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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

ED Discontinues The Blue Book

August 25, 2015

The Department of Education has discontinued The Blue Book, its manual  on accounting, recordkeeping, and reporting for federally funded student financial aid programs. While the 2013 version is still available on ED's Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website, the department has announced it will be the last published. Most of the content has been moved to ED's Federal Student Aid (FSA) Handbook.

The Blue Book, intended specifically for business officers, has been updated with decreasing frequency in recent years, with eight years between the previous two editions. The FSA Handbook, on the other hand, is updated for each new academic year.

Much of the general information in The Blue Book was taken from the FSA Handbook. ED has now moved other content, including specific guidance on accounting systems, from The Blue Book to the FSA Handbook. For instance, Volume 4 of The Blue Book covered Financial Operations and Program Integrity in four chapters, and that material is now included in the FSA Handbook:

  • Chapters 1 and 2 on financial responsibility and program integrity are covered in Volume 2, chapter 4 of the FSA Handbook.
  • Chapter 3 on accounting systems, requirements, and procedures now appears as Appendix A to Volume 4 of the FSA Handbook.
  • Chapter 4 discussing schools' financial management systems appears in Appendix B to Volume 4 of the FSA Handbook.


Anne Gross
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

Bryan Dickson
Senior Policy Analyst