Federal Updates at a Glance

Federal Update sessions at FSA's recent conference covered a range of topics of interest for financial aid administrators.

A summary of Federal Updates for financial aid administrators includes PSLF, borrowers defense and other topics.
Our Federal Update summary includes PSLF, borrowers defense, IDR plans and other topics. Photo by Unsplash.

By Rick Cox

We offer a guide at a glance to remaining highlights on Federal Updates from the FSA conference.

  • The definition of full-time employment for PSLF is the only regulation eligible for early implementation.
  • For colleges that participate in the Direct Loan Program, a new provision in the Program Participation Agreement will prohibit institutions from entering into predispute agreements. Enrollment agreements cannot include these. For those already in existence, the institution must amend the agreements or provide a notice that these will not be enforced.
  • Final rules improve borrower defenses.
  • Allows group discharges for prior final Secretarial actions against an institution.
  • The final rules also establish a reconsideration process for new evidence, administrative or technical errors, or for loans disbursed before July 1, 2017, state law standard.
  • The Department of Education amended REPAYE rather than create another income-based repayment plan.
  • The final rules made changes to Income-Driven Repayment Plans to streamline the recertification process and allow certain periods of forbearance and deferments to count toward forgiveness.
  • The department also removed the stipulation for resetting the clock for forgiveness when consolidating eligible loans in all IDR plans.
  • The changes also allow borrowers who are at least 75 days delinquent to be automatically enrolled in an IDR plan.
  • Prison Education Programs (PEPs) were established with the final rules (consensus was reached). This allows incarcerated individuals to receive Pell Grants for enrollment in eligible programs.
  • A reminder that institutions must provide notice to the department and to students of an upcoming change of ownership.

For more Federal Update highlights, please see our January 24, 2023, blog.

Rick Cox is Global’s Executive Director of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance