Summary: Compliance with a new Federal requirement relating to electronic participation between the Department of Education (ED) and postsecondary educational institutions.
I am writing to ask for your support as your financial aid, business
office, and computing services staff ensure that your institution is in
compliance with a new Federal requirement relating to electronic
participation between the Department of Education (ED) and
postsecondary educational institutions. The new requirement
provides that schools must participate in certain electronic processes
for the administration of Federal student aid programs.
Enforcement actions that may be taken against a school that is not
in compliance could include termination from all participation in
the Federal student aid programs
Under separate cover, we have sent your institution's financial aid
administrator a letter (1998-99 Action Letter #2) that includes a
comprehensive explanation of each of the required electronic
processes and their implementation dates. I have enclosed with this
letter a copy of the table from the Action Letter that lists the
technical specifications schools must have in order to be in
Many institutions will find that they already participate in all or
most of the required processes. Some will need to expand their
electronic participation, while a few will become "electronic" for
the first time. An institution may meet this requirement by utilizing
software provided by the Department or software developed by the
institution or a vendor, in accordance with specifications provided
by the Department. Alternatively, an institution may meet this
requirement by the use of a third party servicer.
I would also like to especially remind you of the need for your
school to be "Year 2000 Compliant" with regard to the processing
of financial aid data. Year 2000 Compliant means that all of your
data processing systems, procedures, and protocols are designed to
handle the upcoming change in the century. We will be sending a
separate more specific letter to your financial aid officer within the
next few weeks describing this issue in more detail.
Let me thank you in advance, for your cooperation and support as,
together, we move toward creating an efficient and cost effective
Federal student aid delivery system.
Elizabeth M. Hicks
Deputy Assistant Secretary,
Student Financial Assistance Programs