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Summary: Sign Up to Be a Full Participant in COD for the 2003-2004 Award Year

Publication Date: October 29, 2002

Author: General Manager: FSA School Channel

Summary: Sign Up to Be a Full Participant in COD for the 2003-2004 Award Year


Posted on 10-29-2002


To: School Partners
From: COD School Relations
Re: Sign Up to Be a Full Participant in COD for the 2003-2004 Award Year!

As we prepare for the start up of the 2003-2004 award year, we urge Phase-In Schools to become Full Participants in the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) system for 2003-2004.

As a Full Participant, your school will be able to:

  • send a "common" record that allows for fewer transmissions and eliminates scheduling problems,

  • use a flexible record format to send required data only, and

  • use the same process to report changes in both Pell and Direct Loans.Â

As a reminder, a Full Participant school submits data using the COD Common Record Layout in XML format; a Phase-In school submits data using Pell Grant/Direct Loan Record Layouts in fixed-length, flat file format.Â

In the 2004-2005 Award Year, all schools participating in either Direct Loans or the Pell program will be required to be full participants and to submit the XML/Common Record format to COD.

How does my school become a Full Participant?

It's easy. Notify the COD School Relations Center by March 1, 2003, of your school's decision to become a full participant. Contact your Primary Representative at 1(800) 4PGRANT for Pell Grants and 1(800) 848-0978 for Direct Loans.Â

Please note that if you submit 2003-2004 records in the XML/Common Record format, and COD is unaware that your school is a Full Participant, the records will reject.Â

What should I do if my school uses the Department's EDExpress v9.1 software?Â

If your school uses 2003-2004 EDExpress v9.1 software, you need to call COD Customer Service and sign up as a full participant. For information on EDExpress, contact CPS/WAN Customer Service at 800-330-5947, or email

We have modified and enhanced the Department's Federal Pell Grant and Direct Loan EDExpress v9.1 software to submit the XML/Common Record format to COD for 2003-2004. If your school uses multiple software packages to process its award programs (e.g., EDExpress for Direct Loans and another software for Pell), COD will be able to submit records for one program (e.g., DL) in XML format, and records for the other program (e.g., Pell) in fixed-length flat-file format.

What if my school uses vender software?

If you use vendor software to submit data to COD, you should contact your provider for a status update on processing the XML/Common Record. Each school must notify COD School Relations of its intention to become a Full Participant.

Will COD representatives attend the EACs?

Yes. The COD School Relations Center will have representatives available at the Electronic Access Conferences in both Orlando and Las Vegas to answer questions. For more information on the conferences and to register, visitÂ

We will continue to provide further information for the upcoming 2003-2004 award year throughout the year. Please contact the COD School Relations Center at (800) 4PGRANT for Pell Grants and 1(800) 848-0978 for Direct Loans if you have additional questions about becoming a Full Participant. We are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. EST. You may also email us at, referencing "Full Participant" in the subject line. Â