Posted Date: July 1, 2015

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

Subject: Ending of Publication of the "The Blue Book"

This Electronic Announcement provides information on our decision to no longer publish The Blue Book as a separate document.  The Blue Book provided guidance to institutional offices and individuals responsible for functions related to the federal student assistance programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (the HEA).  Generally, these functions are the responsibility of institutional fiscal offices (e.g., business officer, comptroller, treasurer). The Blue Book was also the reference used, along with the Department's institutional audit guide (Audits of Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs at Participating Institutions and Institution Servicers) by independent and state auditors.

The topics included in The Blue Book were:

  • Institutional Eligibility
  • Student Eligibility
  • Awarding, Packaging, and Scheduling Disbursements
  • Financial Operations and Program Integrity
  • Managing Federal Funds
  • References
  • Technical Resources
  • Acronyms
  • Blue Book Glossary

Since  all of the above information is now included in the Department's Federal Student Aid Handbook (FSA Handbook) that is updated at least annually, we have decided that we will no longer publish The Blue Book as a separate document.

Incorporating The Blue Book subject matter into the FSA Handbook provides three distinct advantages:

  • Because the FSA Handbook is updated at least annually, we will be able to provide financial professionals and auditors with, more current information.

  • The Index of the FSA Handbook includes hyperlinks that provide a fast and easy way to open the Handbook to the selected topic location; functionality that has never been available in the hardcopy The Blue Book.

  • The top of each page of the FSA Handbook includes hyperlinks that open to other resources related to the topic.  This is another functionality that has never been available in the hardcopy The Blue Book.

The 2015-2016 Federal Student Aid Handbook is available on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website.

Questions concerning the Federal Student Aid Handbook or the discontinuation of The Blue Book can be sent to fsaschoolspubs@ed.gov.

Thank you for your cooperation.

   

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