In this issue:
General News    |    Featured Tool    |    College Planning    |    Who's Who    |    Financial Aid
Scholarships & Other Aid Opportunities    |    Financial Literacy    |    Student Loan Management    |    Calendar

General News

2013 National Training for Counselors and Mentors (NT4CM) Workshops

It's hard to believe that the 2013-14 academic year is just around the corner. Soon, many high school seniors will start gathering college admission information and will likely have a lot of questions for you along the way, including questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As the NT4CM state coordinator, OCAP wants to give you the information and materials you need to help guide your students through the process. We're offering the latest updates and tools for counselors at our upcoming free, one-day workshops in January and February:

We want to make these events accessible to as many counselors as possible, so this year we'll be hosting three workshops along the I-35 corridor in Ardmore, Langston and Oklahoma City. For those who can't attend a workshop in person, we're also offering live online webinars (dates and times to be announced).

Tentative Workshop Dates and Locations:

Details about the specific workshop locations and registration information will be available later this month, so watch your email for announcements. Seating will be limited, so be sure to register when you receive the invitation. We hope to see you there!

OCAP is Moving!

We're pleased to share with you that on Feb. 1, OCAP is moving from our current location at the Colcord Center to the Presbyterian Health Foundation's Research Park, the same building complex as the State Regents' offices. We look forward to sharing a campus with our agency colleagues and the enhanced collaboration and increased cost savings that closer proximity will provide.


Stay tuned for more information about our relocation, including an upcoming opportunity to check out our new facility. Happy holidays!

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Featured Tool

Coming Soon to a Mailbox Near You: UCanGo2's 2013 Calendar

As 2012 comes to an end, are you ready for a new calendar to kick-start 2013 planning? You're in luck - our 2013 College Planning Calendar is now available!

Our complimentary annual calendar, packed with helpful information about planning, preparing and paying for college, is designed to meet the needs of K-12 counselors and administrators, financial aid officers and other campus professionals, and community partners statewide. We've added more holidays and included dates for important events including conferences, workshops and college entrance exams.

If you received our 2012 calendar, you're already on our distribution list and can expect to receive your calendar in the mail shortly. If you'd like to join our calendar distribution list, please contact OCAP Outreach Services at 405.234.4239, 866.443.7420 (toll free) or

Thank you for all you've done this year to make the future brighter for Oklahoma's students! We look forward to working beside you in 2013.

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Who's Who

Do you know Sherri Kidney?

Meet Sherri, who recently took on a new role as an OCAP default prevention supervisor.

Sherri Kidney

Tell us about your new position and your background with OCAP.

I started with OCAP in 2005 in the Loan Services Department as the status management specialist. As our agency's mission changed, I moved to Default Prevention and later accepted a position in our Recoveries Department as an administrative wage garnishment specialist. Then I became the default prevention trainer, training new employees and working with current employees to maintain a streamlined process for assisting borrowers with understanding the repayment options available to them. In my current position as a default prevention supervisor, I work with the specialists to insure they're knowledgeable about student loan repayment options so they can successfully assist our borrowers. We want to reach as many borrowers as possible and advise them of their options so they can avoid defaulting on their student loans.

What do you like most about your new position, and what are your goals?

I like the opportunity to coach members of the Default Prevention team as they work to help borrowers, and I like providing the training and tools our team needs to be successful. I feel that by making training a priority, our Default Prevention department will be better equipped to assist borrowers during repayment. The main goal I have for the Default Prevention department is to help every borrower find the best possible options to stay on track and repay their student loans.

Can you tell us a little bit about OCAP's Default Prevention department?

Our Default Prevention team works directly with borrowers to make sure they understand all of their repayment options and how to access them so they can avoid delinquency and ultimately, default. We also offer a variety of services for our school customers, including cohort analysis, Default Management Plan assistance and the Default Prevention School Tool (DPST). Contact OCAP's Default Prevention department at 800.358.5460 or to learn more.

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College Planning

Get Ready for the College Countdown

January, February and March are great months to host a college planning event in your community. Whether you want to focus on campus visits, FAFSA education or career exploration, we're here to help! In addition to providing free publications and speakers, we may be able to offer funds to support your event!

Begin making plans now to host a college planning event at your high school or college campus and apply to receive up to $1,500 from OCAP to offset the cost of materials, advertising, food or other related expenses. We encourage you to partner with other schools or college campuses in your district or community, invite vendors and presenters, seek staff volunteers to work the event and identify the best methods for publicizing your event. By working collaboratively, you can share tasks and costs while increasing student and parent participation. We're available to assist you every step of the way!

Our calendar fills up quickly, so don't wait - contact us today at 866.443.7420 (toll free) or to schedule your next event and apply for a stipend to help offset your costs. See you soon!

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Financial Aid

Title IV Loan Discharge and Repayment Provisions

Significant changes were recently made to the student loan Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge provisions, Income-Based Repayment plans (IBR) and Income Contingent Repayment plans (ICR). The published final regulations can be found in the Federal Register (external class).

Notably, the provisions allow for the acceptance of Social Security Administration (SSA) disability documentation in lieu of a doctor's certification on the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) TPD form, if SSA has placed the borrower on a five- to seven-year review schedule, indicating that medical improvement is not expected. The TPD process has been simplified by allowing the borrower to file a single discharge application directly with ED. ED will then contact the borrower's Federal Family Education Loan, Direct Loan, and Perkins Loan holders, eliminating the need for the borrower to file multiple applications and ensuring consistency in TPD determinations. The final regulations also provide for enhanced notifications to borrowers, including more detailed reasons for discharge denials, information about options for reapplying and revised treatment of payments made following a TPD discharge.

The final regulations also implement a new repayment plan that will be available to borrowers who received their first Direct Loan on or after Oct. 1, 2007, and received at least one Direct Loan disbursement on or after Oct. 1, 2011. The "Pay as You Earn" ICR plan caps payments at 10 percent of disposable income, with remaining balances forgiven after 20 years of repayment. Similar repayment provisions will be available under the IBR plan for new borrowers after July 1, 2014. The regulations also outline new notification, processing, forbearance and documentation requirements in the ICR and IBR programs.

ED is required to develop two new forms as a result of these regulations: a TPD form for reporting income during the three-year post-discharge monitoring period and a combined IBR/"Pay as You Earn"/ICR Repayment Plan Request form.

The effective date for these regulations is July 1, 2013. However, the regulatory changes related to IBR annual income documentation, forbearance and recalculation of the payment amount are eligible for early implementation. ED intends for the "Pay As You Earn" provisions to be implemented as soon as possible and a separate Federal Register notice will be published to announce when this option becomes available to borrowers.

Questions regarding these regulations may be directed to OCAP Compliance at 405.234.4432, 800.247.0420 (toll free) or

IRS Income Verification for FAFSA Processing

Financial aid officer, do you need help getting IRS information on students selected for verification this spring? Check out this this article (external class) and pass it along to students and parents who need help verifying their tax information to qualify for federal aid.

What's New on IFAP?

Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs)




Common Manual Update

The latest version of the Integrated Common Manual is available on the Common Manual website. (external class)   As always, if you have questions about the manual, contact our Compliance department at 405.234.4432, 800.247.0420 (toll free) or

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Scholarships and Other Aid Opportunities

Graduation CapStudents in grades 9-12 are invited to participate in the JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Awards range from $500 to $10,000 and are awarded to students who best recount an instance of a U.S. elected official who "risked his or her career to take a stand based on the dictates of conscience, rather than the dictates of polls, interest groups or even constituents." The contest deadline is Jan. 5, 2013. More information is available at (external class).

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Financial Literacy

It's a Wrap — Alternatives for Holiday Gifts

It's what's on the inside that counts, right? Sure it is, but maybe that's not ALL that counts. For many of us, gift wrapping is half the fun of holiday gift giving! Fancy wrapping paper can be expensive and create additional waste. Let's take a look at some alternative approaches to giftwrapping that are easy on your pocketbook and the local landfill.

GiftsPre-cycle before you recycle. Newspaper makes great wrapping paper. The black and white graphic elements make a perfect background for you to get creative with lace, stickers or even duct tape! Wrapping for the kids? Use the comics. Wrapping for a football fan? Use the sports section. Wrapping for your great-aunt Ethel? Try the home and garden section.


Clean out the glove-box. With GPS and the Internet guiding us, paper maps have become all but obsolete. Here's a way to declutter your car and add some color to your holiday gift-giving — wrap with maps and spruce it up with ribbons, broken and unwanted jewelry or even old keys from your junk drawer!

GiftsTry your hand at Furoshiki. Furoshiki is the Japanese art of wrapping gifts in fabric. You can use anything from leftover Halloween costume scraps to a new scarf (a gift inside a gift). You can find Furoshiki tutorials on the Internet, or feel free to twist, tie and tuck until you get the look you want. Try using decorative hair-ties or ribbon to gather the fabric in interesting ways.

GiftsBrown is the new green. Brown paper grocery bags make a great natural looking wrapping paper. Cut down the seam and around the bottom of the bag and you'll have a nice sized sheet for wrapping. Get the kids involved; let them color pictures on the bags or send them on a nature hike to find pretty leaves, pinecones and twigs to adorn the gifts.

GiftsIt's in the bag. If you prefer gift bags to wrapping, you can still be green on a budget. Consider reusable shopping bags (another gift inside a gift). Most stores offer them now, so you can get a variety of colors and sizes, and they're usually a dollar or less. Spruce them up with ribbons and homemade gift tags. If you're crafty, you can even sew your own!

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Student Loan Management

Ask the Expert: How Can I Make the Most of Entrance Counseling?

Many institutions in the nation experienced cohort default rate increases as a result of the on-going switch from a two-year to a three-year cohort default rate. Those institutions are now trying to find a way to control their cohort rate to ensure they won't meet or exceed the new three-year punitive thresholds set by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). While there are many ways to reduce the cohort default rate, we believe that early involvement is an essential component of successful default prevention.

Stafford Loan Entrance counseling, another ED requirement, is one way institutions can help students avoid default from the start and face-to-face discussion with student-borrowers seems to make the most impact. To help busy financial aid officers make the most of entrance counseling, OCAP has developed a Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling PowerPoint presentation that can be used to walk students through the entrance counseling requirements. This tool can be paired with our Entrance Counseling Quiz, providing your financial aid office a record of students' entrance counseling completion. The quiz also shows how much of the information was understood and if additional contact is needed to help the student grasp key concepts.

If you're interested in our Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling tools or services for your institution, please contact Scott DeBoard at or 405.234.4233.


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