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Summary: Enhancements to FAA Access Online to CPS

Publication Date: April 9, 2002

Author: General Manager: SFA Student Channel

Summary: Enhancements to FAA Access Online to CPS

Posted on April 9, 2002

To: Financial Aid Administrators
From: Students Channel, Federal Student Aid
Re: Enhancements to FAA Access Online to CPS

We are pleased to announce the enhancements we have made to FAA Access Online to CPS, Federal Student Aid's (FSA) newest Web-based resource designed for financial aid administrators. Beginning on April 9, 2002, you can begin using FAA Access to enter, transmit, view, and correct your students' Central Processing System (CPS) application data over the Internet, as well as enter and transmit 2002-03 Renewal FAFSA data. FAA Access will continue to provide you with a convenient way to view your students' financial aid application data on the Web, check the status of your batch submissions, and request duplicate Renewal FAFSAs for your students who have misplaced their originals.

In order to expand the functionality of FAA Access and make it available to you as soon as possible, we borrowed extensively from our student FAFSA Web products. For example, the data entry function in FAA Access is very similar to the student entry in FAFSA on the Web. The wording of the questions, question presentation, skip logic, and field entry are also similar. In future releases of FAA Access, we intend to further develop and tailor the product to meet your specific and changing needs. Therefore, we encourage you to let us know what enhancements you would like included in upcoming versions. Please send your suggestions and comments to Nina Colon at FSA . Her email address is:

The new features of FAA Access are described below:

ENTERING APPLICATION AND CORRECTION DATA: FAA Access to allows you to use the Internet to enter and transmit FAFSA and Renewal FAFSA data to the CPS, including student and parent signatures. In order to protect confidential applicant information, your school code must be listed on the applicant's record in order for you to access and transmit Renewal FAFSA data for that student.

If your school code is listed on the student's application record, or if you have the student's Data Release Number (DRN), you can also use the FAA Access to correct application data.

When entering application data using FAA Access, you can take advantage of the following helpful features, which are similar to those provided in our EDExpress software. You can use FAA Access to:

  • Set Dependency Overrides. FAA Access allows you to perform and transmit dependency overrides to the CPS.
  • Set Assumption Overrides. FAA Access enables you to override certain assumptions that the CPS normally makes to the information students and their parents provide on the FAFSA. For example, if a student indicates more than six family members are attending college, the CPS would assume "one" person in college during processing. If you determine that there are more than six family members attending college, you can eliminate the need for a correction by setting the appropriate override flag in FAA Access.
  • Set Reject Overrides. You can use FAA Access to set reject overrides. This feature allows you to tell the CPS that a particular field on the application is correct and to go ahead and process the data as submitted instead of rejecting the application. For example, if an independent student (or parent, if dependent) reports a very large number of family members, the CPS would normally reject the applicant record because the family size appears to be unusually large (reject reason W). If you set the reject override code to a "W," the CPS will not reject the application for this reason.
  • Perform End-of-Entry Edits and Display Messages. Once you have entered all application or correction data for a student, FAA Access will edit the information and tell you if any of your responses appear to be inconsistent. For example, if you indicate that a student is not married and has no dependents, but you enter 2 in the number of family members, an end-of-entry edit will catch this inconsistency and a message will prompt you to review the information you have provided. FAA Access gives you the opportunity to correct any potential errors before you transmit the application information to the CPS for processing.
  • Calculate an Estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Prior to transmitting the data to the CPS, but after you have entered all applicant data and the built-in edit checks have been performed, FAA Access will calculate and display an estimated EFC for the applicant.

SAVING APPLICATION DATA: You can save partially completed applications and retrieve them later. To retrieve a saved application, you must enter certain identifiers for the student: Social Security Number (SSN), Date of Birth (DOB), and first two letters of the student's last name. In addition, you must enter the password that you provided when you began the application entry process.

SUBMITTING STUDENT AND PARENT SIGNATURES: Once you have completed an application or correction entry in FAA Access you will need to indicate in the "Signed By" field which signatures have been provided by the applicant.

  • Signature Requirements for the FAFSA and Renewal FAFSA: If the student is independent, the student must sign the paper FAFSA, Renewal FAFSA, or FAA Access signature page before you transmit the application. If the student is dependent, both the student and one parent must sign the paper FAFSA, Renewal FAFSA, or FAA Access signature page before you transmit the application.
  • Signature Requirements for Corrections: If the student is independent, the student must sign the document used to make the correction, or the FAA Access signature page, before you transmit the correction.

If the student is dependent and just student data was corrected, only the student needs to sign the document used to make the correction, or the FAA Access signature page, before you transmit the correction. If parent data, or parent and student data were corrected, both the student and one parent must sign the correction.

Note that when using FAA Access, you must adhere to document retention requirements for all applications, corrections, and signatures you transmit.

TRANSMITTING DATA: The process you use to transmit FAA Entry data is the same process students use when submitting their FAFSA on the Web application data. However, because you will submit all required signature records along with the application transmission, the CPS will process the record immediately (the record will not wait in the Signature Hold File for receipt of signatures). Once the CPS has processed the application, a SAR Acknowledgement or e-mail with a link to SAR data on the Web will be sent to the student. In addition, an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) will be sent to all schools listed on the student's record.

RETRIEVING DATA: Processed ISIR records are returned to you in the SARA03OP message class, along with any other automatic ISIRs processed that day.

WEB CHAT HELP: FAA Access also has a new Web Chat feature that allows you to link up with a Technical Support specialist through a "chat window." You can do this by simply clicking on a Chat button on the top of the Web screen. The specialist can then assist you with any questions you may have.

EXISTING FAA ACCESS ONLINE FEATURES: Prior to April 2002, FAA Access already offered several useful features that you can continue to use in your financial aid processing:

STUDENT INQUIRY allows you to use the Web to view your students' SAR and ISIR information for any processed transaction where your school code is listed. This information includes:

  • Data reported by the student (and/or spouse, and/or parents) on the FAFSA application or correction,
  • EFC,
  • The most current National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS) information on file with the CPS,
  • SAR comments, and
  • FAA information, including verification flags and results of the database matches.

BATCH STATUS allows you to check the status of batches your school has submitted for application or correction processing for a particular academic year. You can view these batches sorted by Federal School Code or by ISIR Type/Batch Type. You can also see ISIR batches that are system-generated by the CPS for your students, such as those generated by the NSLDS post-screening match or the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) secondary confirmation match.

PIN REQUESTS are a part of the Renewal Application Process each year during October. This upcoming fall, at your option, you can use FAA Access to request that PINs be sent to some or all of your students instead of paper Renewal FAFSAs.

DUPLICATE RENEWAL APPLICATION PRINT allows you to request a duplicate Renewal FAFSA for a student, provided that your school code is listed on the student's record and the student was eligible to receive a paper Renewal Application rather than a PIN. Once your request is received, the CPS will process it and mail a duplicate Renewal FAFSA to you so that you can distribute it to the student.

WHAT'S THE URL FOR FAA ACCESS ONLINE WEB SITE? The FAA Access to CPS Online Web site is located at

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO SIGN UP TO USE FAA ACCESS ONLINE? Every Destination Point Administrator (DPA) enrolled to process CPS data via the Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) should have already received a PIN Mailer containing his or her U.S. Department of Education (ED) PIN. If the DPA provided an e-mail address, he or she will receive an e-mail that includes a link to view his or her PIN on the Internet instead of receiving the paper PIN Mailer. Pins were sent to the DPA address on file with the SAIG and can be used by the DPA to access FAA Access Online.

By selecting the FAA Administration option at the SAIG Enrollment Web site, the DPA can enroll additional school users to FAA Access Online. Only the DPA for the TG number that transmits and receives CPS data can request Pins for additional users. For users who are already enrolled, the DPA will have to go to the SAIG enrollment form and update each user's enrollment to indicate the type of authorization the DPA wants for each of the new functions in FAA Access.

The CPS will send a PIN Mailer or e-mail, containing a unique PIN, to each new user after the DPA has enrolled him or her. If DPAs or FAAs want to verify or update their PIN address, they can do so on the PIN Web site,

Important Note: If an individual already has a PIN because he or she received one as a student or parent, that same PIN must be used with FAA Access Online.

The DPA can provide additional users with access to all or just some of the following services:

  • View students' SAR/ISIR data
  • Check the status of batches
  • Make PIN requests
  • Request a duplicate print of a renewal application
  • Enter a FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA
  • Correct a processed FAFSA
  • Access a partially saved FAFSA

HOW DOES THE DPA ENROLL ADDITIONAL FAA USERS? Follow these steps to enroll additional users:

1. Access the Student Aid Internet Gateway Online at:
2. Select FAA Administration.
3. Enter your TG number, which begins with TG followed by 5 digits. Click Next Page button.
4. Enter the DPA's SSN, DOB, and mother's maiden name. Click Next Page button.
5. Select Add New FAA User. Click Continue button.
6. Enter the new FAA user's data including SSN, DOB, and mother's maiden name. Click Continue button.
11.7. Select the appropriate School Code.
8. Choose the appropriate access rights for the user (read, write, or blank) for each service. Click Continue button.
14.9. Print and sign the required User Statement, to be kept on file at your office.
15.10. The new FAA user is added to the DPA's enrollment. A PIN Mailer or PIN e-mail is delivered to the new FAA user.

IF YOU NEED MORE INFORMATION: We encourage you to visit other areas of our Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site at IFAP contains the latest information on Federal financial aid, including Dear Partner/Colleague Letters, Announcements, training information, US Department of Education (ED) publications, technical publications, and other documents.

We have several ways for you to get answers to your technical questions:

  • Subscribe to SFATECH, our e-mail listserv for ED software and systems. If you have a question about one of our SFA systems, mainframe, or PC products, post an e-mail to the listserv. We will research your question and post our response to the list so that everyone can benefit from the information. Instructions for subscribing to and using SFATECH are online at
  • Call our technical support staff. They can answer your questions about enrollment, software installation, software problem resolution, software functionality, and give other technical assistance. This includes the changes listed in this document. You can reach us Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. ET, at 800/330-5947. You can also e-mail inquiries, comments, or suggestions 24 hours a day to A representative will respond to your e-mail within 24 business hours.
  • Call the Federal Student Aid Information Center. They can assist you with our FAFSA on the Web and PIN Web site. You may contact them at 800/4FED-AID (800/433-3243); TDD/TTY 800/730-8913. You can also e-mail inquiries, comments, and suggestions to

Last Modified: 04/08/2002