Publication Date: February 1, 2008
Author: William Leith, Acting General Manager, Application, Operations and Delivery Services, Federal Student Aid
Summary: 2008-2009 ISIR Reprocessing on February 4, 2008 for Web Applications with Dependency Override Submitted by Students
Posted on 02-01-2008
On February 4, 2008, Federal Student Aid will reprocess 2008-2009 Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) for applicants impacted by a FAFSA on the Web issue that allowed certain renewal-eligible students to submit an application containing a Dependency Override. For these particular transactions, the Dependency Override flag was carried forward from renewal-eligible 2007-2008 records when students used FAFSA on the Web to submit their 2008-2009 applications. The Dependency Override flag is only valid if submitted by a financial aid administrator. System updates were made to correct this error on January 22, 2008.
Affected FAFSA on the Web Records
We have identified slightly more than 1,000 student records with the Dependency Override flag set on a 2008-2009 initial transaction submitted through FAFSA on the Web.
When these students chose to pre-fill their 2008-2009 application and were identified as dependent, based on their responses to the dependency questions, they received a message indicating "Last year a Financial Aid Administrator considered you an independent student on your FAFSA. If you think you have special circumstances that would change your dependency status to independent again this year, contact the financial aid office at your school for assistance in filling out your FAFSA." Applicants who chose to continue with their application by providing parental data were processed as independent because the system failed to remove the Dependency Override flag. Less than 350 of the affected students answered "No" to all of the dependency questions, which resulted in an incorrect calculation.
When students with a 2007-2008 Dependency Override were identified as independent for 2008-2009, based on their responses to the dependency questions, FAFSA on the Web correctly processed the records using the expected family contribution (EFC) calculation for an independent student. However, the Dependency Override flag is still set on these records incorrectly.
We will reprocess all of the affected records to remove the Dependency Override. For each reprocessed record we will send a new Student Aid Report (SAR) to the student and a new ISIR to all schools listed on the resulting transaction.
Students who were identified as dependent, based on their responses to the dependency questions, may see the greatest change on their reprocessed transactions because they will be processed using the EFC calculation for a dependent student, rather than for an independent student. The remaining affected applicants will not see a change to the EFC. However, we will reprocess all of the affected records so students and schools will receive a SAR/ISIR transaction that is now correct.
How To Identify Reprocessed Transactions
There are several methods for identifying the records resulting from this reprocessing:
Schools can identify ISIRs that incorrectly contained the Dependency Override by evaluating the FAA Federal School Code (ISIR field #126) in combination with the Dependency Override Indicator (ISIR field #125). The FAA Federal School Code will be blank and the Dependency Override Indicator will contain "1" on the incorrect records. The FAA Federal School Code is only populated on records for which a financial aid administrator submitted a Dependency Override or Professional Judgment.
Earlier this week, we implemented an outreach plan for students whose records, once reprocessed, will have a change in dependency status from independent to dependent. We are alerting the affected students that they will be receiving a new SAR without the Dependency Override and instructing them to contact the financial aid office at their school if they think they have special circumstances that would change their dependency status to independent. In addition to the student outreach, we are contacting the affected schools. A majority of the dependent applicants listed the same school code(s) as in 2007-2008. We expect to complete all outreach by the end of business on February 4, 2008.
If you have any questions, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.
If your students have any questions, please ask them to contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800/4-FEDAID (800/433-3243) or by e-mail at FederalStudentAidCustomerService@ed.gov. TDD/TTY service is also available at 800/730-8913.