FFELP Reference Materials
Higher Education Act
The Higher Education Act (HEA) is the primary law governing the federal student aid programs. Most of the statutory requirements for the administration of the federal student aid programs are found in Title IV of the HEA. Title IV is divided into the following Parts:
- Part A: Grants
- Part B: Federal Family Education Loan Program
- Part C: Federal Work Study Program
- Part D: William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
- Part E: Federal Perkins Loans
- Part F: Needs Analysis
- Part G: General Provisions Relating to Student Assistance Programs
- Part H: Program Integrity
The regulations for the federal student aid programs are written by the U.S. Department of Education and published in the Code of Federal Regulations. Regulations are written to incorporate statutory changes, to clarify the intent of statutory changes, and to make technical corrections. The regulations for the federal student aid programs are found primarily in Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) provides an electronic library where regulations can be found.
Dear Colleague Letters
The U.S. Department of Education periodically issues Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs) to provide policy and operational guidance. Current and archived DCLs are on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website.
Federal Student Aid Handbooks
The U.S. Department of Education publishes the Federal Student Aid Handbook on an annual basis. The FSA Handbook serves as a guide to the rules and regulations governing the federal student aid programs. The Handbook is on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website.
Integrated Common Manual
The Integrated Common Manual (ICM) is the online version of the paper Common Manual. The ICM is updated periodically throughout the year with policy changes approved by the Common Manual governing board.
The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of federal agencies and organizations. The Federal Registers pertaining to the federal student aid programs are collected on IFAP