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(CB-05-05) Subject: This letter provides information on requesting a waiver of the 2005-2006 community service expenditure requirements under the Federal Work-Study Program.

Publication Date: April 2005

DCL ID: CB-05-05

Subject: This letter provides information on requesting a waiver of the 2005-2006 community service expenditure requirements under the Federal Work-Study Program.

April 2005

Subject: 2005-2006 Federal Work-Study Program Community Service Waiver Requests

Summary: This letter provides information on requesting a waiver of the 2005-2006 community service expenditure requirements under the Federal Work-Study Program.

Dear Colleague:

The regulations at 34 CFR 675.18(g) set forth the community service expenditure requirements under the Federal Word-Study (FWS) Program that a school must meet unless it is granted a waiver from the Secretary. The series of questions and answers that follow explains how a school requests a waiver of the community service expenditure requirements under the FWS Program for the 2005-2006 Award Year.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q1: What are the FWS community service expenditure requirements?

A1: Each school that participates in the FWS Program is required to expend at least seven percent of its total FWS federal allocation to compensate students employed in community service activities. Also, in meeting that seven percent community service expenditure requirement, one or more of the school's FWS students must be employed as a reading tutor for children in a reading tutoring project or performing family literacy activities in a family literacy project. [34 CFR 675.18(g)(1)]

Q2: Who can approve a waiver request?

A2: The Secretary may waive one or both of these requirements for a school if she determines that the school has demonstrated that enforcing the requirement(s) would cause a hardship for the students at that school. The fact that it may be difficult for the school to comply with the requirement(s) is not in and of itself a basis for granting a waiver. [34 CFR 675.18(g)(2)]

Q3: What are some examples of previously approved waivers?

A3: In the past, the Secretary has approved a limited number of waivers when schools were able to demonstrate an exceptional circumstance. Some examples are as follows:

· Small FWS Allocation—The school had a very small FWS allocation. The supporting information submitted by the school noted that seven percent of the school's allocation only provided enough funds for a student to work in a community service job for a short period of time. Therefore, the school was unable to find placement for a student in community service.

· Rural Area—The school was in a rural area that was located far from the type of organizations that would normally provide community service jobs. The school provided information that showed that its students lacked the means of transportation to get to the location where the community service jobs were located. In a similar waiver request in which transportation did exist, a school provided documentation that showed that the transportation costs were extremely high for the students.

· Specialized Program—The school offered only a single program of specialized study that required its students to spend extensive amounts of time in classroom and non-classroom academic activities. The school provided information that demonstrated that this specialized educational program did not allow its students to have time for performing community service jobs at the time those work opportunities were available.

Q4: What must our waiver request include?

A4: Your waiver request must be in writing and—

· Include your school’s name, address, and campus-based serial number;

· Specify whether you are requesting a waiver of the seven percent community service requirement, the reading tutors of children or family literacy project requirement, or both;

· Include detailed information to demonstrate that complying with the requirement(s) would cause hardship for your students;

· Include the following statement: "I certify that the information I provided in this waiver request is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge. I understand that the information is subject to audit and program review by the U.S. Department of Education."; and

· Be signed by a school official.

Q5: How do we submit our waiver request?

A5: You may submit your waiver request by fax, hand delivery, or mail.

· Fax to:

Pamela Wills

(202) 275-3476 or (202) 275-0950

· Hand deliver (in person or by commercial courier) to:

FWS Coordinator
U.S. Department of Education
Campus-Based Systems & Operations Division
830 First Street, NE
Room 61C4
Washington, DC 20002

· Mail to:

FWS Coordinator
U.S. Department of Education
Campus-Based Systems & Operations Division
830 First Street, NE
Room 61C4
Washington, DC 20202-5453

Q6: What is the deadline by which we must submit our waiver request?

A6: If mailed, your signed waiver request must be postmarked no later than April 29, 2005. If faxed or hand delivered, your waiver request must be received no later than 4:30 P.M. (ET) on April 29, 2005.

Q7: What happens if we are late in submitting our waiver request to the Department?

A7: A waiver request postmarked or received (as explained in Q&A #6) after April 29, 2005 will not be considered.

Q8: What can we expect after submitting our waiver request by the deadline?

A8: We plan to e-mail you no later than July 15, 2005, that the Secretary's decision to approve or deny your waiver request has been posted to the eCampus-Based (eCB) Web site at http://cbfisap.ed.gov/. To access the decision following receipt of this e-mail, log in to the eCB Web site, select the “Self-Service” link from the top navigation bar, and scroll to the “Campus-Based Notifications for All Available Award Years” section. Then, scroll to the “Community Service Waiver” bullet and select the “2005-2006” link next to it.

Q9: What if we have additional questions about the FWS community service expenditure requirements or the procedures for requesting a waiver?

A9: For additional information, contact the Campus-Based Call Center at 877-801-7168. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. until 8:00 P.M. (ET).

We appreciate your continued support in making FWS assistance available to needy students.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Wicks
Acting Director, Campus-Based Systems & Operations Division

Federal Student Aid

Last Modified: 04/05/2005