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This resource is being maintained for historical purposes only and is not currently applicable.

1997-98 FAFSA Express

PublicationDate: 12/13/96
Summary: 1997-98 FAFSA Express
Author: ODAS - Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary - SFA

DATE: December 13, 1996
FROM: Betsy Hicks
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Student Aid Programs
SUBJECT: 1997-98 FAFSA Express

The U.S. Department of Education announces the availability of the
1997-98 version of FAFSA Express. FAFSA Express is a free
software package that allows students to complete and transmit a
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using a PC and
modem. After downloading the software to a personal computer,
the applicant will electronically transmit his data to the Department's
processor. The applicant can either provide his written signature by
submitting a signature page printed out by the software or he can
sign his Student Aid Report (SAR) generated after the data is
processed by the Department. The software is designed to help
students avoid errors and problems in applying for Federal student
aid and enables students to apply for aid from the comfort and
convenience of their own homes while also speeding up the
application process.

In response to customer requests, the Department has included two
significant enhancements to this year's software:

- Partial or completed applications entered through FAFSA Express
may be saved to a diskette.
- If the applicant indicates that he will be submitting a signature
page, the CPS will hold the record for 14 days (rather than 21 days
as in the 1996-97 software) awaiting the receipt of the signature.
If the signature page is not received and processed within the
14-day window, the student will receive a rejected SAR and must
submit his signature on the SAR.

The Department completed testing the 1997-98 FAFSA Express
software late last week. In order to make the software available to
families as soon as possible, the software was loaded to the World
Wide Web ( on
December 10, 1996 with instructions about how to download the
software and install it on a PC. By making the software available for
downloading from the World Wide Web, the Department gives high
schools, libraries, and individual families the ability to obtain the
software more quickly.

The Department will begin a full-scale distribution of the software on
diskettes beginning the week of December 20. Diskette copies of the
FAFSA Express software can be ordered by calling the FAFSA
Express Customer Service Department at 1-800-801-0576. The
software is not copyrighted and may be installed on any number of
PCs. FAFSA Express may also be copied and distributed to students
who have PCs in their homes.

FAFSA Express must reside on an IBM-compatible PC, with a hard
disk and 3-1/2" floppy diskette drive. To operate the software, the
computer must have a minimum of:

- 486 33MHz processor
- DOS version 5.0 or higher
- Windows 3.1 or 3.11
- 8 MB memory
- 10 MB hard disk space
- Modem (local)

A local (non-LAN) modem is needed for transmitting data through
the Title IV Wide Area Network. The modem must be Hayes-
compatible and capable of transmitting at 1200 baud or faster. A
local printer is required for those locations wanting to allow students
to send a hard copy signature page.

If the student indicates that a signature page will be printed, the
transmitted application is held at the Central Processing System
(CPS) until the signature page is received or for a period of 14 days
(whichever is sooner), before being processed. If a printer is not
available, the record is processed immediately with a reject 16 and a
SAR is mailed to the student for his signature. For students who do
not print a signature page or do not send in a signature page within
the 14 days, the record will be processed with a reject 16 and a
SAR/ISIR will be produced. The student must then send in a
corrected SAR/ISIR with the necessary signatures to have an EFC
calculated. ED will also transmit the reject 16 records to institutions
participating in EDExpress so that they are aware that a student has
submitted a FAFSA Express application. This will also give the
institutions the opportunity to submit the signatures on behalf of the
student, if that is so desired.

We hope you will take advantage of this product. We believe it will
be of great benefit both to students and to the education community.

Last Modified: 08/16/1999