Summary: This letter provides advance information for schools on the changes we have made to the process for requesting electronic and/or printed Renewal Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (Renewal FAFSA) for the 2000-2001 processing cycle.
Action Letter #1
SUMMARY: This letter provides advance information for schools on the changes we have made to the process for requesting electronic and/or printed Renewal Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (Renewal FAFSA) for the 2000-2001 processing cycle.
The Department of Education is committed to providing schools with critical information on upcoming changes or major processing events as early as possible. This action letter is one of two letters on the 2000-2001 Renewal Application process. It provides a summary of new choices for the 2000-2001 processing cycle and the schedule of important dates for the 2000-2001 Renewal Application process. The second action letter is scheduled to be released in August 1999, and will contain more extensive information on how to submit your 2000-2001 Renewal Application request.
New Choices for 2000-2001
As in previous years, you may request that the Central Processing System (CPS) mail Renewal FAFSAs for designated groups of students directly to you so that you may distribute them to your students. For 2000-2001, you will also have the option to:
· Choose whether you want to receive an electronic Renewal Application Data (RAD) file in addition to the printed forms. Previously, the CPS sent these files to you automatically when you requested the bulk mail Renewal FAFSAs. The electronic RAD file will include a PIN indicator that you can use to determine whether a student received a 2000-2001 paper Renewal FAFSA or a PIN. The PIN is the Personal Identification Number, formerly known as the Electronic Access Code or EAC.
· Request that PINs be mailed to your students instead of paper Renewal FAFSAs. Sending your students PINs instead of paper Renewal FAFSAs will encourage them to use Renewal FAFSA on the Web.
We have provided detailed information concerning these new choices in the Q&As in Enclosure 1. The questions listed are those most commonly received by CPS Customer Service from schools preparing to participate in the Renewal FAFSA process.
2000-2001 Renewal Application Schedule
You may begin submitting requests for 2000-2001 Renewal Application data on
October 4, 1999. All requests must be received no later than October 29, 1999. We have provided a complete schedule of the important dates for the 2000-2001 Renewal FAFSA processing period in Enclosure 2.
If You Have Questions
If you have any questions regarding the Renewal Application process, feel free to contact CPS Customer Service at 800-330-5947, or by e-mail at CPS@NCS.COM.
We hope this advance information is helpful to you. We look forward to working closely with you this fall to ensure another successful processing cycle.
Chief Operating Officer
Office of Student Financial Assistance
Enclosure 1: Q&As on the Renewal Application Process
Enclosure 2: 2000-2001 Renewal Application Production Schedule
Questions and Answers
1. Does my school have to participate in the Renewal FAFSA process described in this action letter?
No. Your school does not have to participate in the Renewal Application Data (RAD) request process. The CPS will print and mail Renewal FAFSAs directly to eligible students whose records have not been specifically requested by a participating institution or destination point. This mailing will occur between November 15 and December 31, 1999. The CPS will also automatically mail PINs instead of paper Renewal FAFSAs to students who in 1999-2000 filed web applications or who indicated on their FAFSAs that they were a 5th year undergraduate or a graduate student.
2. Which students are eligible to receive Renewal FAFSAs for 2000-2001? What criteria are used for selection?
The CPS will create the 2000-2001 Renewal Application (RAPP) database from 1999-2000 applicants during the last week of September 1999. The creation process selects the most current "valid" 1999-2000 CPS transaction for each student. This would be the most current transaction that was not rejected, and did not result from a dependency override or professional judgement correction.
A RAPP record will be produced and the student will be eligible to file a 2000-2001 Renewal FAFSA, unless all of the students transactions meet any of the following conditions:
· the transaction has an undeliverable address (missing two of three address fields --- city, state and zip code) or a foreign address;
· the transaction has a duplicate current SSN (i.e., the same current SSN as another student on file with the CPS for 1999-2000);
· the transaction contains an NSLDS match flag indicating the student is in default or owes an overpayment on a Title IV grant or loan; or
· the student is on the Drug Abuse and/or Verification Hold File.
We strongly recommend that you encourage your students to correct or update their addresses in the 1999-2000 CPS database before September 20, 1999. This will ensure that we have the students correct address for the RAPP database and that students will receive their 2000-2001 Renewal Application information. The students can update their addresses by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center on 1-800-433-3243, or institutions can assist by submitting an electronic correction using EDExpress.
3. I want printed Renewal FAFSAs mailed to my school so I can distribute them to my students. How do I request this, and when should I do it?
For the 2000-2001 cycle, you will again have the option of requesting that the CPS print and bulk mail specific student Renewal FAFSAs to you for distribution to your students.
As in previous cycles, you can request all Renewal FAFSAs for students who listed your school code on their 1999-2000 FAFSA/SAR transaction, or request specific students by SSN, school code, or grade level. Remember: you must distribute all paper Renewal FAFSAs that you request. Otherwise, students will not be able to participate in the paper Renewal FAFSA process.
The CPS will accept requests for printed Renewal FAFSAs between October 4 and October 29, 1999. The CPS will then mail these Renewal FAFSAs (in bulk) to requesting schools between November 4 and November 12, 1999. We will provide detailed instructions for requesting bulk printed Renewal FAFSAs, including record layouts, in the Action Letter that we will send to you in late August.
4. Can I print Renewal FAFSAs at my school for my students, instead of having the CPS do it for me?
Yes. As in prior years, you can specify in your Renewal Application Data (RAD) request that you would prefer to do the printing yourself. If you select this option, the CPS will send you an electronic RAD file that you can import into your EDExpress or third-party software for printing. As in previous years, you must print and distribute the Renewal FAFSAs for all students on the RAD file because this will be the students' only way to participate in the paper Renewal FAFSA process. Additionally, if you print Renewal FAFSAs, you must also key these applications and submit them electronically to the CPS. The FAFSA processor is unable to process Renewal FAFSAs that are not printed by the CPS.
5. Can I receive a paper Renewal FAFSA, in addition to the RAD record, for my students who are automatically mailed PINs?
No. As in the previous cycle, you may only request a RAD record for these students. The CPS is unable to print paper Renewal FAFSAs for students who were automatically
mailed PINs. Sending PINs to students will encourage them to use the Renewal FAFSA on the Web.
6. Can I receive an electronic Renewal Application Data (RAD) file, listing the students for whom I have requested paper Renewal FAFSAs be mailed to my institution in bulk?
Yes if you want one. However, you must request that a RAD file be sent to you when you submit your RAD request. Beginning with the 2000-2001 cycle, schools submitting a RAD request can designate whether or not they want to receive an electronic RAD file (RADD01OP). You can import this file into EDExpress or your third-party software and print a list from the software, or perform entry of Renewal FAFSAs.
7. I would prefer my students file for 2000-2001 via Renewal FAFSA on the Web. Can I request PINs for my students instead of paper Renewal FAFSAs?
Yes. For 2000-2001, when you submit your RAD request you can ask that PINs be mailed to your students instead of paper Renewal FAFSAs. Because the PIN provides access to confidential student information and serves as the students electronic signature, the Department of Education (ED) must mail PINs directly to students. They cannot be mailed to schools for distribution to students.
Like the paper Renewal FAFSA process, you can request that ED send PINs to all students who listed your school code on their 1999-2000 FAFSA or SAR transaction; or you may request specific student groups by SSN, school code, or grade level.
You will not be able to request both paper Renewal FAFSAs and PINs for the same students. For example, if you request PINs for all first-year students who listed your school code on their 1999-2000 FAFSA or SAR transaction, any requests for paper Renewal FAFSAs for the same student group will not be processed.
Additionally, you will not be able to request PINs or paper Renewal FAFSAs for students who in 1999-2000 filed web applications, or for students with a 1999-2000 grade level of "5th year/other undergraduate" or "Graduate/Professional or beyond" (college grade level of 6 or 7, respectively). These students will automatically receive PINs as part of the Renewal Application process.
8. I plan to submit a RAD request so that PINs are sent to my students. Can I get a list of the students who will be sent a PIN when my request is accepted?
Yes. In your 2000-2001 RAD request, ask that an electronic RAD file be sent to your school. If you specify in your request that you would like PINs to be sent to your students, the electronic RAD file you receive (RADD01OP) will include these students. The RAD file will include students who meet the request criteria, listed your school code, and are eligible to participate in the 2000-2001 Renewal FAFSA process. The file will also include the students who will automatically receive a PIN, if you requested records for these students.
9. I'm not interested in printing or distributing Renewal FAFSAs to my students. Can I get a list of students who received Renewal Applications or PINs?
Yes. Use the RAD Request process after October 29, 1999, to receive an electronic RAD file. Each RAD record contains a PIN indicator which, if set, tells you that a student received a PIN. If the PIN indicator is blank, this tells you that the student received a paper Renewal Application either from the CPS or another school. You can import the electronic RAD file into EDExpress or your third-party software and print a list from the software (including the PIN mailer indicator).
CPS builds the Renewal Application 9/27/99 - 10/8/99
Institutions may begin to submit 10/4/99
CPS processes RAD Requests daily * 10/11/99 - 10/29/99
Last day for institutions to request 10/29/99
CPS prints and mails EDE-requested 11/4/99 - 11/12/99
Renewal FAFSAs (bulk mail) to schools
CPS prints and mails non-EDE requested 11/15/99 - 12/31/99
paper Renewal FAFSAs to students
CPS prints and mails PIN mailers 11/15/99 - 12/31/99
* For 2000-2001, the CPS will only process RAD requests for three weeks, as opposed to four weeks in past cycles. This is to allow CPS enough time to print and mail all Renewal FAFSAs and PINs requested by schools and sent directly to students on or before December 31, 1999. Please note you can submit RAD requests beginning October 4, 1999 but the CPS will not begin processing these requests until October 11, 1999.