Summary: This letter provides information, schedules and options for institutions wishing to request electronic and/or printed materials and files for the 1999-2000 Renewal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (Renewal FAFSA).
Action Letter # 1
SUMMARY: This letter provides information, schedules and options for institutions wishing to request electronic and/or printed materials and files for the 1999-2000 Renewal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (Renewal FAFSA).
The 1999-2000 Renewal FAFSA process pre-prints certain data from a student's 1998-99 FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA, and requires the applicant to provide annual financial data and to update other information only if it has changed. For the 1999-2000 application year, as in previous years, the Renewal Application process allows institutions participating in Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) to request and distribute Renewal FAFSAs to their students, or have the U.S. Department of Education (ED) handle the distribution for them. If no EDE institution requests an eligible applicants Renewal record (either in electronic or paper format) ED will print and mail (except in cases described later in this letter) the Renewal FAFSA directly to the student.
The procedures by which institutions can request Renewal Application Data (RAD) are identical to those that were used for the 1998-1999 application year. The RAD choices available to institutions are discussed below and the specific instructions for making RAD requests are provided in Enclosure B. Your school will have access to all eligible Renewal applicants who listed your school on their 1998-1999 FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA (a description of the eligible Renewal applicant selection criteria is provided later in this letter).
Note that you are not required to request Renewal FAFSAs for your students. If you do not wish to print or distribute Renewal FAFSAs, and also do not wish to receive an electronic file containing RAD records, you may disregard the instructions for requesting Renewal FAFSAs contained in this letter. If you do not submit a RAD request, ED will mail paper Renewal FAFSAs to all students who are eligible to receive them.
Changes for 1999-2000
The Department of Education has made three changes to the renewal application process for 1999-2000. The changes are as follows:
1. ED will mail an Electronic Access Code (EAC) directly to certain students. Applicants who receive an EAC in the mail will not receive a paper Renewal FAFSA from ED. Students can use the EAC to access and complete their Renewal FAFSA on the Web (located at www.fafsa.ed.gov). Web filing is free and secure, and the processing time generally is one to two weeks faster than for paper FAFSAs.
EACs will automatically be mailed to:
applicants in the 1999-2000 Renewal Application (RAPP) database (see following section for more information about records that will be included in this database) who filed a 1998-99 FAFSA on the Web or Renewal FAFSA on the Web;
applicants in the 1999-2000 RAPP database who filed any type of 1998-99 FAFSA (paper or electronic) and indicated:
(a) in FAFSA question #31 that their 1998-99 grade level in college was either 5th year/other undergraduate or graduate/professional, and
(b) in FAFSA question #30 that they expected to complete their program after July 1999, or they left this question blank.
EACs will be mailed to these applicants even if a school requests paper and/or electronic Renewal FAFSAs from ED as part of the Renewal Application process. To receive an EAC, a students 1998-99 FAFSA must have been processed by the Central Processing System (CPS) by September 24, 1998, which is the date the Renewal Application (RAPP) database will be built (see Enclosure A, 1999-2000 Renewal Application Schedule).
EACs will be mailed at the same time as the CPS mailing of paper Renewal FAFSAs (between November 23, 1998 and January 8, 1999). EACs will remain the same from year to year; therefore, students who requested and obtained an EAC to access their 1998-99 Renewal FAFSA on the Web can use the same EAC to access their 1999-2000 Renewal FAFSA on the Web.
2. The Renewal Applicant (RAPP) database will be created only once, using only those applicant records that were processed by the CPS by 5:00 p.m., Central Time (CT), on September 24, 1998. (See section on eligibility criteria for further information about which students will be included in the RAPP database.)
3. Based on feedback from institutions, we have decided to eliminate the second CPS bulk mailing available in prior years. The mailing of all CPS-printed Renewal Applications to institutions will take place between November 12 and November 20, 1998.
Several useful enclosures are provided with this letter. These are:
Enclosure A is the 1999-2000 Renewal Application Schedule.
Enclosure B provides general information on how to submit RAD request(s), who to contact for customer support, and enrollment requirements.
Enclosure C contains step-by-step procedures for requesting RAD records via On-Line Query using the Title IV WAN.
Enclosure D provides helpful hints for making Type 2 RAD requests (RADD00IN) through Title IV WAN (more information about making Type 2 requests is provided later in this letter).
Enclosure E contains a chart to assist in interpreting any RAD error (EREP00OP) files received.
Enclosure F provides answers to frequently asked questions about the RAD request process.
Enclosure G is the 1999-2000 file layout for Type 2 RAD requests.
RAD Participation Choices
Your institution has several choices for participating in the 1999-2000 Renewal FAFSA process. These choices allow you to select all, or selected groups of, your institutions eligible Renewal applicants (see Enclosures B and C for detailed information on the request options available to you and how to use them). Participating institutions may use one or more of the choices listed below:
A) Institution Prints and Distributes: You may request that electronic Renewal FAFSA data be sent to your destination point for all, or selected groups of, eligible Renewal applicants who listed your school code on their 1998-1999 FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA. Applicant data will be sent to you in one or more electronic RAD files, which you can import into EDExpress for Windows software or into your mainframe system. The electronic files will include records for students to whom ED will mail Electronic Access Codes (EAC), if you requested those records.
If you elect to receive electronic Renewal FAFSA data you are obligated to do all of the following:
(1) Using EDExpress or your mainframe system, you must print Renewal
FAFSAs for all of the students in the RAD files you receive,
even if a student will receive an EAC in the mail from ED, never
enrolled at your school, or does not plan to enroll at your
school in 1999-2000;
(2) Once printed, your institution must distribute all of the
printed Renewal FAFSAs and accompanying instructions to the
students, by mail or other means; and
(3) Your institution must electronically enter and transmit to the
CPS the Renewal FAFSAs that are completed and returned to you by
your students. EDs FAFSA Processor will not process paper Renewal FAFSAs
printed by an institution; you must electronically submit these Renewal FAFSAs
for your students via EDE or have the student apply using Renewal FAFSA on the
Beginning October 5, 1998, instruction booklets for the 1999-2000 Renewal FAFSA can be downloaded (in PDF format) from the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) web page at http://www.ifap.ed.gov, or they can be ordered, in bulk, from Title IV Wide Area Network (TIV WAN) on or after December 15, 1998, by calling 1-800-615-1189. The booklet will include information about how to apply for federal student aid using Renewal FAFSA on the Web.
Due to the low number of schools participating in choice A, ED is considering discontinuing it for the 2000-2001 application processing cycle. Those who would like to make comments about this decision should write to the U.S. Department of Education, Student Financial Assistance Programs, Application Processing Systems Division, Room 4621, ROB-3, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202, attention M. LeBlanc.
B) CPS Prints and School Distributes: You may request that paper Renewal FAFSAs be printed by the CPS for all, or selected groups of, eligible Renewal applicants. Once printed, the CPS will mail the applications, in bulk, to the address specified in your RAD request. An electronic RAD file will be transmitted to your destination point when your RAD request is accepted.
Mailing of Renewal FAFSAs directly to institutions that submitted RAD requests will occur between November 12 and November 20, 1998. In addition to the paper Renewal FAFSAs, institutions will receive an instruction booklet and return envelope for each student in the request group. In addition to instructions on completing the paper Renewal FAFSA, this booklet will include information about how to apply for federal student aid using Renewal FAFSA on the Web.
You must distribute all of the Renewal FAFSAs you receive, along with an instruction booklet, regardless of whether the students was or will be enrolled at your school. Your students may complete and mail their CPS-printed Renewal FAFSAs to the FAFSA processor, or they may apply for aid using Renewal FAFSA on the Web. Or, using the electronic RAD file you received, you may, but are not required to, enter and transmit your students completed 1999-2000 Renewal FAFSA data to the CPS.
You will not receive printed Renewal FAFSAs in your bulk mailing for students who are eligible to receive an EAC through the CPS direct mailing; however, the electronic file that accompanies the paper Renewal FAFSAs will contain these students records if they were included in your RAD request.
Sorting Options: If your institution elects to have the CPS print your Renewal FAFSAs and mail them to you, you can request that they be sorted in specific ways. The types of sorts available for 1999-2000 RAD requests are identical to those for the 1998-1999 processing cycle. For Type 1 (all RAD data for destination point), Type 3 (all RAD data for particular institutions), and Type 4 (all RAD data for specific college grade levels) requests, institutions can request that their RAD data be sorted in either Social Security Number (SSN), last name, or ZIP code order. Type 2 (individual SSN) RAD requests will automatically be returned to institutions in the order used during entry into the RAD request file (see Enclosure C for more details).
C) CPS Prints and Distributes: You can elect not to submit a request for Renewal FAFSAs or electronic RAD records. The CPS will print and distribute Renewal FAFSAs directly to all eligible Renewal applicants who were not selected by any EDE institution and who will not automatically receive an EAC from ED. If you wish to have the CPS print and distribute Renewal FAFSAs for you (choice C), you may disregard the remainder of this Action Letter.
Requesting Renewal Application Data (RAD)
The process for requesting 1999-2000 RAD file(s) from the CPS is identical to the 1998-1999 process (see Enclosure B for details on requesting RAD files). ED will provide a four-week request period, October 5 through November 6, 1998, during which time the CPS will process RAD requests on a daily basis and allow participants to resolve any errors in their submissions.
After submitting a RAD request, the institution will receive a RAD file (RADD00OP) and/or a RAD error file (EREP00OP). Receiving a RADD00OP file indicates that all or part of the institutions request was accepted; and, the file sent to the users Title IV WAN mailbox will contain Renewal Application data for the requested student records. If all or part of a request was rejected by the CPS, the institution will receive an EREP00OP error file. Errors can occur for a variety of reasons; we recommend you use Enclosure E for help in interpreting the contents of these error files.
Institutions will receive the 1999-2000 version of EDExpress for Windows in December 1998, and can use this software to import RAD data files (RADD00OP) and, if required (under choice A), print paper Renewal FAFSAs. The 1999-2000 EDE Technical Reference will also be released in December and will contain record layouts to assist mainframe institutions with Renewal FAFSA processing.
Renewal FAFSA Request Deadlines
Institutions can submit RAD requests through EDE beginning October 5, 1998, and may continue submitting requests until 5:00 p.m. CT on November 6, 1998. On October 12, 1998, the CPS will begin processing requests, including requests that were made between October 6 and October 11. Requests will be processed daily. Requesting institutions will have until 5:00 p.m. CT on November 6, 1998 to resolve any RAD error files (EREP00OP) and resubmit their requests to the CPS.
Schools planning to print Renewal Applications from their electronic RAD files (choice A) can do so as soon as they receive and install the 1999-2000 version of EDExpress for Windows.
Renewal FAFSAs that are printed by the CPS and then sent to schools to distribute to students (choice B) will be bulk mailed to schools between November 12 and November 20, 1998.
Eligible Renewal Application records not selected by any institution for either school or CPS print during the RAD request period will be printed by the CPS and mailed directly to students between November 23, 1998 and January 8, 1999, unless the student will receive an EAC instead (the CPS will not print Renewal Applications for students who are eligible to receive an EAC).
Note that institutions may continue to request electronic Renewal Applications after November 6, 1998; however, the print options are no longer available to schools after this date. Instead, the CPS will print and mail Renewal FAFSAs to eligible students. Schools will still receive an electronic file of the eligible student records they requested and may use this file to enter and submit 1999-2000 Renewal Application data to the CPS.
Creation of Renewal FAFSA Database and Eligibility Criteria
The 1999-2000 Renewal Application (RAPP) database will be created by the CPS on September 24, 1998. The RAPP database will be created only once this year. This is a change from prior years when the database was created twice, once in the fall and again the following February or March.
The eligibility criteria for an applicant to be added to the RAPP database are the same as those that were used in 1998-99. ED will create a 1999-2000 Renewal Application record for applicants who have at least one valid transaction in the 1998-99 CPS database by September 24, 1998. The following conditions exclude a students record from being added to the 1999-2000 RAPP database:
The only valid transaction for the student was the result of a professional judgment or dependency override;
The students record was, and remains, rejected;
The student used an undeliverable or foreign address;
The student has a duplicate current SSN;
An NSLDS match flag indicates that the student is in default or owes an overpayment;
The student is in Drug Abuse or Verification hold file.
In addition, Renewal FAFSAs will not be printed by the CPS and mailed to applicants who are eligible to receive the EAC mailer discussed earlier in this letter, nor will printed Renewal FAFSAs be mailed to schools (under choice B) for these students. However, Renewal
Application records for these students will exist in the RAPP database and, if the school requests these records, they will be included in the schools electronic RAD files.
As in prior years, Renewal FAFSAs will not be printed by the CPS and mailed to students who indicated on their 1998-99 applications that (1) their 1998-99 grade level in college was 5th year/other undergraduate or graduate/professional and (2) they expected to complete their program before August 1999. Schools who selected choice B (CPS prints and school distributes Renewal FAFSAs) also will not receive printed Renewal FAFSAs for these students; however, Renewal Application records for these students will exist in the RAPP database, and if requested, the records will be included in the schools electronic RAD file. Finally, the CPS will not automatically send these students EAC mailers, but by going to the web and requesting an EAC, these student can apply for aid using Renewal FAFSA on the Web.
NOTE: To ensure that your students receive a Renewal FAFSA or EAC mailer during the CPS direct mailing, you should remind them to update their 1998-99 CPS mailing address by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at (319) 337-5665. When updating an address over the phone, students must provide their Data Release Number (DRN) from their SAR. Students can also use their 1998-99 SAR to make address corrections. All address corrections must be made by 5:00 p.m. CT on September 18, 1998 to ensure that they are processed by September 24, 1998, when the RAPP database will be created.
If you have questions about the Renewal FAFSA process, please contact CPS Customer Service at 1(800) 330-5947, and select option 8, or by e-mail at CPS@NCS.COM. Enclosure B provides further information on which customer service department to contact for specific types of inquiries related to this process.
Diane E. Rogers
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary
Student Financial Assistance Programs