.L. 112-141).
      Limit on how many years a “first-time borrower” may receive subsidized loans.
      • Applies to first-time borrowers on or after July 1, 2013.  A first-time borrower is one who:
        • Has no balance on any FFEL or Federal Direct Loan on July 1, 2013, or
        • Receives first Federal Direct Loan (any type) on or after July 1, 2013.
      • When student has received Federal Direct Subsidized loans for a period of time that is equal to 150% of the published length of the student’s current academic program, then the student may no longer receive subsidized loans for enrollment in that program or any program of equal or lesser length.
      • A student’s maximum time to receive subsidized loans is established based on the length of the program the student is enrolled in.
      • Remaining subsidized eligibility is calculated by subtracting the time the student has already received subsidized loans, from maximum eligibility for the program that the student is currently enrolled.

    5. Per GEN-13-22, "As of October 1, 2013, the sequester increased the origination fees charged to Federal Direct Loan borrowers.  The new loan fee percentages will apply only to loans where the first disbursement is made on or after December 1, 2013. The new loan fees are 1.072 percent for Federal Direct Subsidized Loans and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans and 4.288 percent for Federal Direct PLUS Loans (both parent and graduate student PLUS Loans)." This means it could encompass some 2013-14 loans already originated by the school, such as late fall-only loans, late fall/spring loans, spring-only loans, or even summer 2014 loans, depending on the student's situation. If the school has submitted loan originations to COD that have not disbursed by December 1, 2013 the school must cancel those loans and then resubmit the loan originations with the new (post-December 1, 2013) origination fees, on or after October 18, 2013.