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Summary: Availability of EDExpress for Windows 2007-2008, Release 3.0

Publication Date: May 21, 2007

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

Summary: Availability of EDExpress for Windows 2007-2008, Release 3.0

Posted on 05-21-2007

The U.S. Department of Education is pleased to announce the posting of EDExpress for Windows 2007-2008, Release 3.0, on the Department's Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site, located at http://fsadownload.ed.gov.

Release 3.0 incorporates changes to the 2007-2008 Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) payment and disbursement schedules into EDExpress Global, Packaging, and Pell functionality.

In addition to the Release 3.0 software, the EDExpress for Windows 2007-2008, Release 2.0 Cover Letter, Release 2.0 Desk Reference and Release 2.0 Desk Reference HERA Addendum are available on the FSAdownload Web site at the EDExpress for Windows 2007-2008 Release 2.0 location. No updates of these documents will be posted for Release 3.0.

In an Electronic Announcement posted on February 27, 2007, we announced that the Revised Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2007, (P.L. 110-5), establishes the maximum Pell Grant award for the 2007-2008 Award Year at $4,310 and, with the minimum award continuing to be $400, sets the maximum Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that a student may have to be eligible to receive a Pell Grant at 4110.

You must upgrade to Release 3.0 before you can begin submitting 2007-2008 Pell Grant award information to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System using EDExpress 2007-2008. The COD System began accepting 2007-2008 Pell Grant awards based on the updated 2007-2008 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules on May 12, 2007.

We began processing new 2007-2008 application and correction records according to the updated Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules on March 15, 2007. We also reprocessed 2007-2008 Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) on March 22, 2007 for students who applied prior to March 15 and who, under earlier formulas, were not designated as being "Pell Grant Eligible," but who are now eligible for a 2007-2008 Pell Grant.

EDExpress 2007-2008 users should import all reprocessed ISIR transactions (File, Import, App Express, ISIR Data) sent by Federal Student Aid to ensure the most accurate and recent student data is loaded in your database.

Release 3.0 Enhancements

The following software enhancements, listed by module, are available in EDExpress 2007-2008, Release 3.0:

EDExpress Global

  • We updated the Pell Regular Schedule and Pell Alternate Schedule tabs available under Tools, Browse, Global to reflect the updated 2007-2008 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules. You can also view updated 2007-2008 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules in Dear Colleague Letter P-07-01.

EDExpress Packaging

  • We updated the Package and Repackage processes to award Pell Grants (Packaging Aid Type = F) according to the updated 2007-2008 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules.

If you create Packaging records by importing ISIR data, you should re-import ISIR data for student records impacted by the March 22 reprocessing. This will ensure the Pell Eligibility field on the Packaging record is set correctly. You must unpackage student records at a Packaging Status of P (Packaged), M (Manually Adjusted), or H (Hand Packaged) in order to import new ISIR transactions. You may wish to print the Packaging Record for impacted students before unpackaging so you have a record of the funds you originally awarded to them (in case you wish to recreate the awards).

Once you have imported all reprocessed ISIR data into the Release 3.0 Packaging module, run the Package process for the impacted student records. If you did not receive reprocessed ISIR data, you should run the Repackage process for students with Pell Grant awards after upgrading to Release 3.0. This will ensure your students' Pell Grant awards follow the updated 2007-2008 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules.

  • We updated the valid field content of the Low Tuition field on the Awards tab to match the revised 2007-2008 Alternate Federal Pell Grant Schedules for Students with Low Assessed Tuition. This change may impact Pell Grant awards for some of your students. Be sure to verify the Low Tuition field values you selected for your student records are still applicable after Release 3.0 is installed.

Note: The Low Tuition field cannot be modified on the Awards tab unless you select the Use Low Tuition? checkbox in Packaging System Setup (Tools, Setup, Packaging, System).

Note: The 2007-2008 Packaging Technical Reference has been revised to update the valid field content for the Low Tuition field in the Packaging Import External Add record layout and the Packaging Import Field Change Fields table.

EDExpress Pell

  • We updated the Pell module's Calculate Award Amount for Entire School Year function, available on the Process menu from the EDExpress main menu and the Origination (Pell) tab, to follow the updated 2007-2008 Pell Grant payment and disbursement schedules.
  • We updated the valid values for the Low Tuition & Fees Code field on the Origination (Pell) tab to match the revised 2007-2008 Alternate Federal Pell Grant Schedules for Students with Low Assessed Tuition.

Note: We will publish an updated version of the 2007-2008 COD Technical Reference, Volume III (Pell Grant, ACG, National SMART Grant and Direct Loan Combination System Supplement) in May 2007 to revise the valid field content for the Low Tuition field in the EDExpress 2007-2008 Pell, ACG, and National SMART Grant External Origination Add/Change Import record layout.

Software Issues Resolved in Release 3.0

Two software issues from earlier EDExpress 2007-2008 versions are resolved in Release 3.0:

  • ISIR Print: ISIR transactions with an updated school code now correctly print with a "#" symbol (indicating the value was modified on the current transaction) or an "@" symbol (indicating the value was modified on a prior transaction) next to the school code field.
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) and National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant) Data Request Export: We updated the Export process for ACG Data Requests (message class AGRQ08IN) and National SMART Grant Data Requests (message class SGRQ08IN) to automatically populate the EDconnect software's Transmission Queue with the export file.

Note: As in prior EDExpress releases, the automatic population of the EDconnect Transmission Queue will only occur following export if the "Export to EDconnect?" checkbox is selected in Security Users setup for the user performing the export. You can access Security Users setup by selecting Tools, Setup, Global, Security Users in the EDExpress 2007-2008 software.

Before You Install Release 3.0

Before upgrading from Release 1.0 or Release 2.0 to Release 3.0, ensure you have a valid, reliable backup copy of your current production EDExpress 2007-2008 database (expres78.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 a "Y" displayed 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 3.0. You should run Compact and Repair Database first, then Verify Database, and lastly run Compact and Repair Database again.

Release 3.0 Download/Installation Process

Release 3.0 is available on the FSAdownload Web site in two formats. You can download the entire software in one file, called express78r3.exe, or you can download the software in separate "disk" installment files, which can be copied to a Local Area Network (LAN) drive or CDs. Review the download and installation instructions in the Installation Guide for further information.

You are required to have Windows 2000 or Windows XP as your PC workstation operating system to run Release 3.0.

Note: At this time, Federal Student Aid has not certified the Microsoft Corporation's recently released Windows Vista as a supported operating system for EDExpress or its other PC software products. This guidance also applies to the Local Area Network (LAN) or "server" version of Windows Vista, due for release later in 2007. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

You must also adhere to either the minimum or the optimal 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 system requirements are also available on IFAP at http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN0408.html.

Important Installation Note: You must be an Administrator on your workstation to install EDExpress 2007-2008 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 EDExpress. After an Administrator has installed EDExpress, 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. There are no workarounds 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.

Release 3.0 can be installed as an upgrade to Release 1.0 or Release 2.0. You must have Release 1.0 or Release 2.0 installed in order to run an upgrade (or "Custom") installation of Release 3.0.

To upgrade to Release 3.0, 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 EDExpress 2007-2008 database. If you choose to overwrite your database, all data previously entered will be lost.

Note: If you have not installed EDExpress 2007-2008 on your system, you can proceed directly to a Stand Alone Full or Network Server/Workstation Full installation of Release 3.0. Remember, a Stand Alone Full or Network Server/Workstation Full installation will load a completely new, blank 2007-2008 EDExpress database to your system. If a database already exists for 2007-2008 on your system, a full installation of Release 3.0 will overwrite it and all data previously entered will be lost.

If you receive any prompts during the Release 3.0 installation indicating an existing file was found and asking if you want to overwrite it, click Yes.

After you upgrade to Release 3.0, reboot your PC, then log on to EDExpress 2007-2008 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 2007-2008, Release 3.0, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

You can also post questions regarding EDExpress on FSATECH. FSATECH is an electronic mailing list for technical questions about Federal Student Aid systems, software, and mainframe products. For more information about FSATECH, including how to subscribe, go to http://fsa4schools.ed.gov, click "Listserves/Mailing Lists" on the left menu, and click the "FSATech" link.

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.

Last Modified: 05/20/2007