Publication Date: December 1, 2005
HURRICANE KATRINA -- ELECTRONIC ANNOUNCEMENT # 10
From: Sally L. Stroup,
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education
Theresa S. Shaw, Chief Operating Officer, Federal Student Aid
Summary: Spring 2005 Eligibility
Posted on 12-01-2005
This announcement addresses two issues related to the continued eligibility of students impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to receive federal student aid for the remainder of the 2005-2006 academic year. The first issue relates to the eligibility of a student who, because of the hurricanes, transferred to another institution, but was not admitted as a regular student. The second addresses the issue of annual and aggregate federal grant and loan limits for those students who were displaced by the hurricanes.
Regular Student Requirement
On September 2, 2005, we issued guidance that allowed a host institution to award federal student aid to a student enrolled in a non-matriculated status (transient, visitor, etc.) as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The host institution was required to obtain a signed certification from the student in which the student acknowledged that he or she was enrolled in, or admitted to, a degree, certificate, or other credential program for the 2005-2006 academic year at a specifically identified eligible institution that was impacted by Hurricane Katrina. This authority to award federal student aid to students who are not enrolled as regular students expires on December 31, 2005.
Consistent with that guidance, we want to remind you that a student who, because of the hurricanes, enrolled in a non-matriculated status at a host institution must be enrolled as a regular student in order to obtain federal student aid at the institution after December 31, 2005, unless one of the following special circumstances are met: the student had been enrolled or accepted for enrollment at an institution that does not reopen in January 2006, or that does reopen but does not offer the educational program in which the student was enrolled. Under either of these situations, the student may continue to receive federal student aid while enrolled as a visiting or guest student. When considering the use of this exception, a host institution may rely on information it receives from the home institution. This may include generally available information from the home institution (e.g., an impacted institution's Web site) or student-specific information obtained by the host institution from the home institution.
An impacted student whose situation is not covered by the exceptions noted above, and who chooses to remain at a host institution, may receive federal student aid, under the Department's regulations, if the host institution -
- Admits the student as a regular student; or
- Establishes a consortium
agreement, as provided by 34 CFR 668.5, with the student's home institution.
Annual and Aggregate Grant and Loan Limits
Some students who had Title IV aid disbursed to them, or on their behalf, for attendance at institutions that have been non-operational as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita subsequently enrolled at other institutions and, consistent with our guidance, received federal student aid. As a result, some of these students may have already received the maximum aid allowed for the academic year even though they either never began attendance at their home institution or had their attendance interrupted due to the impact of the hurricanes.
A student cannot ultimately receive more than the statutorily set annual limits for grant or loan funds. However, because of the unique circumstances created by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we are authorizing institutions, lenders, and guaranty agencies to permit subsequent disbursements of Title IV aid to a student without regard to disbursements that were made to, or on behalf of, the student in fall 2005 by or for attendance at an institution included on the attached list. The earlier disbursements will ultimately not be counted against the grant and loan limits.
Institutions are reminded that if they are not included on the attached list they must return any Title IV funds that were disbursed under normal student eligibility or Return of Title IV Funds rules for any of their Title IV aid recipients who, for a hurricane related or any other reason, did not begin attendance or did not complete the payment period or period of enrollment, as applicable.
Schools with questions concerning the information provided in this announcement should contact the Federal Student Aid Research and Customer Care Center. Center staff are available Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) at 1-800-433-7327. After hours calls are accepted by an automated voice response system. Callers leaving their name and phone number will receive a return call the next business day. You may send an inquiry by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lenders, servicers and guaranty agencies with questions can call 1-800-999-8219 or they can send an e-mail to email@example.com.