Summary: 1996-97 FAFSA Processing - Announcement #43
Author: ODAS - Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary - SFA
Announcement #43, April 27, 1996
1996-97 FAFSA Processing
This letter is the forty-third message in our continuing updates on 1996-97
processing. Since I wrote you last week we have computed more than 4.5
million paper and electronic applications and corrections. This activity has
resulted in over 10.2 million Institutional Student Information Records being
posted to the Title IV Wide Area Network (WAN).
Last week we experienced several unique technical problems that prevented
us from performing five computes. However, in the three computes we did
perform, we processed almost 800,000 applications and corrections, the
highest weekly number ever. The results of the last two computes were
waiting for you when you arrived at work on Monday.
So far this week we have processed two other large computes, and one
average compute, totaling over 600,000 applications and corrections. Now
that our processors are primarily working on original and renewal applications
received after April 15, you should find that you are in receipt of most of your
applications filed to date.
Some of our colleagues have expressed concern over the number of records
they are currently in receipt of compared to this time last year. As you make
this comparison, you should factor in the impact of this year's corrections
It goes without saying that corrections are filed sometime after the submission
and processing of applications. Given the fact that we lost a month of
critical time at the start of the processing cycle, we are going to
experience similar delays in the filing of corrections. At this time last year,
25% of processing volume was corrections. Using this ratio as a
benchmark, for every 1000 ISIRs you received this time last year
(applications and corrections), you should expect to receive approximately
750 applications at this time this year. Of course, this computation is only a
benchmark and your school's corrections may or may not equal the mean.
I would like to share one other recent occurrence. The most significant
technical problem that our Multiple Data Entry Contractors (MDE's) have
experienced this year is their difficulty in attaining 100 percent
quality in document retrieval in a paperless environment. Within the last
week, as records were being archived, we located approximately 1200
records that were initially keyed, but then queued by the software in such a
manner as to reflect that they had been processed when they were not. Since
records can be archived only after processing, this problem was detected in
the quality control process.
While these 1200 records represent less than .03 percent of all records filed
to date, we realize how disruptive and frustrating this experience has been to
the students and parents impacted by this problem. Our contractors will
continue to perfect this document retrieval process to ensure that this
problem does not reoccur this year or next. As they continue their quality
control and archiving, if additional problems are detected, we will let you
know right away.
There may continue to be an even smaller number of students and parents
who report having filed earlier this year and not having received results. The
prior experience of our Public Inquiry Contractor (PIC) suggests that there
are always some discrepancies between applicants' statements of filing and
actual receipts, as some applications are never received by the processor.
In closing, please be assured that we have the processing of original and
renewal applications well within normal processing time, and we are making
the transition to devoting our supplemental resources to catching up on
corrections. We have processed approximately 45% of all corrections
received to date and we are primarily working on corrections filed within the
past four weeks.
We thank you for your continued patience, support, and efforts to assist
students and families during this difficult time.