Summary: Update on the Recipient and Financial Management System (RFMS)
Author: PSS - Program Systems Service
To: All Destination Points
From: Jerry Russomano, Director Program Systems Service, Office of Student Financial Assistance
Subject: Update on the Recipient and Financial Management System (RFMS)
This message- Updates you on RFMS Testing
Gives you information on the new Pell Grant/ RFMS Website
Announces the new SFA Technical Support Webpage
Tip of the week
TESTING MOVES FORWARD
This week we are doing interface and acceptance testing on regular disbursements. Testing has been going very well. We will begin testing special disbursements and the Multiple Reporting Record in the coming days. Beginning on June 29, 1999 RFMS will begin accepting regular disbursement records. We look forward to bringing this next phase into production and RFMS one step closer to full operation.
There is still time for you to participate in RFMS Year 2000 Testing. Schools are invited to submit test data between June 14th and July 23rd 1999 for Year 2000 testing for Origination Records. These dates have been revised, thereby increasing schools opportunity to participate. Visit the RFMS Year 2000 Testing page at http://www.ed.gov/offices/OCIO/year/3-18rfms.html for comprehensive information on being a part of the Origination Year 2000 testing.
WEBPAGE ACCESS FOR PELL GRANTS
We are pleased to announce that we will soon be launching a website to be used for helping you process your Pell Grant awards. This site will allow schools to check batch status and authorization level. Users will also be able to link with other Department of ED sites on the Internet.
In the future, schools will be able to make requests for Electronic Statement of Accounts, Year-To-Date Files and Batch Reprints as well as view information about the Potential Overaward Project (POP) status for a specific student.
Please note the website is protected by 40-56-128-bit encryption that requires users to use Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher or Netscape 3.0 or higher. The address will be http://www.pellgrantonline.ed.gov; however, this address is not yet functioning. We will update you when the page goes live.
In the coming weeks, you will be receiving more information regarding access to the webpage. While it is similar in many ways to the current Institutional Access System (IAS), there are changes and enhancements.
MORE RESOURCES FOR TECHNICAL QUESTIONS
We are pleased to announce the availability of a new website: SFA Technical Support.
SFA Technical Support is a customer service website for the Department's SFA systems and software. It contains general descriptions of all of SFA's systems, as well as frequently asked questions and tips. There is a Feedback page which allows you to submit recommendations for improvements to our systems and software. Contact phone numbers (and e-mail addresses, where available) for all of the systems are listed.
There is also information on how to subscribe to and use our new e-mail listserv for technical inquiries, SFATECH.
SFA Technical Support is available at:
Our goal with SFA Technical Support is to provide a resource for you to check when you have a technical problem or concern. We will be adding more information to the site as the site matures, and as we get more information from you about what you want this site to be. This is a site to use when you need it. It is not another site for you to have to check regularly. Our important messages about SFA's systems and software will continue to be posted to the "Electronic Announcements" section of IFAP (http://ifap.ed.gov).
If you have questions about this announcement, please contact SFATECH Customer Service at firstname.lastname@example.org
TIP OF THE WEEK
The processing of records in the new RFMS is proceeding very well, but we believe that there is always room for improvement. To help make the transition to the new RFMS easier, we will provide you with a Tip of the Week.
We have seen a number of questions about headers and trailers on the SFATECH listserv and have decided to make that the topic of our first Tip of the Week.
RFMS transmissions can include both Origination batches and Disbursement batches, or just one type of either data record. RFMS will always process Origination batches before Disbursement batches. To keep the data in order there is a system of Headers and Trailers. An example is shown below:
Transmission Batch Header PGOR00IN
Grant Batch Header #O
Grant Batch Trailer
Transmission Batch Trailer
Transmission Batch Header PGDR00IN
Grant Batch Header #D
Grant Batch Trailer
Transmission Batch Trailer
Schools using EDExpress for creating batches and EDConnect to send them, simply batch and export your data. Follow the instructions as indicated and all Headers and Trailers will automatically be applied when the data is sent to Pell.
Schools using either a third party software or a mainframe to process their data can use EDConnect to send the data. EDConnect will apply the Transmission Header and Trailer and the Transmission Batch Header(s) and Trailer(s) to the batches. The third party software or mainframe schools who do not use EDConnect must create the Grant Batch Header(s) and Trailer(s).
Every Electronic Submission must have a Transmission Header and Trailer, Transmission Batch Header and Trailer, and Grant Batch Header and Trailer. Submissions without all three Headers and Trailers will be rejected.
WE WILL CONTINUE TO SEND YOU WEEKLY STATUS REPORTS
Look for them in-
1. Title IV Wide Area Network (TIVWAN)
2. The Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website located at http://www.ifap.ed.gov, and
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS
- If you have questions, comments, or concerns about RFMS, please call Pell Customer Service at 1-800/474-7268 (select option 2) or send an e-mail to #Pell_Systems@ed.gov.
- If you have questions about the 1999-2000 EDExpress Pell software, contact the Central Processing System customer service staff at 1-800/330-5947 or send an e-mail to CPS@NCS.COM.
- If you have questions about RFMS message classes or problems connecting to the network, contact the TIVWAN customer service staff at 1-800/615-1189 or send an e-mail to T4WAN@NCS.COM.
Reminder: Your TIVWAN EDConnect Desk Reference contains all the information you need about getting help by telephone or on the Internet.