Why can't Financial Aid ignore DOR funds?
The DOR regulations and the Title IV regulations have similar sounding phrases in them. However, the Title IV regulations at 34 CFR 673.05 (e) require ...'The institution shall take into account those resources it -- I) Can reasonably anticipate at the time it awards. , or (iii) Otherwise knows about.' Further specific guidance has been provided to the Financial Aid community in the Federal Student Aid Handbook (03-04, page 1-124, paragraph 2), which goes on to direct the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, that it' ...must coordinate funds available from the vocational rehabilitation agency and from institutional, state, and federal student financial assistance programs to prevent an over-award. The amount of assistance from the vocational rehabilitation agency must be documented in the student's file.' What the Title IV regulations mean specifically is that the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships should ignore DOR funds paid to or on behalf of students for expenses related to their disability. So, if the DOR purchases a special device (like a wheel chair or a hearing aid) or pays another disability related expense, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships does not consider that kind of assistance as a 'resource,' nor does it consider the cost of that device in the student's 'Cost of Attendance allowance'. However, when the DOR is paying for something that all students (including non-disabled students) must pay, (for example, tuition fees, books, ordinary transportation expenses) then the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is mandated by the Federal regulations that govern the Title IV Financial Aid programs to 'resource coordinate'. This means that it must look at other sources of funds available to students to assure that students do not receive more than the total 'Cost of Attendance', or an 'Over-award' and document that in the student's file.