Integrated Common Manual
Common Manual Updates
May 16, 2013
Common Manual Updates
April 18, 2013
May 16, 2013
The Common Manual: Unified Student Loan Policy is an introduction to and overview of participation in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). It is designed to help train new financial aid and student loan personnel and to assist the experienced officer in finding answers to questions about federal regulations and guarantor policy related to the FFELP.
TG is pleased to provide several online Common Manual resources to enhance schools' and lenders' research capabilities and provide them with the most up-to-date information about the FFELP:
For additional Common Manual resources, including proposals out for comment, instructions for submitting comments, and training resources, please visit the Common Manual website at www.commonmanual.org.
The annual update of the Common Manual is released each July as the Electronic Common Manual (ECM) and in paper form. As new policies are approved throughout the year, the Integrated Common Manual (ICM) is posted.
The ICM is the up-to-date online version of the Common Manual. It contains the same information, follows the same format, and provides the same research tools as the ECM, but it also displays approved changes made since the last annual update of the Common Manual. The newly approved policies are noted using underlines for new language and strikeouts for deleted language. This system helps ICM users readily identify new information and accelerates research efforts.
Generally, the Governing Board of the Common Manual meets monthly to review and approve new and revised policies for the Manual. These policies are then integrated into the existing text of the ICM as soon as final language is available, usually about ten days after the meeting.
To view the ICM, click on the Integrated Common Manual link in the right margin. To enable you to search the document more efficiently, TG recommends downloading the ICM to your desktop. Online searches (when the file has not been downloaded to the desktop) may be slow and tedious because of the size of the file. Instructions for Downloading are in the right margin.
For notification of ICM updates, subscribe to TG's weekly electronic newsletter, Shoptalk.
Common Manual Updates (also known as bulletin language) provide explanations about, and reasons for, policy changes. The Updates should be used in conjunction with the ICM to ensure a complete understanding of policy changes. Click on the Common Manual Updates link in the right margin to view the most recent month's bulletin language and on the Archives link for past Updates.
The first item in the ICM is a Summary of Changes Approved chart, which includes all the changes made to the ICM since the last annual update (July through the latest month). The chart identifies the section changed, and includes a description of the change, as well as a notice of the effective date or triggering event of the new policy. The chart, which is updated as changes are approved and inserted into the ICM text, is useful for paper or electronic Manual users because it provides a history of Manual changes for a particular year.
Each ICM page with updated policy has footnotes that contain the Governing Board's approval date, the batch and policy proposal number, and the location of the update. If a page has multiple policy updates, each updated policy has a corresponding footnote. This information is particularly useful in researching past changes.
A separate portable document file (PDF) containing revised pages is made available each time the ICM is updated. These PDFs are then archived for future reference. If a user maintains a paper copy of the Manual, the user can print the PDFs and insert the pages to update the paper copy. Click on the Revised Pages link in the right margin for the most recent month's pages and the Archives link for previous revised pages. Note: Revised pages are not intended to replace current pages but, instead, are intended to show changes as a result of a policy update.
The Common Manual Policy Committee has issued a series of training briefs to help the financial aid community get the most out of the Common Manual. The briefs were created in response to suggestions from Manual users. Click on the link at the right to access these training briefs.