Publication Date: August 1, 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
Note: This Electronic Announcement was updated on August 10, 2006 by correcting the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) code for Direct PLUS Loans made to graduate and professional students. The correct code is "D3" and has replaced the incorrect code that was previously provided.
Posted on 08-01-2006
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 July 1, 2006 and December 16, 2006. This announcement provides information about the third release.
During the period August 11-12, 2006, we will implement additional HERA-related COD System functionality that supports the processing of Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Direct PLUS Loans) for eligible graduate and professional students. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we complete this important activity.
In this announcement, we provide the following information related to the implementation:
COD Batch Processing Suspension and Web Site Outage Information
In order to install the HERA-related system changes--
Additionally, for Direct Loan participants--
COD System Processing Function Enhancements and Modifications
Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate and Professional Students
The Electronic Announcement posted on June 23, 2006, provided complete information about the new availability of Direct PLUS Loans for Grad PLUS borrowers. As explained in the announcement, beginning August 12, 2006, full COD System functionality for Direct PLUS Loans for Grad PLUS borrowers will be available for award years 2005-2006 and forward.
We will modify how the COD System analyzes and edits information submitted using the COD Extensible Markup Language (XML) Common Record or via the COD Web site to determine if the loan is for a parent PLUS borrower or a Grad PLUS borrower. The COD System will also begin linking Grad PLUS awards to valid Federal Direct PLUS Loan Application and Master Promissory Notes (PLUS MPNs).
A school will be able to complete the following Grad PLUS processing functions:
The Award ID and MPN ID associated with a Direct PLUS Loan for a Grad PLUS borrower will be constructed just as they are constructed for a parent PLUS borrower.
o The Award ID will have a "P" in the 10th position.o The MPN ID will have an "N" in the 10th position.
Note: A school may have followed earlier guidance that we provided regarding the MPN ID and had Grad PLUS borrowers complete and sign paper PLUS MPNs with "R" in the 10th position of the MPN ID. In this case, the school does not need to collect new paper PLUS MPNs for the Grad PLUS borrowers.
Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS awards will look alike except that Grad PLUS awards will have the following notable differences:
o The information in each Person Common Record Block-the borrower's block and the student's block-will match exactly.
o The student's Dependency Status will be Independent instead of Dependent.
o The student's Grade Level will be 6 or 7 instead of 5 or lower.
Note: The repayment period for a Direct PLUS Loan made to a Grad PLUS borrower will begin on the date of the final loan disbursement, and the first payment will be due within 60 days after the date of that final disbursement unless the student is eligible for a deferment.
Full COD System functionality will eliminate the need for the following interim processes:
Note: We did not enter a school's interim spreadsheet data into the COD System. If a school submitted an interim spreadsheet during the past few weeks, it must submit all required data via Common Record or Web processing.
Information for EDExpress Users
We will modify the 2006-2007 EDExpress software and the Direct Loan Tools product as follows:
o Add totals for Grad PLUS awards to the Measurement Tools Report.
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.