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Summary: HERA Operational Implementation Guidance (CPS, COD System, EDExpress Suite) - Availability of EDExpress for Windows 2006-2007, Release 5.0

Publication Date: April 13, 2007

Author: William Leith, Acting General Manager, Application, Operations and Delivery Services, Federal Student Aid

Summary: HERA Operational Implementation Guidance (CPS, COD System, EDExpress Suite) - Availability of EDExpress for Windows 2006-2007, Release 5.0

Posted on 04-13-2007

Federal Student Aid is pleased to announce the availability of EDExpress for Windows 2006-2007, Release 5.0 on the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site (located at http://fsadownload.ed.gov/). This is the final EDExpress 2006-2007 enhancement release implementing provisions of the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (the HERA), Pub. L. 109-171.

In addition to other changes, the HERA implements two new Title IV grant programs-the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) and the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant). The HERA also extends Federal Direct PLUS Loan (Direct PLUS) eligibility to graduate or professional students.

Note: The HERA provides for eligible graduate or professional students to receive Direct PLUS Loans on or after July 1, 2006. The HERA provision does not create a new loan program; instead, the HERA enables a new type of borrower-an eligible graduate or professional student-to borrow under the existing Direct PLUS Loan Program. In EDExpress 2006-2007, Release 3.0 and forward, a Direct PLUS loan for a graduate or professional student is referred to as a "Grad PLUS" loan.

EDExpress 2006-2007, Release 5.0, enables the export of ACG and National SMART Grant data requests to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System and the import of ACG and National SMART Grant-specific versions of files such as the Year-to-Date (YTD) and Multiple Reporting Record (MRR). Release 5.0 also updates Direct Loan functionality to enable the creation of subsidized and unsubsidized loan origination records that follow the increased annual loan limits established by the HERA on loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2007.

Release 5.0 also resolves a software issue affecting a limited number of schools that prevents the import of ACG and National SMART Grant External Disbursement Add/Change (PGED07OP) records if the Award ID contained an Attended Pell ID Code ending in "00."

In addition to the Release 5.0 software, the EDExpress for Windows 2006-2007, Release 5.0 Cover Letter is available on the FSAdownload Web site. The cover letter includes an overview of Release 5.0 enhancements related to the HERA and reminders on backing up and optimizing your EDExpress database.

The HERA addenda to the EDExpress for Windows 2006-2007, Release 1.0 Desk Reference and the EDExpress for Windows 2006-2007, Release 2.0 Desk Reference, also available on the FSAdownload Web site, contain additional information and guidance regarding EDExpress 2006-2007 enhancements related to the HERA.

Note: Federal Student Aid always encourages EDExpress software users to upgrade to the latest release available for a specific cycle.

Before You Install Release 5.0

Before upgrading from Release 1.0, Release 2.0, Release 3.0, or Release 4.0 to Release 5.0, ensure you have a valid, reliable backup copy of your current production EDExpress 2006-2007 database (expres67.mdb).

You must also make sure there are no record locks on the database and that no user IDs are logged in by following the steps listed below:

1) To check for record locks, select Tools, Utilities, Clear Locks from the menu bar. If you receive the message "No records selected," there are no record locks. If the Clear Locks dialog box appears, click Select All, then OK to clear any record locks.

2) To check for logged-in user IDs, select Tools, Setup, Global, Security Users from the menu bar, and then click Retrieve. The user ID you are currently using should be the only ID with the checkbox selected in the Logged In column (you can disregard the Locked column). Select any user ID displayed as logged in and click OK. Clear the Logged In? checkbox and click OK. Repeat the process for each logged-in user ID except the one you are using.

After clearing any record locks and logging out any user IDs, run the Compact and Repair Database and Verify Database utilities by selecting Tools, Utilities from the menu bar before installing Release 5.0. You should run Compact and Repair Database first, then Verify Database, and lastly run Compact and Repair Database again.

Release 5.0 Download/Installation Process

Release 5.0 is available on the FSAdownload Web site in two formats. You can download the software in one file, called Express67r5.exe, or you can download the software in twelve separate "disk" installment files which can be copied to a Local Area Network (LAN) drive or CD-ROM.

You are required to have Windows 2000 or Windows XP as your PC workstation operating system to run Release 5.0. You must also meet the minimum hardware and software configuration requirements outlined in the September 2004 Federal Register Notice, available on the IFAP Web site at http://ifap.ed.gov/fregisters/FR09142004.html. Additional details and frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the hardware and software requirements are available on IFAP at ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN0408.html. Other hardware, software, and LAN requirements are outlined in the Installation Guide for EDExpress for Windows 2006-2007.

Important Installation Note: You must be an Administrator on your workstation to install EDExpress 2006-2007, Release 5.0 in the Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating systems. If you are not an Administrator, you will receive a warning when you try to install Release 5.0. After an Administrator has installed Release 5.0, you can run it as a member of the Power Users group. If your database is on a network server, you must be a Power User or higher on the network (or "domain") as well as on your workstation. No workarounds exist for these Windows rights issues. Consult with your school's technical department if you receive a warning that an Administrator must install the EDExpress software.

EDExpress for Windows 2006-2007, Release 5.0 can be installed as an upgrade to Release 1.0, Release 2.0, Release 3.0, or Release 4.0. You must have Release 1.0, Release 2.0, Release 3.0, or Release 4.0 installed to run an upgrade (or "custom") installation of Release 5.0.

To upgrade to Release 5.0, select either the Stand Alone Custom or Workstation Custom option during installation, depending on your EDExpress operating environment. Do NOT mark the "Database" checkbox unless you are performing a first-time installation or want to overwrite your existing EDExpress 2006-2007 database. If you choose to overwrite your database, all data previously entered will be lost.

Note: If you have not installed EDExpress 2006-2007 on your system, you can proceed directly to a Stand Alone Full or Network Server/Workstation Full installation of Release 5.0.

Note: A Stand Alone Full or Network Server/Workstation Full installation will load a completely new, blank 2006-2007 EDExpress database to your system. If a database already exists for 2006-2007 on your system, a full installation of Release 5.0 will overwrite it and all data previously entered will be lost. If you receive any prompts during the Release 5.0 full installation indicating an existing file was found and asking if you want to overwrite it, click Yes.

After you upgrade your standalone or LAN workstation(s) to Release 5.0, reboot the PC, then log on to EDExpress 2006-2007 to allow the software to perform a one-time only database update. This update loads important changes to your database structure.

If You Have Questions

If you have any questions regarding downloading, installing, or using EDExpress 2006-2007, Release 5.0, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

If you have questions regarding the COD System, contact the COD School Relations Center at 800/4PGRANT (800/474-7268) for ACG, National SMART Grant, and Pell Grant or 800/848-0978 for Direct Loan. You may also e-mail CODSupport@acs-inc.com.

If you have policy-related questions regarding the HERA, contact Federal Student Aid's Research and Customer Care Center (RCCC) at 800/433-7327 or by fax at 202/275-5532. You can also e-mail the RCCC at fsa.customer.support@ed.gov. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.

Last Modified: 04/12/2007