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(CB-07-04) 2007-2008 Federal Work-Study Program Community Service Waiver Requests

Publication Date: March 26, 2007

DCL ID: CB-07-04

Subject: 2007-2008 Federal Work-Study Program Community Service Waiver Requests

Summary: This letter provides information on requesting a waiver of the 2007-2008 community service expenditure requirements under the Federal Work-Study Program.

Posted on 03-26-2007

Dear Colleague:

The regulations at 34 CFR 675.18(g) set forth the community service expenditure requirements under the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program that a school must meet unless it is granted a waiver from the Secretary. The questions and answers that follow explain how a school requests a waiver of the community service expenditure requirements under the FWS Program for the 2007-2008 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 of the community service jobs. 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: A school's waiver request must be in writing and-

  • Include the school's name, address, and OPEID Number;
  • Specify whether the school is 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 the school's 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
  • Signed by a school official.

Q5: How do we submit our waiver request to the Department of Education (the Department)?

A5: A school may submit its waiver request to the Department by fax, hand delivery, or mail.

Fax to:

Pamela Wills
(202) 275-0950

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

FWS Coordinator
U.S. Department of Education
Campus-Based Systems and Operations Division
830 First Street, NE
Room 62A1
Washington, DC 20002

Mail to:

FWS Coordinator
U.S. Department of Education
Campus-Based Systems and Operations Division
830 First Street, NE
Room 62A1
Washington, DC 20202-5453

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

A6: The deadline for submitting a school's waiver request to the Department is Friday, April 27, 2007. If the signed waiver request is faxed or hand delivered, it must be received by 4:30 P.M. (ET) on April 27th. If the signed waiver request is sent through the U.S. Postal Service, it must be postmarked by April 27th. Refer to Q&A #5 for fax and address information.

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

A7: A waiver request that is received or postmarked (as explained in Q&A #6) after April 27, 2007 will not be considered.

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

A8: By July 1, 2007, we plan to notify a school via e-mail that a decision has been made. In this e-mail, we will inform the school that the Secretary's decision to approve or deny the school's waiver request has been posted to the eCampus-Based (eCB) Web site. We will send this e-mail to the Financial Aid Administrator's e-mail address that was provided in the school's most recently submitted Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate or that was updated via the "Contact Info" page on the eCB Web site.

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 "2007-2008" link next to it.

We hope this information is helpful to your school. If you have additional questions about the FWS community service expenditure requirements or the procedures for requesting a waiver, 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). You may also e-mail CBFOB@ed.gov.

Sincerely,

Sherlene McIntosh
Director, Campus-Based Systems and Operations Division
Federal Student Aid

Last Modified: 03/25/2007