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1999-2000 SAR/ISIR Correction Deadline and Pell Reject Codes

PublicationDate: 8/3/2000
Summary: 1999-2000 SAR/ISIR Correction Deadline and Pell Reject Codes
Author: CSB - OSFA Customer Support Branch

Posted on August 3, 2000

TO: Financial Aid Administrators
FROM: Student Financial Assistance Customer Support Call Center
RE: 1999-2000 SAR/ISIR Correction Deadline and Pell Reject Codes
DATE: August 2, 2000

With the 1999-2000 SAR/ISIR history correction deadline approaching, we are offering a helpful hint to our partners/customers who may be experiencing some difficulty in resolving a Pell Reject Code situation.

The deadline for receipt of paper SAR corrections and duplicate requests is August 16, 2000. The deadline for transmitting 1999-2000 ISIR corrections and duplicate requests is August 25, 2000 at 7 P.M. Central Time.

With this in mind, each year there have been many students who incorrectly answer question number 33 or 54 on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. By answering yes to these questions, it sends an indication to the processor that the student is a graduate student, therefore making them ineligible for Pell grants, even though their EFC is below 2,925. In many cases, the student is not a graduate student and has just answered the question incorrectly.

It is not until the Financial Aid Administrator submits a Pell Origination Record that the mistake (the student incorrectly reporting his/her “graduate” status on his/her FAFSA) is often caught. In some cases, the error is not found until after the history correction deadline has already passed.

When submitting a Pell Origination Record for a student who has incorrectly stated that he/she is a graduate student, the institution will receive Pell reject codes 303 [Invalid Original SSN or Name Code resulting in the Recipient Financial Management System (RFMS) being unable to locate the Applicant record], and usually 311 and 312 (Invalid transaction number and Invalid Expected Family contribution) are also present. These Pell reject codes should not be confused with the social security number match results on the SAR/ISIR processed through the Central Processing System (CPS). Because the student claimed to be a graduate student, his/her data cannot be found in the Pell eligible database.

A key to determining a student’s Pell eligibility is to look at the Pell Indicator flag. If the student is eligible for Pell, there will be a “Y” in this field. If the student is not eligible for Pell, it will be blank.

The 1999-2000 Student Financial Aid Handbook, Student Eligibility Section, page 108, states: “Graduate and professional students aren’t eligible for Pell, so a student who answers ‘Yes’ to this question on the application will be unable to receive a Pell. If the student incorrectly said he or she was a graduate student, he or she must submit a correction before he or she can get a Pell.”

If a correction is made to the SAR/ISIR by the deadlines listed above, indicating the student’s proper graduate status, the issue will be resolved and the institution will be able to submit a Pell Origination Record on the student’s behalf.

All deadlines for submitting 1999-2000 SAR/ISIR corrections and Pell origination/disbursement records are contained in the
July 30, 1999 Federal Register.

We hope this information is helpful to those of you who are experiencing difficulties in this area. If you have any questions, please contact one of the following help desks:

Pell Grant Hotline
1-800-4PGRANT (1-800-474-7268)


Student Financial Assistance Customer Support Call Center

Last Modified: 08/02/2000