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Summary: HERA Operational Implementation Guidance (CPS, COD System, and EDExpress Suite) -- Implementation of HERA-Related Additional COD System Functionality

Publication Date: June 27, 2006

Author: G. Kay Jacks, General Manager, Application, Operations and Delivery Services, Federal Student Aid

Summary: HERA Operational Implementation Guidance (CPS, COD System, and EDExpress Suite) -- Implementation of HERA-Related Additional COD System Functionality

Posted on 06-27-2006

As we have explained through a number of Electronic Announcements posted on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site, we will implement Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System functionality required to implement the provisions of the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (the HERA), Pub. L. 109-171, through a series of releases between now and December 16, 2006. This announcement provides information about the first release.

During the period June 30-July 1, 2006, we will implement HERA-related changes to the Direct Loan Electronic Master Promissory Note (MPN) Web site, to the paper MPN acceptance process, and to the MPN and Disclosure Statement packages that we mail to Direct Loan borrowers. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we complete this important activity.

In this announcement, we provide the following information related to the implementation:

  • Direct Loan Electronic MPN Web Site Outage Information
  • COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications
  • Contact Information

Direct Loan Electronic MPN Web Site Outage Information

In order to install the HERA-related system changes-

  • The Direct Loan Electronic MPN Web site will be unavailable from 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Friday, June 30, 2006 until 1:00 A.M. (ET) on Saturday, July 1, 2006.

    Individuals starting the process by 7:00 P.M. (ET) on June 30th will be able to complete their MPNs before the Web site becomes unavailable. Individuals attempting to access the Web site after the cutoff time will see a Web site maintenance message and will not be able to start the process or retrieve an existing MPN.

    Note: Periodically throughout this outage, the Direct Loan Electronic MPN Web site will be available for testing purposes. Individuals who begin an activity during one of these periods may not be able to complete the activity before the Web site becomes unavailable again. For this reason, we urge individuals not to access the Web site until after the outage ends at 1:00 A.M. (ET) on July 1st.

  • The Direct Loan Electronic MPN Web site is unavailable every Sunday morning from 5:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. (ET) while routine maintenance is performed. As such, the Direct Loan Electronic MPN Web site will again be unavailable from 5:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. (ET) on Sunday, July 2, 2006. As previously noted, individuals will not be able to complete or retrieve MPNs during this period.

COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications

PLUS MPN for Grad PLUS Borrowers

The Electronic Announcement posted on June 23, 2006 (http://www.ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/0623HERAOPGradPLUS.html) provided complete information about the new availability of Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Direct PLUS Loans) for eligible graduate or professional student PLUS borrowers (Grad PLUS borrowers). As explained in the announcement, PLUS MPN processing for Grad PLUS borrowers will begin July 1, 2006.

  • A school may submit a paper Federal Direct PLUS Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (PLUS MPN) completed by a Grad PLUS borrower. Also, a Grad PLUS borrower will be able to complete a PLUS MPN via the Direct Loan Electronic MPN Web site.

    A school will receive unsolicited system-generated MPN Responses for paper and electronic PLUS MPNs completed by Grad PLUS borrowers. The school will be able to import these responses into its system. In addition, a school may view MPN data for Grad PLUS borrowers via the COD Web site's Promissory Note Search Results screen.

    Note: A COD Web site MPN search retrieves MPN data for both students and borrowers. The borrower and student information provided in a PLUS MPN completed by a Grad PLUS borrower must match exactly. For this reason, the MPN data (SSN, Name, MPN ID, DOB, and MPN/LINK STATUS) will be listed twice on the Promissory Note Search Results screen.

  • If a school has its "Loan Origination Required (LOR)" Option set to "Y" (Yes), the Direct Loan Electronic MPN Web site must have award information in order to allow borrowers to complete the electronic process. For this reason, a school with this option setting must take one of two actions between July 1, 2006 and August 12, 2006:
    • Change its "Loan Origination Required (LOR)" Option to "N" (No) before the school instructs its Grad PLUS borrowers to complete a PLUS MPN electronically; or
    • Instruct its Grad PLUS borrowers to complete a PLUS MPN electronically after the date the school anticipates submitting Grad PLUS award information to the COD System.
  • A Grad PLUS borrower will be able to complete the PLUS MPN via the Direct Loan Electronic MPN Web site (www.dlenote.ed.gov) as follows:
    • On the home page of the Web site, the Grad PLUS borrower will click on "Complete New MPN for Student Loans" to begin the electronic process.
    • After the borrower clicks on this link, a new screen, "MPN Type Selection," will appear.
    • The borrower will be offered two MPN types from which to choose-"Subsidized/Unsubsidized" and "Graduate PLUS."
    • The Grad PLUS borrower will select "Graduate PLUS" and then complete the steps and screens that address the Grad PLUS borrower and collect only the applicable information.

    Note: If a Grad PLUS borrower also must complete the Direct Subsidized Loan/Direct Unsubsidized Loan MPN (Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN), he or she will need to do so in a separate session by selecting "Subsidized/Unsubsidized" on the MPN Selection screen.

Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN and PLUS MPN Addenda

The Electronic Announcement posted on May 19, 2006 (http://www.ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/0519HERAOPSGUIDEPNOTE.html) announced and provided addenda that are to be used with the Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN and PLUS MPN. As explained in the announcement, until we develop revised MPNs that incorporate the changes to loan terms and conditions made by the HERA, the applicable addendum must be used with the existing Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN and PLUS MPN to inform borrowers of the changes.

  • Beginning July 1, 2006, during Step 5 of the electronic MPN completion process, we will display for a borrower's review the addendum to the Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN or PLUS MPN, as applicable. A school does not need to provide a paper addendum to a borrower who completes an MPN electronically.
  • Beginning July 1, 2006, we will include a paper addendum in paper Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN packages and PLUS MPN packages for parent PLUS borrowers in the following cases:
    • The school has previously opted to have the COD System print MPNs; or
    • The school has not previously opted to have the COD System print MPNs, but includes a Promissory Note Print code of "Y" in the award.

    Note: As explained in the Electronic Announcement posted on June 23, 2006, we will mail paper PLUS MPN packages for Grad PLUS borrowers to borrowers or schools beginning August 12, 2006.

Subsidized/Unsubsidized and PLUS Plain Language Disclosures

The Electronic Announcement posted on May 19, 2006 (http://www.ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/0519HERAOPSGUIDEPNOTE.html) announced and provided revised Plain Language Disclosures (PLDs) that are to be used with the Subsidized/Unsubsidized MPN and PLUS MPN. As explained in the announcement, the applicable PLD must be provided with the Disclosure Statement when a borrower receives a second or subsequent loan under a previously signed MPN.

  • Beginning July 1, 2006, we will include a paper PLD in paper Subsidized/Unsubsidized Disclosure Statement packages and PLUS Disclosure Statement packages for parent PLUS borrowers in the following cases:
    • The school has previously opted to have the COD System print Disclosure Statements; or
    • The school has not previously opted to have the COD System print Disclosure Statements, but includes a Disclosure Statement print code of "Y" in the award.

    Note: As explained in the Electronic Announcement posted on June 23, 2006, we will mail paper PLUS Disclosure Statement packages for Grad PLUS borrowers to borrowers beginning August 12, 2006.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about this announcement, contact the COD School Relations Center at 800/848-0978. You may also e-mail CODSupport@acs-inc.com.

Last Modified: 06/26/2006