Summary: Announces the new 1999-2000 Recipient Financial Management System (RFMS) for reporting and requesting funds under the Federal Pell Grant Program
SUMMARY: Announces the new 1999-2000 Recipient Financial Management System (RFMS) for reporting and requesting funds under the Federal Pell Grant Program.
This letter is the first in a series that will provide information on the new Recipient Financial Management System (RFMS) that replaces the existing Pell Grant Recipient Financial Management System (PGRFMS) and will be used by institutions to report and request Federal Pell Grant student payment information beginning with the 1999-2000 award year. The PGRFMS is the name of the current processing system that institutions use to report Federal Pell Grant student payment data. This series of letters will describe the features of the new processing system and provide other important information concerning RFMS. RFMS moves the U. S. Department of Education (Department) towards implementing common processes and records for Federal Title IV program funding to students and institutions in accordance with Project EASI (Easy Access for Students and Institutions), the Department's collaborative
initiative with the community to create an integrated, national student aid delivery system.
During the past several years, in addition to working with Project EASI, we have also held focus groups with higher education community officials to discuss how the Federal Pell Grant Program processing system could be improved. We wish to thank all of the financial aid administrators, business officers, other institutional officials, and the higher education community for their input and help in developing RFMS. We plan to continue our focus groups to assist us in defining and solving implementation issues.
The major differences between the current system and RFMS are the reporting sequence and the data record formats. Under RFMS, institutions will submit an origination record and one or more disbursement records for each student who is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, similar in concept to the Federal Direct Loan Program origination reporting process. Draft origination and disbursement record layouts are enclosed and, as you can see, contain basically the same payment data information that you are currently reporting to PGRFMS. Technical system specifications and RFMS documentation materials will be available in future letters in this series.
We also will be providing RFMS information at higher education conferences, such as national, regional, and state association meetings, and at the Department's three 1998 Electronic Access
Conferences scheduled for November and December. We will also be scheduling training to begin in March or April 1999.
In addition, the latest RFMS information will be available at the Department's Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website (ifap.ed.gov).
Thank you for your continued support of the Federal Pell Grant Program. We look forward to providing you additional information regarding the 1999-2000 RFMS in future letters.
Diane E. Rogers
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary
Student Financial Assistance Programs