Posted Date: January 6, 2010

Author:  Jeff Baker, Director Policy Liaison and Implementation, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Correction to Second Quarter ARRA FWS Reporting

On December 31, 2009 we posted an Electronic Announcement regarding Second Quarter Reporting of Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Unfortunately one component of the information included in that announcement was not correct. The December 31 announcement stated that both the "Number of Jobs" field (Reporting Template Field #24) and the "Total Federal Amount of ARRA Expenditure" field (Reporting Template Field #28) should include only activity for the period from October 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. It is correct that, as stated in the December 31 announcement, the formula used to calculate the number of FWS jobs created or maintained must be based on only the FWS ARRA funds drawn down by the school during the period between October 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009. However, contrary to the December 31 information, the amount of ARRA funds expended that must be reported in Reporting Template Field #28 should be the cumulative amount that had been drawn down by the school from July 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009.

The following restates Q&A #9 from the December 31 announcement with the revisions presented in bold.

Q9 What are the assumptions and conventions that are used when reporting?

A9 For administrative ease and reporting consistency, assumptions and reporting conventions have been established for the reporting of ARRA FWS activity for the calendar quarter ending December 31, 2009, as follows:

  1. The first funds drawn from the school's 2009-2010 FWS allocation are assumed to be ARRA funds, up to the amount of the ARRA portion of the school's 2009-2010 FWS award (see Q&A #7).

  2. Total ARRA expenditures to be reported are equal to the total actual net drawdowns of 2009-2010 FWS funds received from the Department (using the Department's G5 system) from the beginning of the Award Year to the end of the quarter (July 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009) not to exceed the amount of the school's FWS funding from ARRA for the award year. For example, if a school's ARRA 2009-2010 FWS funding was $50,000 (out of a total 2009-2010 FWS allocation of $300,000) and during the quarter ending September 30, 2009 it had drawn down $35,000 and during the quarter ending December 31, 2009 it had drawn down another $10,000, the amount to be reported as Total Federal Amount of ARRA Expenditure (Reporting Template Field #28) would be $45,000. Or, if during the second quarter the school drew down $40,000 of FWS funds, only the first $15,000 of that second quarter draw would be considered to be ARRA funds, because with the $35,000 from the prior quarter, the total drawdown for the year of ARRA funds would be $50,000 - the full amount of the school’s ARRA FWS award (Reporting Template Filed #10) Note that it is drawdowns that equal expenditures and not payments made to FWS employed students.

Also note, that the reporting system includes a number of edits, both hard and soft. One of the soft edits compares the value of the "Number of Jobs" field (Reporting Template Field #24) and the "Total Federal Amount of ARRA Expenditure" field (Reporting Template Field #28). This edit is triggered if it appears that the number of jobs reported is high in relation to the amount of expenditures. Because, in general, FWS students are paid at or slightly above the minimum wage rate, schools might see this edit when completing the template. If so, and after you have double checked your formula math and your input, you can submit the data.

As a reminder, reports for a calendar quarter must be submitted no later than the 10th day of the month following the end of the quarter. However, because of the holiday, reports submitted between the January 11 and January 15, 2010 will not be considered late.

We apologize for any inconvenience these changes may cause you in your reporting. If you have any questions on these changes please send an email to jeff.baker@ed.gov.

   

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