The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Operations Bulletin 2018-2: Student Verification (Issued 3/27/2018)

Date: 
03/27/2018
Author: 
DTA

The PDF attached - and text quoted below - is DTA's Operations Bulletin 2018-2. This is intended to direct DTA staff on next steps when students report financial aid offces will not fill the DTA EDUC-1 form re financial aid: 

"It has come to the Department’s attention that some Financial Aid offices have been instructed not to fill out the EDUC-1. As such, staff are advised to explore student status at application and recertification/reevaluation interviews or when enrollment is reported.  You must review student eligibility status and whether there is any non-federally funded aid designated for living/transportation expenses, how many meals are provided, and whether the student is a work-study participant. Explain that an Educational Income and Expenses form (EDUC-1) will be generated and sent. The client must attempt to have the document completed by his/her financial aid office. Inform the client that if his/her financial aid office does not complete the Educational Income and Expenses form, s/he must have a conversation with the financial aid office to gather the information typically verified on the EDUC-1 and provide other verifications in lieu of the EDUC-1."

MLRI note

The substance of this DTA guidance still puts a burden on students to attempt to get the information from financial aid offices, which efforts are contrary to the US DOE guidance. See also NASFAA blog of 9/13/17 posting re this issue.  

MLRI disagrees with DTA's instructions that put students smack in the middle of a conflicting policy. It also does not define what "other verification in lieu of the EDUC-1" will be accepted.  MLRI has created a sample self-declaration statement that students should be able to use to explain how they are using their financial aid, in lieu of EDUC-1, available HERE. Students are encouraged to submit a self-dec along with a print out of their financial aid award letter (which students typically have or can download from their financial aid personal webpage).and to contact an advocate if their SNAP is denied.   

 

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