Summary: This letter describes Title IV Wide Area Network (TIV WAN or Title IV WAN) services, enhancements for the 1997-98 award year, enrollment procedures, access to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and receiving Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) through the Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) OR the Institution Applicant Data Service (but not through both).
Action Letter #4
SUMMARY: This letter describes Title IV Wide
Area Network (TIV WAN or Title IV WAN)
services, enhancements for the 1997-98 award
year, enrollment procedures, access to the National
Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and
receiving Institutional Student Information
Records (ISIRs) through the Electronic Data
Exchange (EDE) OR the Institution Applicant Data
Service (but not through both).
Dear Financial Aid Administrator:
The Title IV Wide Area Network (known as TIV
WAN or Title IV WAN) is the U.S. Department of
Education's (ED's) vehicle for electronically
transmitting and receiving data on financial aid
programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher
Education Act. TIV WAN transmits data from
ED's Electronic Data Exchange (EDE), the Direct
Loan Program, and the National Student Loan
Data System (NSLDS).
This letter describes TIV WAN services, details
EDExpress enhancements for the 1997-98 award
year, provides enrollment information for
TIV WAN and for access to the National Student
Loan Data System (NSLDS), defines PC
equipment needs, and describes the Institution
Applicant Data Service. A Glossary (Enclosure A)
explains terms that are used.
INSTITUTIONS THAT FILLED OUT FORMS
CONTAINED IN 1996-97 ACTION LETTER 7 (MARCH 6,
1996, GEN-96-8) AND HAVE NO CHANGES OR
ADDITIONS TO MAKE DO NOT RETURN THE
ENROLLMENT DOCUMENTS INCLUDED IN
THIS LETTER. Whether institutions need to complete
enrollment documents or not, they will want to
examine EDExpress enhancements for the new
year, read about Title IV application systems,
review the equipment recommendations, and
examine the new TIV WAN price schedule for the
Information in this Action Letter is organized as
TIV WAN Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 2
Enhancements for 1997-98. . . . . . . . . . . . page 4
Enrolling in TIV WAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 6
Mainframe Computers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 9
PC Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 9
Fees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 11
National Student Loan
Data System (NSLDS) . . . . . . . . . . . . page 11
Institution Applicant Data Service . . . . . . page 13
Enclosures A - H
What services does TIV WAN provide?
TIV WAN provides a link between the U. S.
Department of Education's (ED) Title IV databases
-- the Central Processing System (CPS), the
Direct Loan Program, National Student Loan Data
System (NSLDS), and Pell Grant Recipient and
Financial Management System (PGRFMS) -- and
participating institutions and servicers. Currently,
almost 7,000 institutions administering Title IV
federal student financial aid programs benefit from
the speed and ease of electronic data transmission.
TIV WAN provides three basic services that allow
- electronically exchange files of financial aid
data through the Electronic Data Exchange (EDE),
- access bulletin boards as well as send and
receive electronic mail through OPEnet, and
- access the CPS and NSLDS databases in an
on-line mode through a service called "Query."
TIV WAN allows participants to:
- complete and send electronic initial and
renewal applications to the CPS;
- receive electronic Institutional Student
Information Records (ISIRs) from the CPS;
- make electronic corrections to applicant data
and send them to the CPS;
- exchange Pell Grant payment data with the
- receive Electronic Statements of Account
(ESOA) from the Federal Pell Grant Program;
- exchange data with the Direct Loan Program
to originate loans; draw down, disburse, and
reconcile loan funds; and report student statuses;
- exchange data with the NSLDS.
Institutions may submit and receive data
electronically using a mainframe or personal
Each location that physically transmits and
receives financial aid data via TIV WAN is called
a "Destination Point." An institution can establish
itself as its Destination Point or it may use features
of TIV WAN that allow the institution to designate
a third-party servicer (or servicers) to be its
Destination Point(s). In both instances, the
institution can designate multiple destination
points for each of the functions provided by TIV
Destination Points transmit and receive data
through the store-and-forward feature of
TIV WAN. Using ED software, provided at no
cost to participants, users send files of formatted
records to the electronic mailbox of a Title IV
application system (CPS, the Direct Loan
Program, NSLDS, or Pell Grants) on the TIV
WAN network. Transmissions remain in the
respective mailbox until retrieved by the
appropriate application system. The application
system processes the data and sends the results
back to the user's mailbox on TIV WAN. From
there, the user can retrieve the returned data.
OPENET A PC-based bulletin board and e-mail
system, OPEnet gives institutions access to one
another, the Internet, and ED information.
Institutions that select DOS under Title IV WAN
software on the Letter of Application (Enclosure
C) automatically receive the DOS version of
OPEnet. Those who select Windows receive the
Windows version of OPEnet. Users pay only for
the time they are connected to the network; TIV
WAN does not assess an administration charge for
The e-mail function of OPEnet enables users to
send messages to other OPEnet users, including
ED and the Title IV WAN contractor. Users can
also send messages to and receive messages from
The bulletin board system of OPEnet provides
relevant TIV WAN information and stores
messages sent to the network.
QUERY Through a single connection, Query gives
TIV WAN users access to the CPS and NSLDS
databases, as well as to account information on
Using Query, TIV WAN users can:
- access the CPS and NSLDS Title IV databases
(depending on access privileges),
- view their transmission history, which is
updated at least every 30 minutes (5 am to 7 pm,
Central Standard Time),
- see when TIV WAN shipped software and
documentation to them, and
- browse information at on-line destinations.
In addition, TIV WAN customers can use Query to:
- view their billing information for past months
and see charges as they are added to their current
month's invoice, and
- view information at Destination Points for
which they have assumed payment responsibility.
Enhancements for 1997-98
The most significant change for the 1997-98
award year is the move to student-based
EDExpress information (rather than program-
based information). Also, for 1997-98, EDExpress
will not be available in DOS, only in a Windows
Some of the specific changes for the 1997-98
EDExpress Windows software are listed below in
Global and Application Processing Changes for 1997-98:
- EDExpress will organize records by student,
not by program.
- Pell Grant payment software will be fully
integrated into EDExpress.
- EDExpress will make on-line verification
available to create automatic correction records.
- EDExpress will allow for correction records
for multiple students to be created at the same time
using SAR field numbers and students' Social
Security numbers (SSNs).
- EDExpress will make document tracking
available globally, not just for packaging purposes.
Packaging Changes for 1997-98:
- EDExpress will expand the codes for budgets,
award methodologies, academic year profile codes,
and satisfactory academic progress (SAP) to
provide users with more flexibility.
- EDExpress will provide more descriptive
prompts to help users determine why specific
records cannot be packaged.
- EDExpress will provide an "Unawarded
Funds" button to help users determine why specific
funds cannot be awarded.
Direct Loan Program Changes for 1997-98:
- Cash management will track only transactions
that receive cash and return excess cash.
- Cash management will be year-specific, as in
other Title IV programs.
- Disbursements will be reconciled as soon as
the loan origination record, promissory note, and
disbursement record are all accepted, thus
reducing the number of loan detail records
included in a monthly reconciliation file.
- When a loan is booked, the reconciliation
status for disbursements will be returned on
promissory note and/or disbursement
- Selected fields from the loan table will be
available to create user-defined export record
- The Direct Loan Origination Center will send
acknowledgments after receiving the
Reconciliation Allocation/Reallocation Statement.
- Users will be able to reallocate Direct Loan
funds using the Reconciliation
For TIV WAN
The most significant change for TIV WAN in the
coming year is the addition of EDconnect and
NET*CONNECT in Windows format that will run
in either Windows 3.1 or Windows 95. This
software will be available beginning December
New users who select Windows software on their
Letter of Application (Enclosure C) before
December will receive the DOS version; they will
be mailed the Windows version when it is ready
for general distribution. Current users will be
notified when the Windows software is available
and sent instructions on how to obtain it.
Who is eligible to enroll in TIV WAN?
The following organizations may exchange data
electronically through TIV WAN:
- any postsecondary institution that participates
in at least one of the Title IV federal student
financial assistance programs and
- any organization that services institutions that
participate in Title IV programs.
In addition, the following organizations may
acquire OPEnet and Query:
- state educational agencies,
- Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL)
Program lenders and guaranty agencies, and
- state scholarship agencies.
How does an institution or servicer enroll in TIV
Institutions and servicers enroll in network and
other electronic services provided by CPS, the
Direct Loan Program, NSLDS, and Pell Grants by
completing the appropriate Title IV WAN
enrollment documents. The enrollment process
for Title IV WAN requires institutions and
servicers to provide three distinct sets
of information, depending on the TIV WAN
services in which they wish to participate.
To participate in TIV WAN, an institution (or
servicer on behalf of an institution) must complete
a TITLE IV WAN CUSTOMER INITIATION DOCUMENT
(CID)(ENCLOSURE B), which establishes payment
responsibility. This document covers all
Destination Points sponsored by the institution and
needs to be submitted only once.
To establish specific Destination Points, an
institution must submit a TITLE IV WAN LETTER OF
APPLICATION (LOA)(ENCLOSURE C) for each of its
Destination Points. (Make photocopies of the
original form if there will be multiple
submissions). Each Destination Point contact
must complete Block A (if updating information),
the "name of the organization" line, and Blocks
B, C, and D. Each contact then selects specific
Title IV WAN services:
- For access to EDE services, complete Block E.
- For access to Direct Loan Program services,
complete Block F.
- For access to NSLDS batch services (for
instance, for Student Status Confirmation Reports
[SSCRs] and financial aid transcripts [FATs]),complete
- For access to NSLDS on-line services,
complete Block H.
All contacts must then complete Blocks I, J, and
K, paying particular attention to the Privacy Act
Statement on page 3.
The PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT (PA)
(ENCLOSURE D) designates those Destination Points that
will have access to one or more of the Title IV WAN
store-and-forward batch capabilities. For instance, a
Participation Agreement enables the institution to
receive and transmit Institution Student
Information Records (ISIRs), electronically submit
Pell Grant payment data, and receive NSLDS
Student Status Confirmation Reports (SSCRs).
There is not always a one-to-one correlation
between a Letter of Application and a Participation
Agreement. For example, a service agent may act
on behalf of many institutions and needs only to
submit a Participation Agreement for each
institution it adds. For institutions with several
Destination Points, the Title IV WAN contractor is
currently investigating how to simplify the way
user access is granted and canceled, as well as a
way to avoid sending unneeded duplicate materials
every time a new user receives access to the
Institution Applicant Data Service
Institutions may choose to receive ISIRs on
magnetic tapes or cartridges rather than through
TIV WAN. This option is provided through the
Institution Applicant Data Service. SCHOOLS MAY
NOT RECEIVE ISIRS FROM BOTH THE INSTITUTION
APPLICANT DATA SERVICE AND THROUGH TIV WAN.
To receive ISIRs through the Institution Applicant
Data Service schools, must complete the
Institution Applicant Tape/Cartridge Option
Request Form (Enclosure H).
NOTE: INSTITUTIONS THAT WISH TO RECEIVE ISIRS
FROM CPS MUST RETURN EITHER A
PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT OR AN
INSTITUTION APPLICANT TAPE/CARTRIDGE
OPTION REQUEST FORM FOR MAGNETIC
TAPE OR CARTRIDGE.
Where should enrollment documents be sent?
Send all enrollment documents, including the TIV
WAN Customer Initiation Document
(Enclosure B), Letter of Application (Enclosure
C), Participation Agreement (Enclosure D),
Mainframe Requirements Document
(Enclosure E), and Institution Applicant Data
Service Description (Enclosure G), Institution
Applicant Tape/Cartridge Option Request Form
(Enclosure H), as appropriate, to TIV WAN
By mail, send the enrollment documents to:
Title IV WAN Customer Service
PO Box 30
Iowa City, IA 52244
For overnight delivery, send the enrollment
Title IV WAN Customer Service
2510 North Dodge Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
If there are any questions about enrolling, please
call TIV WAN customer service at 800-615-1189.
When can an institution or servicer enroll?
Eligible institutions and organizations may enroll
in TIV WAN, change services, or update
information at any time. Institutions that do not
sign up for CPS data by January 10, 1997,
however, might miss 1997-98 records and may
need to request a Year-to-Date file for which there
is a fee. Institutions already enrolled in CPS
automatically will be rolled over and enrolled in
the 1997-98 processing cycle.
What happens after enrolling?
Once TIV WAN project staff receive the
enrollment documents, the Destination Point
contact listed on the Letter of Application is sent
the following software and user's guides:
- Integrated Application Menu (IAM) software,
- OPEnet software,
- Title IV WAN and OPEnet User's Guide, and
- EDExpress software and User's Guide.
In addition, the technical contact (or the
destination contact if it is the same person)
- The Electronic Data Exchange Technical
Reference (if enrolled in EDE or the Direct Loan
- The Direct Loan Technical Reference (if
enrolled in the Direct Loan Program).
The only fee to users is if they order additional
copies of the software and documentation.
How is enrollment information updated?
Participants may update enrollment information at
any time. If information on the submitted Letter
of Application (LOA) changes, it is not necessary
to submit another Customer Initiation Document,
but a new LOA must be submitted. The REVISED
LOA should include the institution's customer
number, and the change box should be checked.
Update only the information that is changing. Do
not complete sections of the LOA that remain
If information submitted on the Participation
Agreement (PA) changes, an ENTIRELY NEW PA
must be submitted. The new PA should include
the Destination Point number (or the number of
the servicer that acts as your Destination Point) in
the box at the top of the agreement. The new PA
must be filled out in full, this includes filling out
information that has not changed. The new
Participation Agreement completely supersedes
any prior PA.
Does TIV WAN support mainframe computers?
TIV WAN supports personal computers or
mainframe computers. If an institution or third-
party servicer chooses to use a mainframe
computer, it must complete and submit the
Mainframe Requirements Document
(Enclosure E). This document provides ED's TIV
WAN technical staff with valuable information
that enables it to effectively support
communication with TIV WAN.
If a mainframe computer is indicated on the Letter
of Application and a Mainframe Requirements
Document is submitted, TIV WAN sends
communications software in IEBCOPY format, on
tape or cartridge, and a mainframe user's guide
that addresses communications protocols. The
software runs on IBM or IBM-compatible
mainframes with MVS operating systems.
If there are any questions about completing the
Mainframe Requirements Document or operating
in a mainframe environment on TIV WAN, please
call Title IV WAN customer service at
What equipment is needed for a personal
To run TIV WAN and other application system
software products effectively, ED recommends the
following personal computer (PC) configuration:
- IBM or fully IBM-compatible PC with at least
a 486DX2, 66MHz processor
- MS-DOS version 6.2 or higher (configured to
provide maximum conventional and expanded
- Windows 3.1 (or 3.11) or Windows 95
- 620 K of conventional RAM available (600 K
for DOS only)
- 16 MB of total RAM memory
- At least 300 MB of available hard disk space
for all the software and records the institution will
need to store for EDE, the Direct Loan Program,
and NSLDS. The amount of space required will
depend on the number of records the institution
- 3.5" floppy disk drive (high density)
- 3.5" high-density double-sided diskettes
formatted using DOS
- 14,400 bps or higher baud Hayes or fully
Hayes-compatible asynchronous modem
- Dedicated phone line
- Printer capable of printing on standard paper
(8 ½" x 11")
Estimating needs for hard-disk space
The supplied software takes up the following space
on your hard disk:
NET*CONNECT/OPEnet 10.5 MB
OPEnet for Windows 10 MB
EDExpress (DOS) 7 MB
EDExpress (Windows) 16 MB
Conversion (EDE) 8-10 MB
Electronic Payment Information (Pell) 1 MB
Each set of 5,000 records requires the
Direct Loan 6 MB
ISIR 15 MB
NSLDS 4 MB
Packaging 2 MB
Pell Payment 3 MB
How much will it cost?
Although many institutions already may have the
equipment needed to participate in TIV WAN,
some will need to purchase additional equipment,
as discussed above.
TIV WAN users will be required to pay for
enrollment, certain calls to TIV WAN customer
service, and for some of the transmission charges.
After enrolling in TIV WAN, users receive three
copies of their invoice within 10 working days
after the end of each month in which they had
billable activity. Check the Fee Schedule For Title
IV WAN Services (Enclosure F) for a complete list
of prices and for a list of activities paid for by ED.
- Users do not pay a monthly service charge for
using Title IV WAN.
- First-time users are charged $25.51 for
processing their Letter of Application.
- Users are charged $25.45 for processing each
Participation Agreement they submit.
- Users pay $12.61 for each telephone call to
TIV WAN customer service, as outlined in the fee
- OPEnet users pay only for the time they spend
connected to the network.
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
is a national database of Title IV loan-level
information and selected grant data. Enrolling in
the NSLDS is required of all institutions that
participate in Title IV federal student financial aid
programs. The NSLDS includes information on
- Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL)
- William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
(Direct Loan Program)
- Perkins Loan Program
- Pell Awards/Disbursements
- Pell/FSEOG Overawards
Institutions, servicers, and guaranty agencies have
access to NSLDS in order to perform their Title IV
regulatory responsibilities. TIV WAN users can
obtain NSLDS data via direct on-line access or by
transmitting batch files to the NSLDS TIV WAN
On-line functions of NSLDS include:
- Financial aid transcripts (FATs) -- These on-
line screens can be used to meet the regulatory
requirements related to FATs according to the
provisions provided by ED in "Dear Colleague"
- Student Status Confirmation Reports
(SSCRs) -- Institutions can update students'
enrollment status on-line and select SSCR
- Overpayment reporting -- Users can enter
Title IV overpayments into NSLDS.
- Borrower tracking -- These on-line screens
provide detail and historical information about a
- Report selecting -- Several preprogrammed
reports are available to institutions and guaranty
agencies to assist in administering Title IV aid.
Each on-line user receives an NSLDS User ID and
password and should not share it with anyone,
including other institutional staff members. To
obtain on-line access, each user must complete a
Letter of Application (LOA) (Enclosure C). Users
must provide their personal information in Block I
of the LOA. NSLDS uses this information to
verify eligibility for a NSLDS User ID and to
establish security for resetting passwords. If
NSLDS finds discrepant data, a User ID and
password will not be issued.
Batch access to NSLDS is necessary for
transmitting and receiving large data files, such as
data provider submissions and SSCR files.
NSLDS sends these files to an institution's
TIV WAN mailbox using the store-and-forward
capability of TIV WAN. The institution's
transmissions go directly to the NSLDS mailbox
on the network. To establish batch access to
NSLDS, each institution must complete a
Participation Agreement (Enclosure D).
Batch files may also be sent to a Destination Point
other than an institution's site with the institution's
approval. Page 3 of the Participation Agreement
gives the option of selecting other Destination
Points for SSCR reporting, FATs, Perkins Loan
Data Provider files, and Pre-Claims Assistance.
The person signing the Participation Agreement
can also be the recipient of Backup Default Data
for the institution's cohort default rates.
Users do not need additional software to access
NSLDS. On-line users use the NET*CONNECT
function contained in TIV WAN software to access
NSLDS screens. Users obtain batch access
through the EDconnect program, which is also
included in TIV WAN software.
If there are questions about NSLDS, please call the
NSLDS Customer Service Center at 800-999-8219.
Institution Applicant Data Service
ED makes ISIRs containing student financial aid
applicant data available to institutions on tape or
cartridge without charge up to 40 times during the
processing year. All institutions eligible to
participate in Title IV federal student financial aid
programs may request and receive applicant data
in the form of ISIRs through this service.
REMEMBER, PARTICIPATING IN THIS SERVICE
PROHIBITS AN INSTITUTION FROM PARTICIPATING
IN THE ISIR SERVICE THROUGH EDE.
ISIR output for 1997-98 is available on tape or
cartridge magnetic media; there are a few layout
changes from 1996-97. Enclosure G provides
more detailed information about the Institution
Applicant Data Service, including the dates on
which output will be produced and mailed.
Institutions that currently receive Institution
Applicant Data Service ISIRs for the 1996-97
award year will have their requests rolled over and
receive 1997-98 ISIRs automatically according to
the same schedule. If your institution wants to
change, cancel, or initiate this service, please
submit a new Institution Applicant Tape/Cartridge
Option Request Form (Enclosure H) indicating
THE FIRST 1997-98 TAPE OR CARTRIDGE AN
INSTITUTION RECEIVES WILL BE CUMULATIVE: IT
WILL CONTAIN ALL APPLICANTS SPECIFYING THE
INSTITUTION ON THEIR LATEST OFFICIAL
TRANSACTIONS SINCE PROCESSING START UP. EACH
SUBSEQUENT TAPE OR CARTRIDGE WILL NOT BE
CUMULATIVE; IT WILL PROVIDE ISIRS ONLY FOR
THOSE APPLICANTS WHO INDICATED THE
INSTITUTION AND HAVE HAD A TRANSACTION
PROCESSED BY THE CPS SINCE THE INSTITUTION'S
LAST TAPE OR CARTRIDGE WAS PRODUCED.
Note that the Institution Applicant Data Service,
EDE, the Federal Pell Grant Recipient Data
Exchange (RDE), and the Federal Pell Grant
Floppy Disk Data Exchange (FDDE) are separate
and distinct processes:
- The Institution Applicant Data Service
provides ISIRs from the CPS via tape or cartridge
- EDE provides the ability to receive and
transmit ISIRs and Pell Grant and Direct
Loan Program payment information electronically
via TIV WAN.
- RDE and FDDE allow institutions to submit
Pell Grant payment data to ED and receive back
processed payment data/student payment summary
data via tape, cartridge, or floppy diskette.
If you have any questions about the Institution
Applicant Data Service, please contact customer
service for Institution Applicant Data Service,
Federal Student Aid Programs, at 800-330-5947.
We are excited about the electronic data services
ED's Student Financial Assistance Programs
(SFAP) is able to offer in the coming year, and we
believe that users will share our enthusiasm. For
any questions concerning TIV WAN enrollment,
please call Title IV WAN customer service at
Elizabeth M. Hicks
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Student Financial Assistance Programs
Enclosure A: Glossary
Enclosure B: Title IV WAN Customer Initiation
Complete only if you are a new user or wish to
update information on TIV WAN CID.
Enclosure C: Letter of Application (LOA)
Complete only if you are a new user or wish to
update destination information or service
enrollment information on the LOA.
Enclosure D: Participation Agreement (PA)
Complete only if you are a new user, wish to
update information regarding EDE or NSLDS
services, or wish to change designation of
Enclosure E: Mainframe Requirements Document
Complete only if you are a new user and will be
connecting to TIV WAN with a mainframe
Enclosure F: Fee Schedule for Title IV WAN
Enclosure G: Institution Applicant Data Service
Enclosure H: Institution Applicant Tape/Cartridge
Option Request Form
Complete only if you wish to receive ISIR records
via tape or cartridge rather than through TIV
WAN and are not already enrolled in this service.
*1* Institutions participating in the Direct Loan
Program are not charged for TIV WAN services,
however, they will receive a bill for OPEnet