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(Direct Loans) Subject: Improvements to Financial Awareness Counseling Links on StudentLoans.gov Web site

Posted Date:August 16, 2012

Author: William Leith, Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Improvements to Financial Awareness Counseling Links on StudentLoans.gov Web site

As explained in a June 29, 2012 Electronic Announcement posted on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site, we implemented Financial Awareness Counseling on the StudentLoans.gov Web site in early July 2012. The Financial Awareness Counseling module provides borrowers the basics of financial management, shows their current federal student loan debt, and provides an estimate of what their student loan debt is likely to be at the time they leave school.

Since the July implementation, it has come to our attention that the order in which Financial Awareness Counseling and Entrance Counseling are presented on the StudentLoans.gov Web site has caused confusion for some borrowers. These borrowers who must complete Entrance Counseling are completing only the Financial Awareness Counseling, which, as we have previously communicated, does not meet the regulatory requirements for Entrance Counseling.

In mid September 2012, we plan to remedy the situation by implementing the following changes:

  • We will re-order the list of bulleted items on the StudentLoans.gov Web site home page so that “Complete Entrance Counseling” is presented first.

  • We will add a new section at the bottom of the Financial Awareness Counseling landing page informing borrowers that Financial Awareness Counseling does not satisfy Entrance Counseling requirements.

  • We will include hyperlinks to Entrance Counseling and Exit Counseling at the bottom of the new section on the Financial Awareness Counseling landing page.

As a reminder, a school can identify borrowers who completed Financial Awareness Counseling by referring to its Counseling Report, currently available via the school’s COD Reporting Newsbox on the COD Web site.

The Counseling Report provides information about borrowers who completed counseling via the StudentLoans.gov Web site and selected the school to receive information about their counseling session. The Counseling Report contains both Entrance Counseling and Financial Awareness Counseling information. The Counseling Type Indicator values are:

  • S Subsidized/Unsubsidized Entrance Counseling

  • P Subsidized/Unsubsidized/PLUS Entrance Counseling

  • L Financial Awareness Counseling

Borrowers’ information will be reflected on the report even if the school does not opt to receive system-generated responses.

For more information on Financial Awareness Counseling, refer to the June 29th Electronic Announcement's attachment titled “Financial Awareness Counseling.

Contact Information

If you have questions about this announcement, contact the COD School Relations Center at 800/848-0978 for Direct Loans. You may also e-mailCODSupport@acs-inc.com.

Last Modified: 08/15/2012