In Dear Colleague Letter GEN-21-01, posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website on Jan. 22, 2021, we provided schools with payment and disbursement schedules for determining Pell Grant awards for the 2021–22 Award Year. These schedules must be used for all 2021–22 Pell Grant award calculations.
As noted in the Dear Colleague Letter, the maximum Pell Grant award for the 2021–22 Award Year is $6,495, an increase of $150 from the $6,345 maximum Pell Grant award for the 2020–21 Award Year. The maximum expected family contribution (EFC) eligible for a Pell Grant for the 2021–22 Award Year is 5846 as compared to 5711 for the 2020–21 Award Year.
We have begun the work needed to modify our systems, web and software products, technical documents, training materials, and publications to reflect the 2021–22 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules. In the sections below, we describe the impact to the following systems and software products, as well as provide the anticipated completion date for each update:
Impact on the CPS and Upcoming Reprocessing;
Impact on the COD System; and
Impact on EDExpress.
Impact on the CPS and Upcoming Reprocessing
When we began processing the 2021–22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form on Oct. 1, 2020, we used the 2020–21 maximum EFC of 5711 to establish Pell Grant eligibility and reported that eligibility on Student Aid Reports (SARs) and in Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs). As a result of the maximum EFC increase for 2021–22, some applicants (those with EFCs greater than or equal to 5712 and less than or equal to 5846) who were not Pell Grant eligible using the 2020–21 schedules are now Pell Grant eligible for the 2021–22 Award Year.
On March 28, 2021, we will update the CPS to use the 2021–22 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules (and maximum eligible EFC) to determine Pell Grant eligibility and estimated Pell Grant Scheduled Award amounts for all newly-submitted 2021–22 FAFSA forms, as well as for all newly-submitted corrections to previously-filed FAFSA forms.
As part of the CPS system update, we will update our SAR print operations to display estimated Pell Grant Scheduled Award amounts based on the 2021–22 schedules. Similar updates will be implemented to fafsa.gov and myStudentAid mobile app confirmation page functionality. Help text on both will also be updated at this time.
After we implement the changes to the CPS, we will need to identify and reprocess records for those students who completed a 2021–22 FAFSA form or submitted a correction before March 28, 2021 and who are now newly eligible for a 2021–22 Pell Grant, based upon the 2021–22 schedules and maximum EFC.
The CPS will identify the impacted 2021–22 transactions on March 29, 2021 and reprocess them on March 30, 2021 in order to properly indicate Pell Grant eligibility. The March 30 reprocessing will create a new SAR and ISIR transaction for any student with an EFC that is greater than 5711 (the previous maximum Pell-eligible EFC) and less than or equal to 5846 (the new maximum Pell-eligible EFC) to reflect the addition of Pell Grant eligibility.
Note that student records that had been Pell Grant eligible-based on the 2020–21 schedules and maximum EFC do not need to be reprocessed even though the estimated Pell Grant award amount presented to the student has changed. Schools should simply use the 2021–22 schedules published in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-21-01 when awarding and disbursing 2021–22 Pell Grants.
Several methods will exist for schools to identify records resulting from the March 30 reprocessing:
Reprocessed ISIRs will be sent under the IGSG22OP message class.
Paper SARs and ISIRs will include SAR comment code 172, which states “This SAR was produced because we processed a change to your information based on information reported to us by another agency or as a result of a processing system change. Review your SAR to see what effect, if any, this change has had on your application, and call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) if you have any questions.”
ISIRs produced as a result of the March 30 reprocessing will include a value of “01” for the Reprocessed Reason Code (ISIR field #243).
The FAA Information page in Student Inquiry on the FAA Access to CPS Online website will display “01 – Reprocessed due to change in the Pell Maximum EFC” for the Reprocessing Code for the transaction resulting from the March 30 reprocessing.
Note: On April 25, 2021, we will update the ISIR Request edits that enable FAA Access to CPS Online users to request Pell-eligible ISIRs with EFCs in the range of 5712 to 5846. We will also update help text in FAA Access to CPS Online to reference the maximum Pell Grant award and/or new maximum Pell-eligible EFC for 2021–22.
Impact on the COD System
On March 19–21, 2021, we plan to implement COD System functionality that supports processing for the 2021–22 Award Year. We will implement the 2021–22 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in the COD System at that time. Detailed information about the March 2021 COD System update will be provided in an Electronic Announcement posted to the Knowledge Center website prior to the COD System release.
Impact on EDExpress
EDExpress 2021-2022, Release 1.0, posted on Sept. 25, 2020, does not include the 2021–22 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules and instead carries over the schedules from the 2020–21 Award Year. Release 2.0, scheduled for release in mid-April 2021, will update the Packaging and Pell Grant modules to use the 2021–22 schedules.
EDExpress Packaging users who want to manually add or adjust Pell Grant awards according to the 2021–22 schedules before Release 2.0 is available must use the Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-21-01. After Release 2.0 is available in mid-April, EDExpress users who already packaged students using Release 1.0 must repackage those students using Release 2.0 to ensure an accurate Pell Grant award.
If you have questions regarding the updates to the CPS or EDExpress, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 1-800-330-5947 or by email at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.
If you have questions regarding the updates to the COD System, contact the COD School Relations Center at 1-800-848-0978 or by email at CODSupport@ed.gov.