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Summary: 2003-2004 EDExpress Pell and Direct Loan Transition to XML Data Format

Publication Date: May 14, 2003

Author: General Manager: FSA Students Channel

Summary: 2003-2004 EDExpress Pell and Direct Loan Transition to XML Data Format


Posted on 05-14-2003

TO: All Destination Points

FROM: U.S. Department of Education

RE: 2003-2004 EDExpress Pell and Direct Loan Transition to XML Data Format

For the 2003-2004 processing cycle, the Department has expanded the processing capabilities of the EDExpress software to communicate with the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) system. EDExpress users will send and receive 2003-2004 Pell and Direct Loan data in Extensible Markup Language (XML) format.

Upgrading to the XML data format is a positive step for the Department and for schools, representing a major step towards modernizing and aligning our systems and business processes. The impact of the shift to XML will vary for EDExpress users; for many it will be a transparent transition that will not affect system performance or processing schedules established in prior cycles. Other schools may may find their Pell and Direct Loan files are larger than those in past cycles.

In order to improve your system performance and better facilitate a smooth transition to communicating with COD via EDExpress, we recommend you do the following:

1) Ensure your system meets the currently established minimum hardware requirements. The requirements are available for download on the Department's IFAP Web site at We encourage all schools to verify their systems are in accordance with these standards in order to ensure optimal EDExpress and data processing performance.

2) As you begin processing Pell and/or Direct Loan data using 2003-2004 EDExpress, monitor the size of the folder you use as your central import and export file repository (C:\IAM\DATA, in many cases) in comparison to available free disk or network drive space. You may find it necessary to implement an archival routine to relocate (and back up) existing data files to another location on your PC or network in order to maintain optimal free drive space.

3) Determine whether you need to establish maximum limits on the number of Origination and/or Disbursement records you export at any given time for the Pell and/or Direct Loan programs (as you will receive COD Response import files matching the records you send). In EDExpress this can be accomplished by applying selection criteria to BOTH Origination/Edit Only and Disbursement Pell and/or Direct Loan records prior to running an export in either module. Applying criteria to your Pell and/or Direct Loan export can potentially result in smaller file sizes.

The Department is currently weighing the impact of XML in relation to currently published minimum hardware requirements and will share any new information with you as it becomes available.

EDExpress Version 9.1 is available for download from the Department's Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site, located at

If you have any questions about EDExpress, please contact CPS/WAN Technical Support at 800/330-5947 or via e-mail at

If you wish to use EDExpress Version 9.1 to process Pell and/or Direct Loan data, you must notify COD that your school will be a Full Participant by completing a letter as described in the IFAP posting at the following website:

If you have any questions about COD, please contact the COD School Relations Center at 800/4PGRANT for Pell Grants or 800/848-0978 for Direct Loans. You can also e-mail COD Customer Service at: