ED distributes Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs) to schools, lenders, servicers, and guarantors to provide interpretive policy guidance about the federal student aid programs. Typically, ED issues a DCL to provide interim guidance after Congress reauthorizes the Higher Education Act or between releases of final regulations. Recent and archived DCLs are available on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website.
Each DCL has a specific ID number. The ID number has three identifying components: the type of letter, the year, and the sequence number.
For the past several years, ED has included five DCL types:
However, there has been a steady decline in the use of three of the five types (CB, FP, and P). To make it easier for members of the financial aid community to locate posted guidance, ED decided to retire the three seldom-used DCL types.
As of January 2013, ED issues new DCLs under two types — GEN and ANN.
All DCLs posted prior to January 2013 will retain the "DCL ID" assigned at the time of posting and remain accessible to members of the financial aid community via the IFAP website.
For more information, visit the IFAP website.