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The MRR record and dealing with POP

PublicationDate: 5/22/2000
Summary: The MRR record and dealing with POP
Author: PSS - Program Systems Service

Posted on May 22, 2000

To: All Destination Points
From: Pell Grant Processing
Subject: The MRR record and dealing with POP

The Message:
Covers the basic concepts of the Multiple Reporting Record (MRR)
Gives you information to help you better understand Potential Overaward Project (POP) situations
Provides you with guidance on how to deal with POP situations

FAQ about Multiple Reporting Records

What is a Multiple Reporting Record and why did I receive it?

One of the improvements made to Pell Grant Processing with the implementation of the Recipient Financial Management System (RFMS) for 1999-2000 was the addition of the Multiple Reporting Record. The MRR is intended to give you a quick response to possible Potential Overaward Project (POP) or Concurrent Enrollment situations that may arise in RFMS processing of disbursement records.

There are two ways to receive a MRR record:
RFMS automatically generates a MRR record and sends it to you
A MRR is sent to you as a result of a data request submitted by you

The RFMS will automatically generate a MRR and send it to you under certain circumstances when processing your disbursement records. When processing disbursement records RFMS checks to see if the student on the disbursement record has received disbursements previously from your or any other school. If the student has attended another school and the disbursement that you have submitted would exceed 100% of the student's scheduled Pell award amount, RFMS determines that the student may have a possible Potential Overaward Project POP situation. When RFMS detects situations in which there is an apparent POP condition and/or Concurrent Enrollment, a MRR is sent to all the institutions that have submitted disbursements for the student involved.

You may request a MRR at any time either through EDExpress, the Pell Grant Website ( or through the third party software you normally use to enter any data request. You may request either Origination or Disbursement information via a MRR. You may also request information for:

a specific student
a specific institution
or, for all of your students.

RFMS provides information only for those students that your school has originated in RFMS.

What information is on the MRR ?

The MRR has been designed to provide you with all the information you might need to prevent and resolve POP or Concurrent Enrollment situations.

************************************************************************************** For a detailed description of all the data elements of the Multiple Reporting Record please see the 2000-2001 RFMS record layouts located at under “Current SFA Publications” in the “Pell Grant Processing” section. You may also refer to Action Letter number #8 published in January, 2000 also available on IFAP for further description of the MRR. **************************************************************************************

The MRR provides you the name, Origination ID, and the Social Security Number of the student(s) affected. It also tells you the situation that RFMS has detected (Concurrent Enrollment and/or POP) and the current status of that situation, i.e. if that student is being blocked by another institution, if you are blocking a disbursement to that student at another institution, or if the situation has been resolved and the student has been cleared for another disbursement, that is, has become unblocked. Each of these situations is indicated by the record type field on the MRR record.

The MRR also gives you the origination award amount, scheduled Pell Grant, transaction number, Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), amount that has been disbursed, amount of eligibility used as well as the date of last activity will also be provided on the MRR

The MRR also gives you all of the demographic and contact information on the other institution(s) involved in the situation, be it Concurrent Enrollment or POP. All institutions affected receive a MRR record.


What is a POP situation and how does RFMS determine if one exists?

A POP situation is one in which a student has been originated and disbursed at more than one institution and the total of the disbursements sums to more than 100% of that student’s scheduled Federal Pell Grant.

When processing disbursement records RFMS searches its databases to determine if each student has previously received a disbursement and if the sum of the old and new disbursement exceed 100% of the scheduled award amount for that student.

Why did the disbursement record I sent come back corrected with a lower amount?

One of the most common signs of a POP situation is receipt of an edit code 406 (Disbursement amount not in range) and/or edit code 411 (Potential Overaward Payment) on your disbursement acknowledgement record.

A student cannot receive more than 100% of their scheduled award. A school determines which ISIR transaction is used to calculate the student's scheduled award. When a school submits a disbursement amount, RFMS calculates the percentage of eligibility used. This percentage is based on the amount of the disbursement in relation to the scheduled Pell grant award at that institution, not the entire accepted origination award amount. When a school receives a MRR, the percentage of eligibility used is included. If another school submits a disbursement, their disbursement will be limited to the percentage remaining from 100% based on their scheduled award. This remaining amount calculated from the percentage may include cents even when the submitted disbursement was in whole dollars.

How does RFMS calculate the percent of eligibility used/available?

The scheduled Pell award amount is determined by several pieces of information that you have provided on the origination record including, Cost of Attendance (COA), EFC, and Enrollment Status.

When sending in a disbursement record, RFMS calculates and determines the amount of funds available based on the percentage of eligibility used. In calculating the eligibility used RFMS goes out to the 15th decimal place. Please go out as many decimal spaces as you can to get the most accurate calculation.

Regulation 690.65 stipulates that:

If a student's Scheduled Federal Pell Grant at the second institution differs from the Scheduled Federal Pell Grant at the first institution, the grant amount at the second institution is calculated as follows--
1. The amount received at the first institution is compared to the Scheduled Federal Pell Grant at the first institution to determine the percentage of the Scheduled Federal Pell Grant that the student has received.
2. That percentage is subtracted from 100 percent.
3. The remaining percentage is the percentage of the Scheduled Federal Pell Grant at the second institution to which the student is entitled.

For example:

Based on the information provided on a student’s Origination record School A originated a student for a scheduled Pell award amount of $3,075. For the first disbursement School A disbursed $1,538 to that student. Based on the amount of that disbursement School A would have used:

1538/3075= 50.00162601626%

of the student’s scheduled Pell award. This leaves

1 - 50.00162601626 = 49.99837398374%

of the scheduled Pell award left that can be disbursed.

Let’s assume that the student then transfers to School B. Some of student’s information has changed and School B has been able to originate the student for a scheduled Pell award of $3125. A student may only receive one hundred percent of their scheduled Pell Grant. The amount that School B can disburse to the student is

.4999837398374 * 3125 = 1561.99

How do I round the award up to the whole dollar?

The rounding rules that have been used in Pell in the past still apply. According to the Federal Student Financial Aid Handbook, an institution may round, alternating between up and down on each disbursement.

However, there is a change with the 1999-2000 processing year. For 1998-99 and prior years the Pell system did not use cents and all amounts were in whole dollars in processing disbursements. This is not the case with RFMS. With the implementation of multiple records for the reporting of disbursements, RFMS requires the ability break down those disbursements by payment period which may not, as in this year, result in a whole dollar amount. The above example illustrates the manner in which RFMS does all of its calculations using cents.

For 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 institutions have the option of using cents or not using cents in processing disbursement records.

If you wish to round down to the whole dollar, you may submit a negative disbursement for the cents awarded on the earlier disbursement.

What happens when I have a transfer student and the first institution has rounded up?

In the 1999-2000 award year, the maximum award amount is an odd number ($3125). Many of the award amounts are also odd numbers. When disbursing funds many schools are submitting the first disbursement rounded up to the next whole dollar rather than using cents. This means they have received over 50% of the student’s eligibility, leaving subsequent disbursements with less than 50% of the eligibility available.

Some institutions have chosen to round down when disbursing their first disbursement in order to have that dollar available to disburse later if the student stays at that institution, or to avoid some of the complications of POP is the student transfers.

I have verified this student and they are eligible for a higher award than they received at the previous school, why was my disbursement corrected downward?

Each student may receive up to 100% of his or her scheduled award. This award is based on the student’s EFC, the school’s COA, Payment Methodology, Academic calendar, and attendance. Different schools may calculate a different award amount due to differences in any of the factors used in the calculation. Because of these differences in calculating, the Percentage of Eligibility is used to determine when the student has been paid in full.

Many institutions are basing their disbursements on the dollar amounts of award amount. For example if an institution calculates an award of $3000 and $1000 has been used, it is often believed that there is still $2000 available for disbursing. This is not correct. The award amounts are not a point of comparison, only the percentage of eligibility can be used.

If the scheduled award is $2000 and School A disburses $1000 or 50%, the student still has 50% of their eligibility left at School B. If School B [the second school] has a scheduled award of $3000, the maximum they may disburse is $1500 or 50% of $3000. The student would receive a combined total of $2500 and 100% of their scheduled award.

Last Modified: 05/22/2000