Financial Aid Compliance

HEAG’s Financial Aid Consultants are experts in the compliance field. They have spent decades helping financial aid administrators at colleges, universities and proprietary schools prepare for Department of Education Program Reviews and completing independent compliance assessments. Here are some recent blog posts relating to Title IV Compliance, R2T2 Compliance Reviews, Heightened Cash Monitoring, File Reviews and more compliance topics.

Please visit our Title IV Compliance Support page for more information on our services.

October 12, 2017

Year-round Pell is back for 2017-18. This is good news for Pell-eligible students who want to attend in the summer to accelerate their progress toward graduation. According to Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, “this decision is about empowering students and …

October 5, 2017

Shifting Gainful Employment Regulations Regardless of your political leanings, the financial aid community may feel like they are in the middle of a game of ping pong. With shifting gainful employment regulations, proprietary for-profit colleges as well as sta …

October 2, 2017

$713 Million in Federal Financial Aid to be Paid Back? The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General has released the results of a compliance audit of Western Governors University. Citing concerns about an inadequate faculty role, the inspecto …

September 26, 2017

August 7, 2017 Authors:  Craig Munier, Assistant Director, Policy Liaison and Implementation, Federal Student Aid ~ Lisa DiCarlo, Director, Student Experience Group, Federal Student Aid Subject:  Changes to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool Process for the 2018-19 F …

September 21, 2017

In the last few years, it seems data breaches have been become common place in our country. Back in 2013, giant retailer Target was hacked, affecting an estimated 70 million consumers. This caused many Americans to have their banks/credit card companies issue …

August 31, 2017

Have you read “Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream” by Joshua Davis? The book came out in 2014 and the movie in 2015. Davis tells the inspiring, true story of four Latino high school students born in …

August 23, 2017

HEAG’s Summer Newsletter is now online. It includes articles for financial aid professionals on: Summer Reading and the Dream Act New Year-Round Pell: How It’s Different This Time Around Student Loan Servicers, And Then There Was One Are You Using Social Media …

August 11, 2017

A bill introduced on July 26, 2017 by Marc Veasey of Texas seeks to make it easier for students to gain access to the required non-filer statements that can currently only be requested through the IRS. These forms are required for verification of income to rec …

July 20, 2017

The Higher Education Assistance Group’s blog includes more than 200 articles on financial aid topics prepared by the Group’s expert financial aid consultants and systems analysts. Search by topic: Compliance Federal Student Aid Programs Technology File Review …

June 7, 2017

Department of Education Releases Updated Federal Program Review Guide The U.S. Department of Education released the 2017-2018 Federal Program Review Guide for financial aid administrators on June 2, 2017.  The guide was made available for download via the IFAP …

June 1, 2017

Surviving audit season. A few helpful tips on how you can survive your upcoming audit. 1. Be Prepared Review the letter from your auditor carefully. If any portion of the letter is unclear, ask the auditor to clarify prior to your meeting. Remember what we tel …

May 22, 2017

We share industry news and stories on Twitter throughout the week at @HEAG_INC. Here is a recap of our most recent tweets, focusing on topics of Title IV financial aid and higher education. 4/19/17 – HEAG’s Spring 2017 Newsletter for financial aid professional …

May 11, 2017

Submitting GE Schools which have eligible programs, usually considered “career training,” that are required to report gainful employment (GE) information got some unexpected news on March 6th. The original deadline for submitting the GE alternate earnings appe …

May 2, 2017

On Tuesday, January 31st, 2017, the Higher Education Assistance Group held their annual training session for consultants and directors. It was an informative day with topics ranging from changes to the 2017-18 verification process to quality assurance and clie …

April 20, 2017

IRS Data Retrieval Tool Nationwide, college financial aid offices and their students are being impacted by the current outage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. The outage, now expected to continue until the start of next FAFSA season, was in response to security …

April 19, 2017

HEAG’s Spring 2017 Newsletter for financial aid professionals is here! This issue includes: HEAG’s Consultants Share Their Favorite Commencement Memories HEAG ~ Growing to Serve You HEAG’s Annual Staff Training 7 Principles of Great Service Gainful Employment …

February 23, 2017

In part one of this series, I talked about asking your customers, the students, for feedback on the level of service you were providing. In part two, I’ll give some ideas to help you improve your customer service levels. How do you get started improving the se …

February 16, 2017

Ask the Students Instinctively, you may want to answer “yes” to that question. You are a college president, supervisor, or director that wants your students to be taken care of. You have mentioned it several times in staff meetings. You send email reminders to …

October 31, 2016

HEAG’s Fall 2016 Newsletter is here. This issue includes: HEAG ~ Growing to Serve You Tech Talk Corner – 2017/2018 Has Begun! Gainful Employment Debt-to-Earnings – An In-Depth Look HEAG ~ Recent and Upcoming events Upcoming Changes to 2017-18 Verification Proc …

September 14, 2016

Just the thought of compliance and accreditation can cause stress and anxiety for many of us. It’s okay. Take a deep breath and let’s look at how we can change our view on compliance. Accreditation and compliance should not be viewed as exercises in putting on …

August 24, 2016

It wasn’t the numbers in the blog post, “FAFSA Non-Filers: What the Research Says,” by Paula Acevedeo on the National College Access Network¹ that caught
 our attention, it was the experiments conducted by ideas42. With at least 2 million students failing to c …

August 9, 2016

HEAG was proud to be a part of the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers (EACUBO) recent Spring 2016 Workshop held at the New School in New York City on June 15th, 2016.  The workshop topics included fund accounting, tax update, risk …

August 3, 2016

This quarter’s employee spotlight is Dr. Erica Holmes…. Name: Dr. Erica Holmes Current Position: Financial Aid Consultant What do you enjoy most about your current position at HEAG? I enjoy the diversity of working with different institutions. Working in cul …

July 27, 2016

Accreditation and Compliance Standards At the forefront of education is the notion of accountability. Whether post-secondary or secondary, at times we all wonder why so much oversight and what really is the role of regulatory bodies, accreditation agencies, an …

July 26, 2016

Proprietary Schools Accreditation Concerns In mid-June, the Department of Education (ED) announced a new round of proposed regulations aimed at the proprietary sector of higher education. “We won’t sit idly by while dodgy schools leave students with piles of d …

July 21, 2016

HEAG’s quarterly Newsletter reports on developments in the financial aid industry. Topics include administering Title IV aid efficiently and effectively, maintaining compliance, file review and verification, staffing solutions and technology tools. The Summer …

June 6, 2016

We share industry news and stories on Twitter throughout the week at @HEAG_INC. Here is a recap of our most recent tweets, focusing on topics of Title IV financial aid and higher education. 6/1/16 – Showdown over Obama’s student-loan swan song Read more 6/2/16 …

May 19, 2016

HEAG Can Help With Interim Staffing. Many financial aid offices are experiencing the pressure to increase productivity, meet deadlines and improve customer service. You don’t have to do it alone! Our team of consultants are COMPLIANCE EXPERTS, experienced with …

May 9, 2016

Has someone in your office ever misfiled a W-2 in another student’s file? It can have a snowball effect. Starting as an innocent mistake, it consumes fruitless hours of searching through files, then requires an apologetic phone call to an unhappy parent and de …

April 22, 2016

TRUE or FALSE. Your school offers programs that include self-paced or independent study courses that overlap terms. TRUE or FALSE. Your school has programs that measure progress in clock hours. TRUE or FALSE. Your school has programs that have courses that ove …

December 1, 2015

Does your College offer Certificate Programs? Clock Hour Programs? Credit Hour, Non-term Programs? Are you compliant in your administration of these programs? Do you ever wish they would just fade away? Unfortunately, that won’t happen in the foreseeable futur …

November 4, 2015

View HEAG’s recent blog postings, NYSFAAA Fall 2015 Conference recap and upcoming events.  Click here to view HEAG’s latest news.

October 30, 2015

The filing deadline for 2014-2015 award year gainful employment data was October 1, 2015. Will we see many more institutions added to the “noncompliance” list? Is your school in compliance? What are the consequences of being on the noncompliance list and how c …

October 16, 2015

Growing to Better Serve You. As a full-service financial aid and higher education consulting firm, HEAG is always looking for ways to better serve our schools throughout the US. With this positive growth in mind, we are proud to introduce the newest member of …

October 6, 2015

Posted:  October 6, 2015 By:  Jeff Megargell, HEAG Consultant It might be difficult to track down the origin of the quote “nobody’s perfect,” but it tends to remain true, even at the highest levels of government. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recen …

September 30, 2015

HEAG’s Fall 2015 Newsletter includes articles on Gainful Employment, When the Feds Audit the Feds, The Struggles of Small Schools, Consultant Spotlight – Brittany Barker, and a FAFSA Survey. Sign up to receive HEAG’s newsletters via email.

September 14, 2015

Posted:  September 4, 2015 By:  Colleen King, Executive Director, HEAG With the recent regulations governing Gainful Employment (GE) reporting and disclosure requirements taking effect on July 31st, 2015, many schools thought to be in compliance are now being …

August 11, 2015

Posted:  August 11, 2015 By: Jane Domenico, HEAG Consultant In March of this year, the Department of Education released a partial list of the nearly 560 institutions that, as of March 1, were subject to the financial restrictions known as Heightened Cash Monit …

December 12, 2014

Posted: December 12, 2014 The highly contentious issue of “gainful employment” rules, which mainly apply to for-profit and career schools, centers around the idea that students should receive jobs once they graduate from a program and the student should be abl …

November 12, 2014

Posted: November 12, 2014 Your Student Information System (SIS) working efficiently with your Financial Aid Management System is one of the key components to ensuring that you are staying compliant with the Department of Education in all aspects, including cha …

November 13, 2013

Posted:  November 13, 2013 The theme of this year’s annual MASFAA Conference was compliance, best practices and planning. From keynote speaker James Allen Fox’s discussion of campus safety and emergency planning to Wentworth Institute of Technology’s (WIT) Ann …

March 11, 2013

In recent communications (see below), we provided information on the addition of an Unusual Enrollment History Flag (UEH Flag) to the 2013-2014 Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). The UEH Flag indicates whether the student has an unusual enrollmen …

November 10, 2012

Written by Brittany Barker, HEAG consultant, Email: bbarker@heag.us Collecting verification documentation from student’s and their parents has never been an easy task for financial aid administrators.  However, with the addition of the Data Retrieval Tool (DTR …

August 1, 2012

The  Department of Education recently sent out a notice (DCL ID: GEN-12-08) offering guidance to schools that contract with a third party servicer.  This announcement reminds institutions of their responsibilities when they enter into contracts. A “third party …

August 12, 2011

As we all know, the only constant in financial aid, is that the rules are constantly changing. With federal aid programs representing the largest source of financial aid at most schools, the government has made strengthening these programs their main priority. …