Publication Date: May 2004
DCL ID: GEN-04-05
Additional Information Regarding E-mails to 2004-05 Financial Aid Applicants
Posted on 05-11-2004
Subject: Additional Information Regarding E-mails to 2004-05 Financial Aid Applicants
Summary: As a result of feedback we have received from the financial aid community we are modifying the schedule, selection criteria, and message text for email messages that we will send to certain 2004-2005 FAFSA filers.
We would like to provide additional information regarding the e-mail messages that will be sent to 2004-05 FAFSA filers who, on their latest transaction, provided estimated income information and who provided email addresses. As described in an Electronic Announcement that was posted to IFAP on April 20 (available at http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/0420EstimatedIncomeInfo0405.html), we will be asking those applicants to provide updated income information now that they probably have completed their 2003 tax returns. Since the April 20 IFAP posting, we have received many excellent suggestions from the financial aid community concerning this initiative. Based on that feedback, we have decided to delay the start of the e-mailing until May 17.
Also, we have modified our original e-mail selection criteria to exclude applicants who were selected for verification on their last transaction. And, at the request of many FAAs, and because we do not want to confuse those students who are new to the financial aid application process, we will exclude all first-year students (i.e., students who indicated on their FAFSA that their grade level was "0" or "1"). We will also exclude graduate and professional students. Finally, because this is a new approach for FSA, and we want to test the effectiveness of this e-mail process on a limited pool of applicants, we will further limit the e-mail selection criteria to applicants with EFCs of 7500 or less.
In response to suggestions from the community, we have added text to the e-mail messages stating that applicants who have been asked to submit copies of their 2003 federal tax returns to their schools should not submit corrections, unless instructed to do so by their school(s) [see attachments for the revised e-mail text].
The sending of these e-mails is a one-time event. On May 17 we will create a file of all applicants who meet the selection criteria. Only these students will receive e-mails message this year.
Finally, FAAs should note that the failure of an applicant to update their data as a result of receiving an email does not result in a status of "conflicting information" nor does it, by itself, trigger the need to verify applicant data. FAAs are not responsible for ensuring that updates or corrections are submitted, except under the requirements of selected verification (ED or institutional) or other conflicting information situations.
We thank you for your comments and your support of this initiative. Together, we can ensure that the right students get the right aid, and that the integrity of the federal aid programs is preserved.
FSA Application, School Eligibility and Delivery Services