Summary: This letter reminds you of a very important reporting requirement and its financial impact regarding the new Recipient Financial Management System (RFMS). That important reporting requirement is the need for you to submit more than one disbursement record per recipient. RFMS is designed to report and request funds for the Federal Pell Grant Program.
October 27, 1999
SUMMARY: This letter reminds you of a very important reporting requirement and its financial impact regarding the new Recipient Financial Management System (RFMS). That important reporting requirement is the need for you to submit more than one disbursement record per recipient. RFMS is designed to report and request funds for the Federal Pell Grant Program.
This letter is to remind you of a change in reporting disbursement records inherent in the new RFMS funding process and the impact of this reporting on the funds allocated to institutions.
What is the purpose of the disbursement record and when do I report?
Purpose: Disbursement records are used to report student Pell Grant disbursement data to the Department. They also determine the amount of Federal Pell Grant funding available to your institution.
You prepare and submit a disbursement record to RFMS for EACH disbursement made to a recipient, using EDExpress or your own software.
When to report: You may report disbursement records with and/or after an origination record and 30 days before and/or after the disbursement date.
Affect on funding: Under the Advance funding payment method, an institution receives an initial authorization amount from which it may draw down funds from GAPS. RFMS will continue to adjust the initial authorization amount during the award year based on the disbursement records transmitted by the institution.
The RFMS adjusts your authorization by the amount that total accepted disbursements exceed your current authorization level.
For example, if your initial authorization amount established by the Department is $100,000 and you report disbursements totaling $101,000, RFMS will increase your authorization by $1,000.
You will receive updated Electronic Statements of Account (ESOA) for each adjustment to your authorization. You can also see your Pell authorization increase on the GAPS website.
Why is it important to report each disbursement to RFMS?
In previous years, using the old Pell Grant reporting system, PGRFMS, you reported both the amount paid to the student as well as the amount remaining to be paid. PGRFMS then set the authorization to the amount paid, increasing the authorization by the remaining amount to be paid when those payments were due to be paid to the students. Consequently you may have only reported the Pell Grant disbursement to the Department once for the entire award year.
For additional information, we recommend that you first ANN-98-8 (announcing the new 1999-2000 Recipient Financial Management System), P-98-4 (Action Letter # 2 describing the new 1999-2000 Recipient Financial Management System), P-99-3 (Action Letter # 6 describing the origination record), and P-99-4 (Action Letter # 7 describing the disbursement record). These letters can be found on the Department's Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) web site, www.ifap.ed.gov under the description Bookshelf under Pell Grant Process.
We believe that the new RFMS will provide you with improved customer service. We want to help you make the transition to this new system as trouble free as possible. Should you have any questions, please call the Federal Pell Grant Hotline at 1-800-4PGRANT (1-800-474-7268).
Michele L. Selvage, Acting Lead