Publication Date: August, 2001
Author: General Manager: SFA School Channel
Summary: SFA Community Newsletter - August
Posted: August 10, 2001
SFA Community Newsletter
Student Financial Assistance, U.S. Department of Education
7th & D Streets SW, Washington, DC 20202
202-260-6536, 202-708-7970 (fax)
Vol. I, No. 10
MORE THAN 1,000 Schools Attend Default Prevention Day
On Aug. 2, Student Financial Assistance (SFA) at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) conducted its first National Default Prevention Day. SFA held workshops at each of its 10 regional training facilities nationwide and in Washington, D.C. More than 1,400 financial aid professionals-representing 1,071 schools as well as servicers and guaranty agencies-attended the event.
"When default prevention programs are put into place, students, schools, lenders, as well as taxpayers benefit," said Schools Channel General Manager Kay Jacks. "Together, members of the financial aid community can share their experiences with defaults and work side-by-side to lower default rates, helping students start life out of school financially stable."
National Default Prevention Day was open to all schools that receive Title IV funds, but was especially intended for those institutions with high default rates. The day featured discussions and presentations from SFA, schools, and lenders on the best practices for default prevention.
For more information, contact Clarence Hicks, direct loan liaison, by phone at 202-708-8204 or by e-mail at Clarence.Hicks@ed.gov.
DATABASE MATCHING CONTINUES SAVING TAXPAYER DOLLARS
SFA recently topped the $100 million mark in defaulted student loan collections, using the National Directory of New Hires, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) database. Since July 31, SFA has recovered $106 million in unpaid loan balances, with $24 million coming in this past month.
Since beginning a computer matching partnership with HHS in January, SFA has received new information on 690,621 accounts, with unpaid loan balances totaling approximately $3 billion.
For more information, contact Marian Currie, management analyst, by phone at 202-401-1627 or by e-mail at Marian.Currie@ed.gov.
Completed FMS will IMPROVE SFA Accounting tools
SFA plans to have an integrated Financial Management System (FMS) by fall, according to SFA’s CFO. The new system will help SFA achieve and maintain a better accounting system, with more accurate and usable data. This financial tool will help SFA secure a clean financial audit, an explicit goal of SFA Chief Operating Officer Greg Woods and Secretary Rod Paige.
"The implementation of the FMS system upgrades is just another step toward achieving the goal of a clean audit for SFA and the Department," said Jim Lynch, SFA's chief financial officer. "With more consistent, centralized data, we'll be able to improve quality, minimize mistakes, and plan better for our unique financial needs."
Over the past year, the CFO's office has released FMS incrementally and worked diligently to integrate it into SFA's existing accounting processes. FMS gives SFA its own financial accounting system for the first time, designed specifically to help SFA meet its unique business goals. This fall, program staff in the Schools and Students Channels will begin to enter their transactions to the new system, bringing all of SFA into an integrated FMS.
For more information, contact Paul Stonner, acting director for FMS Requirements and Testing, by phone at 202-205-4781 or by e-mail at Paul.Stonner@ed.gov.
REMINDER: E-mail addresses for ED employees now use a period instead of an underscore between the first and last name. For example, instead of firstname.lastname@example.org, the new address is email@example.com.
|SFA is the office of the U.S. Department of Education that helps put about 8.7 million Americans through school each year. SFA administers Title IV student loans and grants, which total about $ 54 billion annually. As a performance-based organization, SFA strives to improve customer satisfaction and cut the costs of administering student aid programs. For additional information on student aid, call 1-800-4-FED-AID or visit the following Web sites: http://ed.gov/offices/OSFAP or http://fafsa.ed.gov.|