Publication Date: August 23, 2006
Author: G. Kay Jacks, General Manager, Application, Operations and Delivery Services, Federal Student Aid
Summary: New Financial Operating Environment--Impact on Funds Availability for Campus-Based, ACG, National SMART Grant, Pell Grant, and Direct Loan (EDCAPS/GAPS and COD)
Posted on 08-23-2006
As explained in the attached letter disseminated by the Department of Education's (the Department's) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) earlier this week, the Department will transition to a new financial operating environment in conjunction with the year-end close out of Fiscal Year 2006. As a result, some of the Department's core financial systems, including the Grant Administration and Payment System (GAPS), will be shut down and unavailable from 8:00 P.M. (ET) on Saturday, September 30, 2006 until 8:00 A.M. (ET) on Tuesday, October 10, 2006.
This interruption will impact how the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System will process financial data and when schools can obtain funds for the Federal Student Aid programs. In preparation for the shutdown, schools should review the attached CFO guidance and the impact information provided below.
We appreciate schools' patience and understanding as the Department completes this important activity. We expect the financial processing backlog to be caught up in EDCAPS/GAPS by Thursday, October 12, 2006.
The Department's transition to the new financial operating environment will impact how the COD System processes financial data and when schools can obtain funds for the Federal Student Aid programs as follows:
Monday, September 18, 2006 through Friday, September 29, 2006
Financial processing between the COD System and EDCAPS/GAPS will be reduced to only once every evening (instead of the normal twice-a-day, morning/evening processing). As a result, early morning processing will be completed in the evening. Current Funding Level (CFL) changes and funding could be delayed by a day.
Saturday, September 30, 2006 through Monday, October 9, 2006
The COD System will accept Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) disbursements, but CFL changes and funding requests will not be processed by EDCAPS/GAPS until Tuesday, October 10, 2006.
Actual disbursements must be received and accepted by the COD System no later than 10:00 A.M. (ET) on Thursday, September 28, 2006, in order for them to be included in a drawdown prior to the shutdown. Disbursements submitted after this time will be funded after EDCAPS/GAPS resumes processing on October 10, 2006.
8:00 P.M. (ET) on Saturday, September 30, 2006 through 8:00 A.M. (ET) on Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The GAPS e-Payments system (the GAPS Web site) will not be available. Schools will not be able to draw down Campus-Based, ACG, National SMART Grant, Pell Grant, or Direct Loan funds during this period.
Note: In some cases, a school will be unable to operationally comply with returning cash to the Department within the timeframes specified in the Cash Management regulations at 34 CFR 668.166. We will consider the school to be in compliance with the excess cash requirements provided that the school disburses such funds to eligible students (or parents) by the end of the shutdown period and/or promptly returns such funds to the Department when EDCAPS/GAPS resumes processing on October 10, 2006.
If you have any questions about this announcement, contact one of the following help desks: