Posted Date:May 27, 2009
Author: William Leith, Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid
Subject: 2008-2009 National SMART Grant Deobligation Due to No Corresponding Pell Grant Warning Message
One of the eligibility criteria to be awarded a National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant) is that the student must receive a Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) disbursement in the same award year. This requirement in 34 CFR 691.15(a)(2) is met if the student received a Pell Grant disbursement at any school he or she attended in the same award year. That is, the student is not required to receive the Pell Grant and the National SMART Grant at the same school.
To ensure that National SMART Grants have been awarded consistent with the Pell Grant eligibility requirement, each award year, we will perform a Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System-wide job that reduces to zero ($0.00) all National SMART Grant actual disbursements made to a student who does not have a Pell Grant actual disbursement for that award year in the COD System. We are ready to perform this job for the 2008-2009 Award Year because the majority of National SMART Grant and Pell Grant disbursements for the first and second payment periods of the 2008-2009 Award Year should have already been submitted to the COD System.
2008-2009 National SMART Grant Deobligation Due to No Corresponding Pell Grant Warning Message Processed on May 26, 2009
On May 26, 2009, we began processing a message to schools that have reported 2008-2009 National SMART Grant actual disbursements for a student who does not have a 2008-2009 Pell Grant actual disbursement recorded in the COD System. The message is a warning that these disbursements will be considered overawards and reduced to a zero dollar amount ($0.00), even if the disbursements were previously accepted in the COD System. The reduction of the affected disbursements is scheduled to occur on June 3, 2009.
We sent the May 26, 2009 warning message to schools' Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) mailboxes in the message class SGTX09OP. Additionally, we sent a file of student records reported to the COD System that do not have a corresponding 2008-2009 Pell Grant actual disbursement in the Reconciliation Report message class SGRC09OP. Schools that receive the warning message should review the accompanying Reconciliation Report and, if applicable, report 2008-2009 Pell Grant disbursements for affected students before June 3, 2009.
Exception Process for No Corresponding 2008-2009 Pell Grant Due to R2T4 Calculation
As schools are aware, National SMART Grant awards are included in the Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) calculation for a student who withdraws from his or her educational program. The required priority order for returning unearned Title IV grants is as follows: Pell Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), National SMART Grant, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).
The subsequent full repayment of a Pell Grant as a result of the R2T4 calculation and the priority order for Title IV grants (Pell Grant before National SMART Grant) do not make the student ineligible for the earned portion of a National SMART Grant. In such a case, the school must ensure that it has documented in its records the student's original amount of Pell Grant eligibility as well as the return of those funds consistent with the R2T4 regulations in 34 CFR 668.22.
Some of the student records included in the Reconciliation Report may be for students who do not have a corresponding Pell Grant for the 2008-2009 Award Year due to the documented full repayment of the Pell Grant as a result of an R2T4 calculation. A school can inform us of the student records to which this exception applies by calling the COD School Relations Center at 800/474-7268 by June 2, 2009. A customer service representative will collect the following information from the school via the phone:
- School's Name
- School's Pell ID and G5 Award Number
- Student's First and Last Names
- Student's Social Security Number (SSN)
- Student's Grade Level
- National SMART Grant Award ID
- National SMART Grant Award Amount
- National SMART Grant Award Year-to-Date Disbursement Amount
Upon notification that an R2T4 exception applies, we will exclude the applicable student records from the reduction scheduled for June 3, 2009.
If you have questions about the warning message or need to report an R2T4 exception (by June 2, 2009 as explained above), contact the COD School Relations Center at 800/474-7268. You may also e-mail CODSupport@acs-inc.com.