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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

New Blue Book Published by ED

February 7, 2013

The Department of Education has published an updated version of The Blue Book for the first time in eight years. The Blue Book covers accounting, recordkeeping, and reporting by postsecondary institutions that participate in the federal student aid programs. While accounting procedures haven't changed much since the previous version was published in 2005, there have been numerous changes to federal financial aid programs over the last eight years. Seven volumes, running to almost 800 pages, of The Blue Book have been posted on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals IFAP web site:

  • Volume 1 - Elements of Institutional Eligibility
  • Volume 2 - Student Eligibility
  • Volume 3 - Awarding, Packaging, and Scheduling Disbursements
  • Volume 4 - Financial Operations and Program Integrity
  • Volume 5 - Managing Federal Funds
  • Volume 6 - The Business Office and the FSA Grant Programs
  • Volume 7 - The Business Office and the Campus-Based Programs

ED has tried to bring the topics that are of most interest to business officers and bursars into one place. Much of the non-accounting content is taken from the Federal Student Aid Handbook intended for financial aid administrators. For instance, the 202 pages in Volume 5 covering return of Title IV funds (R2T4) is not new guidance, but rather is the same as that provided in Volume 5 of the FSA Handbook.

One additional volume, focusing on the Direct Loan program, and several appendices are planned for the near future. The 2013 Blue Book is only available electronically; ED no longer provides hard copy versions of its publications.


Anne Gross
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

Bryan Dickson
Senior Policy Analyst

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