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Summary: ACG, National SMART Grant, and Pell Grant 2006-2007 Award Year Processing Deadline

Publication Date: September 4, 2007

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

Summary: ACG, National SMART Grant, and Pell Grant 2006-2007 Award Year Processing Deadline

Posted on 09-04-2007

The Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) Program and National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant) Program regulations at 34 CFR 691.83(a) and the Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) Program regulations at 34 CFR 690.83(a) establish the deadline by which a school must submit student payment data each award year. The data must be submitted to the Department of Education (the Department) by September 30th following the end of the award year in which the ACG, National SMART Grant, or Pell Grant is made.

As required by regulations, and consistent with the notice published in the Federal Register on May 4, 2007 (72 FR 25276), the deadline for electronically transmitting ACG, National SMART Grant, and Pell Grant records for the 2006-2007 Award Year to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System is 11:59 P.M. (ET) on Monday, October 1, 2007. To meet this deadline, a school’s transmissions must be completed and accepted by 12:00 midnight (ET).

Note: The deadline is Monday, October 1, 2007 because September 30th is on a Sunday this year.

We provide information in this announcement in the following order:

  • Tools to Assist Schools with Reconciliation Prior to October 1, 2007 (three subsections)
  • Acceptance and Rejection of 2006-2007 Award Year Data After October 1, 2007
  • Requesting Administrative Relief or Extended Processing for 2006-2007 Award Year
  • Contact Information

Tools to Assist Schools with Reconciliation Prior to October 1, 2007

There are two Data Requests available to schools as they complete both the year-end and ongoing reconciliation processes for ACG, National SMART Grant, and Pell Grant awards. The Reconciliation Report is a student summary of processed records. The Year-to-Date (YTD) Record contains detailed origination, disbursement, and summary information at a transaction level. Each Reconciliation Report and YTD Record produced is specific to one program—ACG, National SMART Grant, or Pell Grant.

Sending 2006-2007 Reconciliation Reports to Reporting Schools

To assist schools with final reporting before the October 1, 2007 deadline, we will send 2006-2007 Reconciliation Reports to schools’ Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) mailboxes based on the following schedule:

  • Beginning September 6, 2007, we will send a 2006-2007 Pell Grant Reconciliation Report to the SAIG mailboxes of all reporting schools with at least one funded 2006-2007 Pell Grant disbursement.
  • Beginning September 7, 2007, we will send a 2006-2007 ACG Reconciliation Report to the SAIG mailboxes of all reporting schools with at least one funded 2006-2007 ACG disbursement.
  • Beginning September 8, 2007, we will send a 2006-2007 National SMART Grant Reconciliation Report to the SAIG mailboxes of all reporting schools with at least one funded 2006-2007 National SMART Grant disbursement.

Schools will receive these 2006-2007 Reconciliation Reports on or shortly after the dates specified above.

Key information about the 2006-2007 Reconciliation Reports that we will send to reporting schools is as follows:

  • Each report will include information for all ACG, National SMART Grant, or Pell Grant recipients, as applicable, at all attended campuses for the reporting school.

  • Each report will be in the standard fixed-length format as specified in Volume VI, Section 8 of the 2006-2007 COD Technical Reference.

  • Each report will be sent to the reporting school’s SAIG mailbox via the appropriate program/award year message class.

    o ACG Reconciliation Report Message Class – AGRC07OP

    o National SMART Grant Reconciliation Report Message Class – SGRC07OP

    o Pell Grant Reconciliation Report Message Class – PGRC07OP

Note: While we will automatically send the 2006-2007 Reconciliation Reports to schools as specified above, a school can request an ACG Reconciliation Report, a National SMART Grant Reconciliation Report, and/or a Pell Grant Reconciliation Report via the COD Web site or by submitting the batch data request for the appropriate program/award year message class via the SAIG. For information about how to request these reports, refer to Volume VI, Section 8 of the 2006-2007 COD Technical Reference.

Using 2006-2007 Reconciliation Reports to Identify Discrepancies

Upon receipt, the 2006-2007 ACG Reconciliation Report, 2006-2007 National SMART Grant Reconciliation Report, and 2006-2007 Pell Grant Reconciliation Report can each be downloaded and then viewed, printed, or imported into a spreadsheet for comparison with a school’s data. For example, the file can be imported into a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel (XLS). Since the file is not in XLS (spreadsheet format), the spreadsheet program will automatically prompt the user to convert it by following the directions displayed. Once the file has been imported into a spreadsheet, the column widths and data formats must be reviewed and adjusted to meet the user’s needs.

Note: The format of any dollar value data element will need to be updated to numeric with two decimal places.

Using 2006-2007 YTD Records and the COD Web site to Assist in Resolving Discrepancies

After a school completes a comparison of its ACG, National SMART Grant, and/or Pell Grant data with the data in the COD System, the school must resolve all discrepancies. To assist in the resolution process, a school can request a 2006-2007 ACG YTD Record, a 2006-2007 National SMART Grant YTD Record, and/or a 2006-2007 Pell Grant YTD Record. A YTD Record can be requested for one student or for all recipients in a particular program at the school. The YTD Record contains detailed ACG, National SMART Grant, or Pell Grant origination and disbursement data at a transaction level. This detailed information can assist in the determination of the appropriate resolution.

A school can request a 2006-2007 YTD Record for the appropriate program via the COD Web site or by submitting the batch data request for the appropriate program/award year message class (ACG – AGRQ07IN, National SMART Grant – SGRQ07IN, and Pell Grant – PGRQ07IN) to the COD System via the SAIG. The school will then receive a data request acknowledgement and the requested report in the corresponding program/award year message class (ACG – AGYR07OP, National SMART Grant – SGYR07OP, and Pell Grant – PGYR07OP) via the SAIG.

Note for EDExpress Users: To identify discrepancies, a school can use EDExpress to run a comparison between a 2006-2007 ACG YTD Record, 2006-2007 National SMART Grant YTD Record, and/or 2006-2007 Pell Grant YTD Record and the school’s ACG, National SMART Grant, and/or Pell Grant database. For more information about using the comparison feature, refer to the 2006-2007 Desk Reference for EDExpress Release 2.0 under the “Software and Associated Documents” link on the Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site. A school can access the desk reference by completing the following steps:

Step 1:

Click on the EDExpress for Windows 2006-2007 Release 5.0 link, scroll to the bottom of the page, and select the Archive button.

Step 2:

In the archived releases of the 2006-2007 software, scroll to the Release 2.0 documentation at the bottom of the page, and click on the Release 2.0 Desk Reference link.

While the YTD data information, found on page 70, only references Pell Grant, it is applicable to ACG and National SMART Grant as well.

Additionally, a school can use the COD Web site to view current ACG, National SMART Grant, and/or Pell Grant award origination and disbursement information in the COD System.

Acceptance and Rejection of 2006-2007 Award Year Data After October 1, 2007

After October 1, 2007, the COD System will accept and reject 2006-2007 ACG, National SMART Grant, and Pell Grant data as follows:

ACG and National SMART Grant Programs

  • The COD System will accept and process decreases to previously accepted 2006-2007 award originations and decreases to previously accepted 2006-2007 disbursements.
  • The COD System will accept and process originations and disbursements of new 2006-2007 awards or 2006-2007 award amount increases only if the Department has granted Administrative Relief or Extended Processing for the 2006-2007 Award Year.

Pell Grant Program

  • The COD System will accept and process decreases to previously accepted 2006-2007 award originations and decreases to previously accepted 2006-2007 disbursements.
  • The COD System will accept and process originations and disbursements of new 2006-2007 awards or 2006-2007 award amount increases only if 1) the student was in a Potential Overaward Process (POP) situation during the 2006-2007 Award Year or 2) the Department has granted Administrative Relief or Extended Processing for the 2006-2007 Award Year.

Note: Unless one of the situations outlined above applies, the COD System will reject originations and disbursements of new 2006-2007 awards or 2006-2007 award amount increases and return COD Edit 43 (New Award Amount or Award Increase Received After End of Processing Year and Institution has Not Been Granted Extended Processing) or COD Edit 71 (New Disbursement Increase, or Disbursement Release Indicator to “True” Received After End of Processing Year and Institution Has Not Been Granted Administrative Relief).

Requesting Administrative Relief or Extended Processing for 2006-2007 Award Year

A school can request Administrative Relief or Extended Processing for the 2006-2007 Award Year as follows:

  • Through January 31, 2008 – For natural disaster or other unusual circumstances, or an administrative error made by the Department
  • Through May 1, 2008 For a student enrolled in a clock-hour or nonterm credit-hour educational program who reenters 1) within 180 days after initially withdrawing and 2) after September 17, 2007

If necessary, a school also can request additional extensions of an initially approved period through May 1, 2008.

Upon request, the Department may grant Administrative Relief or Extended Processing as follows:

  • Administrative Relief If an administrative or processing error made by the Department or one of its operating partners or an event, such as a natural disaster or other unusual circumstance beyond the school's control, prevented the school from meeting the deadline
  • Extended Processing If the school may make a late disbursement in accordance with 34 CFR 668.164(g) or may request unreported funds based upon a program review or initial audit finding in accordance with 34 CFR 690.83(d)

Note: In the case of a late disbursement, a school must determine if it needs the Department’s approval to make the late disbursement. The school should refer to the Department’s guidance in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-05-13 (September 2005). This Dear Colleague Letter explains the conditions under which a school needs the Department’s approval before it makes a late disbursement of Title IV aid and the procedures for requesting such approval. When applicable, a school must request and receive the Department’s approval to make the late disbursement in addition to requesting Extended Processing.

A school can request Administrative Relief or Extended Processing via the COD Web site after it has completed all of its research and is ready to submit the data to the COD System (see “Notes” below). The school must submit a separate request for each grant program for which it needs Administrative Relief or Extended Processing.

To request Administrative Relief or Extended Processing for the ACG Program, National SMART Grant Program, or Pell Grant Program, log in to the COD Web site and complete the following steps:

Step 1:

Go to the School Summary Information screen.

Step 2:

Click on “Request Post Deadline Processing” located in the menu on the left side of the screen.

Step 3:

Complete all required fields—including choosing the reason for the request from a dropdown menu and providing a detailed description of the problem.

Step 4:

Click on the “SUBMIT” button below the data fields.

Notes:

  1. In general, the Department grants the majority of Administrative Relief and Extended Processing requests. To ensure expedient, efficient, and complete processing within the Administrative Relief or Extended Processing period after it is granted, a school should complete all of its research and data preparation before submitting the Administrative Relief or Extended Processing request via the COD Web site.

  2. The Administrative Relief or Extended Processing period will be no more than 30 business days in length. If a school completes all of its research and data preparation before submitting its request, this is more than enough time for the school to submit its data and fully reconcile its program records.

  3. As a reminder, a school’s data is fully reconciled when the school’s Net Accepted and Posted Disbursements (NAPD) amount for a program/award year in the COD System equals the school’s Net Drawdown amount for the program/award year in the Department’s Grant Administration and Payment (GAPS) System.

Following receipt and review of a request for Administrative Relief or Extended Processing, the Department will e-mail the requestor that the request has been approved or denied. A school’s submission of 2006-2007 data to the COD System before it has received the Department’s e-mail approving the request will result in rejection of the data.

Upon receipt of the Department’s approval, the school can submit data through its normal batch/document process or can create awards/originations and disbursements via the COD Web site. The school will receive acknowledgements for 2006-2007 post-deadline processing data entered via the COD Web site.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about this announcement, contact the COD School Relations Center at 800/4PGRANT (800/474-7268) for ACG, National SMART Grant, and Pell Grant. You may also e-mail CODSupport@acs-inc.com.

If you have any questions about using EDExpress to run a comparison between a YTD Record and your school’s database, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

Last Modified: 09/03/2007