Posted Date: February 2, 2011

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

Subject: Reminder - Deadline for 2011-2012 Underuse Penalty Waiver for the Campus-Based Programs is February 11, 2011

As announced in the "Notice of the 2010-2011 Award Year Deadline Dates for the Campus-Based Programs," published in the Federal Register on March 15, 2010 (75 CFR 12218), the deadline to request a waiver of the 2011-2012 Award Year penalty of Federal Work Study (FWS) and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) for the underuse of 2009-2010 Award Year funds is February 11, 2011.

A school can determine if it is subject to an underuse penalty by reviewing its Campus-Based Tentative Funding Worksheet for 2011-2012. If a school received an underuse penalty, and it has a valid justification for having more than a 10 percent underuse of FSEOG and/or FWS funds in 2009-2010, the school should review its FISAP data in order to determine if it needs to request an underuse penalty waiver because of an unusual circumstance.

The request and justification for the waiver of the underuse penalty must be submitted electronically by 11:59 P.M. (ET) on February 11, 2011. Transmission must be completed and accepted by 12:00 midnight to meet the deadline. Paper submissions will not be accepted.

How to Determine if There is an Underuse Penalty on the Tentative Funding Worksheets

As explained in a January 25, 2011 Electronic Announcement, Campus-Based Tentative Funding Worksheets for 2011-2012 have been posted to the eCampus-Based (eCB) Web site. If a school failed to expend more than 10 percent of its 2009-2010 program allocation(s), an underuse penalty is applied to the 2011-2012 awards and the awards are reduced by the amount that was not expended.

Once the school accesses the worksheets from the eCB Web site's "Self-Service" page, it will see that the FSEOG Worksheet is at the top of the screen. The FWS Worksheet is below it. The percentage of underused funds is shown in the FSEOG and FWS Tentative Funding Worksheets at Item 35. Under Used Percentage. The dollar amount of the reduction is shown in both the FSEOG and FWS Tentative Funding Worksheets at Item 36. Allocation Reduction.

The full explanation of all the fields in the Tentative Funding worksheet can be found in an attachment to the January 25, 2011 Electronic Announcement.

How to Request an Underuse Penalty Waiver

A school may request a waiver of the underuse penalty by accessing the school's submitted FISAP on the eCB Web site and selecting the "yes" button in Part II, Section C, Field 6. Click on "Submit" at the bottom of the menu on the left side of the screen, and then select "Submit Waiver" from the drop down list. On the "Additional Information" screen, the school must explain the circumstances that caused the underuse of its allocation. Enter the information and click the "Submit" button under the justification. When ready to submit the request, click "Continue to Submit." The school will then receive a message indicating the request has been submitted.

What Happens Next

A panel of Department of Education staff members will review the penalty waiver requests and justifications. A school that made a request for a waiver of the penalty will be notified in an e-mail whether the request has been granted or denied. If the request for waiver is granted, the school will not have an underuse penalty calculated when final awards for 2011-2012 are made. If the request for waiver is denied, the underuse penalty will be calculated when final awards for 2011-2012 are made.

Contact Information

If you have questions regarding an underuse penalty waiver justification, contact the Campus-Based Call Center at 877/801-7168. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. until 8:00 P.M. (ET). You may also e-mail CBFOB@ed.gov.

   

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